Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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p. v

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Introduction. “Badly in Detail but Well on the Whole”: The Second State

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pp. vii-xiv

In a 1904 memoir Carl Schurz recounted a conversation he’d had with the minister president of Prussia and future architect of German unification, Otto von Bismarck Schonhausen, in 1868. Both were astute students of government, and both had seen its operation from the center of power. Schurz already had had a distinguished career in the United States. He had escaped the Prussian-ruled Rhineland in 1849 as a fugitive revolutionary...

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Prologue. “The Great, Noisy, Reedy, Jarring Assembly”: The Capitol, Lawyers, and Public Space

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pp. 1-7

In the year 1858 Congress assembled in an unfinished Capitol in Washington, D.C. Cranes and scaffolding loomed over the unfinished cast iron dome, and the chambers of the House and Senate were not quite complete.1 In the meantime the members of Congress who lived in boardinghouses yearned to return home.2 The road to the Capitol building, like all the other roads in the nation’s capital, was pounded dirt. Dusty in summer,...

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1 A “Government of States”: Sponsorship and the First Debate on Land Grant Colleges, 1858–1861

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pp. 8-36

In hindsight the congressional session of 1858–59 was a watershed. Behind it lay two years of roiling debate over acceptance of Kansas’s pro-slavery constitution; the Dred Scott decision that had split the nation; and the bitter recriminations of antislavery congressmen such as William Seward of New York and Henry Hammond of South Carolina, whose stark intransigence laid bare the sectional division over the expansion of slavery—a Congress...

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2 “The Object of a Democratic Government”: Sponsorship and Supervision of Agriculture and Land Grant Colleges, 1861–1863

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pp. 37-62

The Congress that considered non-war-related proposals to expand the national government during the Civil War scarcely resembled the one assembled in the winter of 1859 to hear the debates on the Morrill bill. The Thirty-seventh Congress had only forty-nine senators. Of these, thirty-one were Republicans, ten were Democrats, and eight were unaffiliated with either party.1 The situation they faced had also changed...

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3 “A Government of Law”: Sponsoring and Supervising the Freedmen, Abandoned Lands, and Refugees, 1863–1865

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pp. 63-88

One might assume, after reviewing the actions of Congress during the Civil War, that in its wake Congress would accept the idea of active and expensive administrative governance by a much expanded and much more intrusive federal government.1 Surely the problems of physical reconstruction of the national economy alone would require such devices. Added to this, the need to assist millions of newly freed slaves would demand far more...

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4 The “Two Great Pillars” of the State: The Supervision and Standardization of Education and Law Enforcement, 1865–1876

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pp. 89-117

The Civil War and Reconstruction burdened Congress with many unwelcome tasks, including the elaboration of administrative agencies, the employment of thousands of clerks and agents, and the collection and disbursement of billions of dollars. Most of the congressmen who served on the key committees monitoring these measures refused to admit they involved permanent changes in the revered structure or basis of...

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5 “To Change the Nature of the Government”: Standardizing Schooling and the Civil Service, 1876–1883

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pp. 118-143

As Reconstruction politics expelled its last gasp with the Compromise of 1877, politicians, opinion shapers, and activists such as Carl Schurz became disaffected from the so-called bayonet politics of civil rights, voting rights, and race relations. Their pivotal constituency, the increasingly professional middle class in the North, shied away from the commitments necessary to bring forth a more unified, race-blind, and egalitarian society. But a new...

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6 “What Constitutes a State”: Supervising Labor and Commerce, 1883–1886

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pp. 144-167

At roughly the same time that the Senate was considering Blair’s bill to aid common schools at length in the spring of 1884, Congress began to debate of the first of two additional proposals that would mark the culmination of second state thinking and, under its aegis, a significant era in the expansion of the national government. After the landmark passage of the Pendleton Civil Service Act, the Congress considered and ultimately...

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7 “A System Entirely Satisfactory to the Country”: Standardizing Labor and the Courts, 1886–1891

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pp. 168-195

After having substantially altered the civil service, debated the Blair bill, provided the first independent regulatory commission in the U.S. government, and created a new agency in the form of a Bureau of Labor, the Congress had begun an important decade in its consideration of how to give concrete form to the ideas of the second state. Rather than being a decade of thwarted goals, inactivity under the label of laissez-faire, and...

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Conclusion. “To Answer Our Purposes, It Must Be Adapted”

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pp. 196-203

In 1887 Woodrow Wilson championed the idea of expertise in the administration of government in an article in a fledgling academic journal, Political Science Quarterly. Many regard the article, “The Science of Administration,” as one of the founding documents of political science,1 but one passage in particular stands out: “to answer our purposes, it [methods of administration] must be adapted, not to a simple and compact,...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 205-206

My efforts in this inquiry involved the full scope of my academic training in three different disciplines: history, political science, and law. As such, I have accumulated debts to a wide range of people. The conceptual beginnings of this project began at Rutgers College in New Brunswick, New Jersey. I thank my advisors there, Kenneth Finegold in political science and James Reed in history, for their invaluable guidance. Another...

Notes

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pp. 207-239

Essay on Sources

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pp. 241-248

Index

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pp. 249-258