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September 17, 2007
9780801886553
English
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v2.1 Reference
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September 17, 2007
9781421402413
9780801886553
English
280
105000
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$60.00 USD, £44.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

To Enlarge the Machinery of Government

Congressional Debates and the Growth of the American State, 1858–1891

How did the federal government change from the weak apparatus of the antebellum period to the large, administrative state of the Progressive Era? To Enlarge the Machinery of Government explores the daily proceedings of the U.S. House and Senate from 1858 to 1891 to find answers to this question.

Through close readings of debates centered around sponsorship, supervision, and standardization recorded in the Congressional Globe and Congressional Record during this period, Williamjames Hull Hoffer traces a critical shift in ideas that ultimately ushered in Progressive legislation: the willingness of American citizens to allow, and in fact ask for, federal intervention in their daily lives. He describes this era of congressional thought as a "second state," distinct from both the minimalist approaches that came before and the Progressive state building that developed later. The "second state" era, Hoffer contends, offers valuable insight into how conceptions of American uniqueness contributed to the shape of the federal government.

About the Author

Williamjames Hull Hoffer is an assistant professor of history at Seton Hall University and coeditor of The Abortion Rights Controversy in America: A Legal Reader.

Reviews

"A lively and engaging account."

- Matt Field - APSA Legislative Studies Section Newsletter

"Hoffer has offered a provocative challenge to the standard telling of American state development and future scholars would do well to take his argument seriously."

- D. Michael Bottoms - Civil War Book Review

"Ideally suited for constitutional scholars in history, political science, and law... Academic and law libraries should definitely add it to their collections."

- Thomas A. Upchurch - American Historical Review

Endorsements

"An interesting and ambitious study. It will be a substantial contribution to the burgeoning fields of political development in political science and policy studies in history. It is sophisticated in its argument and recognizes that history is neither neat nor necessarily linear in the development of institutions and frames of reference. "

- Joel H. Silbey, author of The American Political Nation, 1838–1893 and Martin Van Buren and the Emergence of American Popular Politics

9780801886553 : to-enlarge-the-machinery-of-government-hoffer
Hardback
280 Pages
$60.00 USD
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