Democratic political institutions came to define the nations sense of its own

Democratic political institutions came to define the

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Democratic political institutions came to define the nation’s sense of its own identity Alexis de Tocqueville: French writer who wrote Democracy in America. He declared that to understand America, one must understand democracy De Tocqueville didn’t like democracy
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Chapter 10 2 HIs key insight was that democracy at this time meant far more than either the right to vote or a particular set of political institutions. It was what scholars call a “habit of the heart,” a culture that encouraged individual initiative, belief in equality, and an active public sphere populated by numerous voluntary organizations that sought to improve society Democracy, Tocqueville saw, had become an essential attribute of American freedom The rise of democracy represented a profound political transformation. Before, people thought democracy always decayed into anarchy Democracy for white males had triumphed by the Age of Jackson Democracy reinforced a sense of equality among those who participated and created a divide between those who could and could not participate Participation in elections helped to define the people of the united states The right to vote increasingly became the emblem of American citizenship The market revolution and political democracy produced a large expansion of the public sphere and an explosion in printing sometimes called the “information revolution” Steam engine application to newspaper printing led to increase in output and circulation of “penny press” Newspapers began to emphasise sensationalism Low postal rates caused publications to circulate everywhere Political parties spurred newspaper production The growth of the reading public was another facet of the democratization of American life By the 1830s, the time of Andrew’s presidency, the axiom that the people ruled had become universally accepted as part of Americans politics THe vigorous public life of antebellum America was simultaneously expansive and exclusive As democracy triumphed, the intellectual grounds for exclusion shifted from economic dependency to natural incapacity Freedom in the public realm in no way implied freedom in private life Herman Melville: Portrayed complex and heroic black characters In the revolutionary era, only Virginia, SOuth Carolina, and Georgia explicitly confined the vote to whites In 1821, New York raised the voting requirements for black voters to 250 bucks, excluding almost all of the blacks in the state Thaddeus Stevens: Refused to sign the Pennsylvania constitution because of its provision limiting suffrage to whites Whites of the revolutionary generation had thought of African-Americans as “citizens of color,” potential members of the body politic Federal government barred black participation in military (except sailors) Race had replaced class as the boundary between AMerican men who were entitled to political freedom Even as focus on race limited America’s political community as a whole, it helped to solidify a
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