Updates, Live

Monday, October 10, 2011

Aaron Astor: The Party Spirit on Trial

an 1863 cartoon from Harper’s Weekly, showing copperheads menacing the Union
Library of Congress collection
(Aaron Astor in NY Times)

Looking at the 2012 US presidential race that is now warming, you can note the party spirit on trial: will the Republicans accept Romney despite all their doubts about his fidelity to GOP universe? To say nothing that also for the Democratic base the incumbent president seems situated too much in the center.

The two party system has always been the norm in US politics, except that the parties have not been always the same. It started with Federalists and Democratic-Republicans. That was in the early days. By 1830 the two opponents were the Democrats and the Whigs. The Republicans entered the picture in the eve of the Civil War. And it was the Civil War that shook all long established political alliances. Suddenly there were Democrats fighting for the Confederacy, Democrats faithful to the Union while against the war, Democrats fighting in the war on the Union camp. And it was not only about the Democratic Party. Everywhere across the political spectrum the party spirit was put on trial.

Aaron Astor (who teaches history at Maryville College in Tennessee) has an interesting article in NY Times, about what happened in the eve of the Civil War, during the war and after:




Post a Comment

<< Home