Democratizing the Old Dominion: Virginia and the Second Party System, 1824-1861

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University of Virginia Press, 1996 - Business & Economics - 365 pages
The Emergence of the two-party system in the 1830s led to the democratization of the nation and to decades of heated dispute about democracy. In Democratizing the Old Dominion, the first comprehensive study of antebellum Virginia politics, William G. Shade demonstrates that Virginia typified the nation more closely than did any other state both in the emergence and development of the two-party system and in economic development. Shade places the antebellum debate over slavery and states' rights in the context of early discussion on these subjects by Jefferson and Madison. He shows how the diversity of opinion on these issues was shaped by politics. Discussing the many conflicts within Virginia and the South, he debunks the myth of the unique South and argues that the similarities between North and South were more numerous than the differences. The author also provides a thorough analysis of Virginia's many regional cultures, looking at them comparatively as well as in the context of national party conflicts.


The Partisan Leader
Notes on the State of Virginia
The Constitution of Virginia
A Candid State of Parties
Out of the Nature of Things
One Hundred and SeventyThree Despots
A Review of the Slave Question
Political Development and Political Decay
The Augusta County Whig Connection

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About the author (1996)

William G. Shade is Professor of History and Director of American Studies at Lehigh University. His publications include Banks or No Banks: The Money Issue in Western Politics, 1832-1865; The Evolution of Electoral Systems; and Our American Sisters: Women in American Life and Thought.