The Failure of the Founding Fathers

The Failure of the Founding Fathers

Jefferson, Marshall, and the Rise of Presidential Democracy

Book - 2005
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The ink was barely dry on the Constitution when it was almost destroyed by the rise of political parties in the United States. As Bruce Ackerman shows, the Framers had not anticipated the two-party system, and when Republicans battled Federalists for the presidency in 1800, the rules laid down by the Constitution exacerbated the crisis. With Republican militias preparing to march on Washington, the House of Representatives deadlocked between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. Based on seven years of archival research, the book describes previously unknown aspects of the electoral college crisis. Ackerman shows how Thomas Jefferson counted his Federalist rivals out of the House runoff, and how the Federalists threatened to place John Marshall in the presidential chair. Nevertheless, the Constitution managed to survive through acts of statesmanship and luck. Despite the intentions of the Framers, the presidency had become a plebiscitarian office.
Publisher: Cambridge, MA : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005.
ISBN: 9780674018662
0674018664
Branch Call Number: 320.973 ACKERMA
Characteristics: 384 p. ; 25 cm.

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