2nd Edition

Perspectives on American Government Readings in Political Development and Institutional Change

Edited By Cal Jillson, David Brian Robertson Copyright 2014
    580 Pages
    by Routledge

    580 Pages
    by Routledge

    The second edition of this much-admired book offers an accessible and coherent selection of readings illustrating for students the depth and contours of how American politics has developed over time. Grounded in foundational debates, classic political science scholarship, and the best contemporary analysis of American political development, this reader invites students to probe the historical dynamics that brought the United States to where it is today and how those dynamics are likely to affect its future course.

    This well-designed and up-to-date reader is an invitation to instructors to draw your students into a deeper conversation on the key themes and topics in each section of your course. The second edition features:

    • Revised introductions and selections
    • 33 new readings
    • Expanded sections on civil rights and civil liberties.

    Jillson and Robertson have carefully edited each selection to ensure readability and fidelity to the original arguments. Their insightful editorial introductions frame the context in which these topics are studied and understood. Several key pedagogical tools help students along the way:

    • An introductory essay provides an overview of American political development and current examples of why history matters
    • Chapter introductions to provide necessary context situating the readings in broader debates
    • Head notes at the start of each reading to contextualize that selection
    • Questions for Discussion at the end of each chapter, prompting students to draw out the implications and connections across readings
    • Further Reading lists at the end of each chapter to guide student research

    The broad readings in this volume take seriously the effort to present materials that help students make sense of the historical changes and institutional developments that are essential for understanding American government and politics today.

