Jacksonian Aristocracy

Jacksonian Aristocracy : Class and Democracy in New York, 1830-60

  • Hardback
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Product details

  • Hardback | 242 pages
  • 140 x 220mm
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 0195000196
  • 9780195000191

Review Text

Standard textbooks would have us believe that an American "class system" came into existence after the Civil War, that the period from Andrew Jackson's presidency to 1860 was the age of democracy triumphant in the United States. But there is nothing standard about Douglas Miller's Jacksonian Aristocracy, an important work which sharply contradicts these assumptions. Like C. H. Haskins, Professor Miller believes that the continuity of history rejects violent contrasts between successive periods. While political democracy may have advanced substantially from 1830 to 1860, he believes that social distinctions became, if anything, more marked. Employing indisputable evidence, Professor Miller proves that all of the problems associated with the later period had already afflicted New York society in reputedly republican mid-nineteenth-century America. Were it not for its geographic limitation - the author concentrates his study on the State and City of New York - one would more readily accept the inclusive title. One questions, however, just how representative of the young nation New York was. Despite this, Jacksonian Aristocracy is a lucid and temperate book, dwelling with accurate scholarship and width of vision on a stimulating subject. (Kirkus Reviews)show more