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Columbia RisingCivil Life on the Upper Hudson from the Revolution to the Age of Jackson$
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John L. Brooke

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780807833230

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807838877_Brooke

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Land politics in Columbia 1781–1804

Land politics in Columbia 1781–1804

(p.171) 5 Land politics in Columbia 1781–1804
Columbia Rising

John L. Brooke

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter presents Martin Van Buren's lasting legacy to the American political system: his conception of political parties in perpetual civil struggle. Ambiguously situated between state and ordinary life, the party would be an enduring institution in American civil society, occupying an imperfect but evolving arena of deliberation and, indeed, a ground of persuasion. The party, however, did not emerge de novo in Van Buren's political imagination. Throughout the country, partisans had begun to align in two opposing camps over the 1780s and 1790s. Equally important, these alignments were particularly competitive in the county of Columbia. If Van Buren would be the first to fully articulate the necessity of party in American politics, it was due in no small measure to the world in which he was born.

Keywords:   Martin Van Buren, American political system, political parties, perpetual civil struggle, American civil society

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