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The Jay Treaty Debate, Public Opinion, and the Evolution of Early American Political Culture (Political Development of the American Nation: Studies in Politics and History) Paperback – September 10, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Political Development of the American Nation: Studies in Politics and History
  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press; Studies in Politics and History series edition (September 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558496696
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558496699
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #796,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Jay Treaty marked a decisive turning-point in framing an international settlement after the American Revolution; Todd Estes demonstrates that its ratification also marked an important step in the evolution of American politics. He shows that the debate over the treaty opened national politics to public opinion, as Republicans and then Federalists worked to develop linkages between the national capitol and the people in their localities in order to shape the outcome. His book will establish the importance of the political struggle over the Jay Treaty to the emergence of partisanship in the early American republic."―John L. Brooke, author of The Heart of the Commonwealth: Society and Political Culture in Worcester County, Massachusetts, 1713–1861

"By combining the study of early American diplomacy with he study of political culture, The Jay Treaty Debate, Public Opinion, and the Evolution of Early American Political Culture casts important light on both fields. Estes has laid out a path that reconnects diplomatic history to the general study of the early republic, which other historians would be advised to follow."―The Journal of American History

"At the heart of the debate over the Jay Treaty was a spirited argument about the role citizens should play in the new nation, and Estes argues that the petitions that emerged from popular meetings asserted a newer, more modern understanding of the public s role in matters of public policy. . . . This book provides a solid overview of the arguments used to persuade an undecided nation."―American Historical Review

"A must read for any student of early American political culture. . . . Scholars in literature, political science, and communication studies may also find this work of interest."―Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

About the Author

Todd Estes is associate professor of history at Oakland University.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Lindner on November 6, 2009
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This book bills itself not as an analysis of the actual development and drafting of the Jay Treaty, but rather a critique of the battle for ratification. This battle consisted of speeches, newspaper commentaries, popular petitions, and the end result was a new dynamic in American political culture. Both parties, the Republicans and Federalists had preconceived notions about popular opinion, but throughout the nearly year long debate over the treaty, these same convicitions changed dramatically. For instance, the Federalists did not feel comfortable shedding their elite image of wise, benevolent politicians working for the common good (but with little direct contact with the people, while the Republicans openly courted popular opinion only to have those same popular opinions ultimately come down for the treaty's approval.

Through it all, the real winners of the battle, besides the treaty's ratification, was the Constitution and George Washington. The Constitution survived and actually grew stronger as a result of the influx of popular petitions and public displays of support for the treaty. It also grew as a result of the loyal opposition to the treaty. George Washington's reputation for conservative order eventually won the day, though even Washington disagreed with the tactics of the Federalists, who preached the inevitablility of war with Great Britain if the treaty was not apporved and funded. Out of respect for Washington, the majority of the Senate ratified the treaty (by the strictest two-thirds majority), while the House, by one vote voted for appropriations.

This book shines new light on the treaty for many of us who learned of all of the protests against the Treaty.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Tracy on August 14, 2009
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I ordered this book because I was doing a research paper on the negotiation behind the Jay Treaty. As the title should have led me to guess, there wasn't a whole heck of a lot of that in the book. HOWEVER, this book was an absolutely delightful read and I couldn't put it down, even though I only needed the first 34 pages.

It's interesting to learn how little the great issues we debate in American politics have changed since the formation of our nation.
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The Jay Treaty Debate, Public Opinion, and the Evolution of Early American Political Culture (Political Development of the American Nation: Studies in Politics and History)
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