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p. 1Introductionlocked

  • Donald T. Critchlow

Abstract

This very short introduction explores how national politics changed from the Founding Fathers' U.S. Constitution in 1787 and what followed. The only consistency between the Founders' dream for the new republic and what emerged was a profound faith in constitutional government. The Introduction outlines the four themes that emerge in this brief study of American political history: the intensity and continuity of partisanship and polarization; the steady expansion of the electorate to be more inclusive; the continuation of debates over the role and power of the federal government; and the importance of the Constitution in framing political debate.

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