    1. The Origins of American Political Principles. 1.1 John Winthrop, "A Model of Christian Charity" (1630). 1.2 John Locke, "Of the Beginnings of Political Societies" (1690). 1.3 Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws (1748). 1.4 Alexis de Tocqueville, "Origin of the Anglo-Americans" (1835). 1.5 James Morone, "The Democratic Wish" (1998). 1.6 Rogers M. Smith, "The Multiple Traditions in America" (1993). 2. The Revolution and the Constitution. 2.1 Thomas Paine, "Common Sense" (1776). 2.2 David Brian Robertson, "Madison’s Opponents and Constitutional Design" (2005). 2.3 The Conclusion of the Constitutional Convention (1787); "Benjamin Franklin’s comments on signing the Constitution"; "Letter to Congress to accompany the Constitution." 2.4 Herbert Storing, "What the Anti-Federalists Were For" (1981). 2.5 Federalist Papers 47 and 48 (1788). 2.6 Akhil Reed Amar, "America’s Constitution" (2005). 3. Federalism and the American Political System. 3.1 Federalist Papers 39 and 45 (1788). 3.2 The Webster-Hayne Debates (1830). 3.3 Edwin S. Corwin, "The Passing of Dual Federalism" (1950). 3.4 Margaret Weir, "States, Race, and the Decline of New Deal Liberalism" (2005). 3.5 Suzanne Mettler, "Gender and Federalism in New Deal Public Policy" (1998). 3.6 David Brian Robertson, Federalism and the Making of America (2011). 4. Political Socialization and Public Opinion. 4.1 John and Abigail Adams, "Women in the New Nation" (1776). 4.2 Gordon Wood, "The Founders and the Creation of Modern Public Opinion" (2006). 4.3 Alexis de Tocqueville, "Unlimited Power of the Majority in the United States" (1835). 4.4 Gunnar Myrdal, "American Ideals and the American Conscience" (1944). 4.5 Sidney Verba, "The Citizen As Respondent: Sample Surveys and American Democracy" (1995). 4.6 Cass Sunstein, "Polarization and Cybercascades" (2007). 5. The Mass Media and the Political Agenda. 5.1 Thomas Jefferson, "Newspapers and Democracy" (1787). 5.2 H.L. Mencken, "Newspaper Morals" (1914). 5.3 New York Times v. United States (1971). 5.4 Samuel Kernell, "The Early Nationalization of Political News in America" (1986). 5.5 Gadi Wolfsfeld, "Political Power and Power Over the Media" (2011). 5.6 Diana Owen, "Media: The Complex Interplay of Old and New Forms" (2011). 6. Interest Groups. 6.1 Debates at the Constitutional Convention, "Popular Participation, Factions, and Democratic Politics" (1787). 6.2 Alexis de Tocqueville, "Political Association in the United States" (1835). 6.3 E. E. Schattschneider, "The Scope and Bias of the Pressure System" (1960). 6.4 Charles E. Lindblom, "The Privileged Position of Business" (1977). 6.5 Richard Harris and Daniel Tichenor, "Organized Interests and American Political Development" (2002–2003). 6.6 Elisabeth Clemens, "Politics Without Party: The Organizational Accomplishments Of Disenfranchised Women" (1997). 7. Political Parties. 7.1 James Reichley, "Intention of the Founders: A Polity Without Parties" (2000). 7.2 James Madison, "A Candid State of Parties" (1792). 7.3 James Bryce, "The American Commonwealth: Political Parties and Their History" (1888). 7.4 John H. Aldrich, "Why Parties Form" (2012). 7.5 Sidney Milkis, "The President and the Parties" (1993). 7.6 Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson, "How the Tea Party Boosts the GOP and Prods it Rightward" (2012). 8. Voting, Campaigns, and Elections. 8.1 Debates at the Constitutional Convention, "Should Common Citizens be Allowed to Vote?" (1787). 8.2 Alexander Keyssar, "Democracy Ascendant: The Right to Vote" (2000). 8.3 V.O. Key, "The Voice of the People: An Echo" (1966). 8.4 Samuel L. Popkin, "The Reasoning Voter" (1991). 8.5 Anthony King, "Running Scared" (1997). 8.6 Dennis Johnson, "Political Consultants at Work" (2007). 9. Congress: Lawmaking and Domestic Representation. 9.1 Edmund Burke, "Letter to the Electors of Bristol" (1774). 9.2 Federalist Paper 62 (1788). 9.3 Ira Katznelson, "Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time" (2013). 9.4 David Mayhew, "The Electoral Incentive" (1974). 9.5 Eric Schickler, "Institutional Development of Congress" (2004). 9.6 Sarah Binder, "Through the Looking Glass, Darkly: What has Become of the Senate?" (2011). 10. The President: Governing in Uncertain Times. 10.1 John Locke, "Of Prerogative" (1690). 10.2 The Framers and the Presidency (1787-1788); Gouverneur Morris on "Executive Power" in Constitutional Convention; Debates (1787); Federalist Papers 70 and 72 (1789). 10.3 Abraham Lincoln, "On Suspension of Habeas Corpus" (1861). 10.4 Theodore Roosevelt, "Immediate and Vigorous Executive Action" (1909). 10.5 Stephen Skowronek, "The Conservative Insurgency and Presidential Power: A Developmental Perspective on the Unitary Executive" (2009). 10.6 Jeffrey E. Cohen, "The Size of the President's Agenda, 1789-2002" (2012). 11. Bureaucracy: Shaping Government for the 21st Century. 11.1 Anthony Downs, "Why Bureaus Are Necessary" (1967). 11.2 James Q. Wilson, "Bureaucracy" (1989). 11.3 Woodrow Wilson, "The Study of Administration" (1887). 11.4 Michael Nelson, "A Short, Ironic History of American National Bureaucracy" (1982). 11.5 Daniel Carpenter, "The Evolution of the National Bureaucracy" (2005). 11.6 Laurence E. Lynn, Jr., "Theodore Roosevelt Redux: Barack Obama Confronts American Bureaucracy" (2009). 12. The Federal Courts: Activism v. Restraint. 12.1 Federalist Paper 81 (1788). 12.2 Marbury v. Madison (1803). 12.3 Akhil Reed Amar, "Judicial Power Under the Constitution" (2012). 12.4 Jeffrey Rosen, "The Most Democratic Branch" (2005). 12.5 Howard Gillman, "The Courts and the 2000 Election" (2001). 12.6 Thomas M. Keck, "Modern Conservatism and Judicial Power" (2004). 13. Civil Liberties. 13.1 John Winthrop, "Little Speech on Liberty" (1645). 13.2 Montesquieu, "Of the Laws Which Establish Political Liberty" (1748). 13.3 James Madison, "Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments" (1785). 13.4 John Stuart Mill, "On Liberty" (1860). 13.5 New York Times v. Sullivan (1964). 13.6 Ken I. Kersch, "The Right to Privacy" (2008). 14. Civil Rights. 14.1 Judith Sargent Murray, "On the Equality of the Sexes" (1790). 14.2 Abraham Lincoln, "Speech on the Dred Scott Decision" (1857); "The Gettysburg Address" (1863); "Second Inaugural Address" (1865). 14.3 Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). 14.4 Brown v. Board of Education (1954). 14.5 Richard M. Valelly, "Institutions and Enfranchisement" (2004). 14.6 Desmond King and Rogers Smith, "Racial Orders in American Political Development" (2005). 15. Government, the Economy, and Domestic Policy. 15.1 Alexander Hamilton, "Report on Manufactures" (1791). 15.2 Theodore Roosevelt, "The New Nationalism" (1910). 15.3 Franklin Delano Roosevelt, "Message to Congress on Social Security" (1935). 15.4 Benjamin I. Page and James R. Simmons, "Is American Public Policy Effective?" (2000). 15.5 John W. Kingdon, "American Public Policy in Comparative Perspective" (1999). 15.6 Suzanne Mettler "Reconstituting the Submerged State: The Challenges of Social Policy Reform in the Obama Era" (2010). 16. America’s Place in a Dangerous World. 16.1 The Constitutional Convention Debates the Military (1787). 16.2 George Washington, "Farewell Address" (1796). 16.3 Alexis de Tocqueville, "Why Democratic Nations Naturally Desire Peace, and Democratic Armies, War" (1840). 16.4 David C. Hendrickson, "American Internationalism" (2009). 16.5 Presidential Policy from the Cold War to the War on Terror; Harry S. Truman, "The State of the Union" (1952); George W. Bush, "Remarks at Reagan Library" (2005); Barack Obama, "Remarks at the National Defense University" (2013). 16.6 Peter Trubowitz, Politics and Strategy: Partisan Ambition and American Statecraft (2011).


    Cal Jillson

    "Perspectives on American Government is a perfect book for any Introduction to American Government class. The blend of original sources, classic research, and contemporary scholarship provides a wide range of material for class discussion. All types of students will find something that motivates them to dig deeper into the fundamental questions of democracy, representation, power, and policy."
    —David Ciuk, Franklin & Marhshal University

    "The mix of classic and contemporary readings selected in this volume do a terrific job illustrating the complexity and layering of American political dynamics. Classic articles depict the contributions of seminal figures in American political development, and contemporary articles illustrate how American politics have developed over time. Where this volume is especially strong is in connecting the past developments to current problems. Jillson and Robertson’s prose is straightforward and the explanations for students are accessible."
    —Jonathan Chausovsky, State University of New York, Fredonia

    "I have used the first edition previously and while it was very useful in giving the student a deeper insight, this Second Edition is even better. In my opinion, the best ‘Readings’ available."
    —Stephen Clay Anthony, Georgia State University