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The Old Dominion and the New Nation: 1788–1801

by Richard R. Beeman

Availablepaperback$45.00x 978-0-8131-5117-5
Availableweb pdf$45.00x 978-0-8131-6204-1
296 pages  Pubdate: 07/15/2014  6 x 9  Illus

This comprehensive study—an honorable mention in the 1971 Frederick Jackson Turner Award competition— traces the emergence and development of the Republican and Federalist party organizations in Virginia and shows how the old oligarchic system based on wealth, influence, and social prestige remained strong in that state after the formation of the new nation. The book covers details of the Virginia Antifederalists’ continuing hostility to the federal Constitution, James Madison’s switch from the Federalist party to the emerging Republican party, Madison’s and Jefferson’s attempts to coordinate Republican opposition to Federalist foreign policy, and the Republicans’ successful campaign in 1800 to replace President John Adams with a Virginian.

Richard R. Beeman’s central concern is the style of political life in Virginia and the effect of that style on national party alignments, and his findings demonstrate that the mode of political conduct displayed by Virginia’s leaders proved increasingly self-indulgent and dysfunctional by 1800.

Richard R. Beeman is assistant professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania.