Charles Explorer logo

U.S. Political Culture, 1789-2016

Class at Faculty of Arts |


U.S. Political Culture, 1789-2016 In the year of a critical U.S. presidential election campaign, this seminar will examine the historical and cultural context of debates, issues, preoccupations, valorizations, and partisan formations that have characterized U.S. political culture since the beginning of the American Republic, relating them to contemporary political events and endeavoring to illuminate the foundations and resonances in the history and cultural paradigm(s) of the U.S. of specific antinomies and confrontations that take have taken and are taking specific forms and manifestations in the arena of U.S. political discourse and debates. That these ends, the following political epochs and formations will be examined as part of the seminar:

1) The Declaration of Independence: Secession of the American colonies from the British Empire, 1763-83

2) The Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights: the American cultural paradigm, preservation of political, social, and economic diversity, and subversion of cultural and political hegemony/authority, 1783-89

3) Federalists and Anti-Federalists (Democratic Republicans), 1789-1825

4) Whigs and Democrats, 1825-1861

5) The Republican Ascendancy, 1861-1933

6) The New Deal and Democratic Ascendancy, 1933-81

7) Democratic and Republican gridlock, 1981-2016

8) Revolt of the electorate, new trends, and new discourse emerging in the campaigns of the presidential election year