Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

CONTENTS

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pp. vii-viii

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. ix-xvi

For all the important things about which my wife and I agree, we disagree about acknowledgments—namely, I read them, she does not. For her, acknowledgments are nothing more than a waste of time; for me, they are the essential starting point of any book. After all, while books are about ideas, they are written by people—people whose voices...

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ONE: The Puzzle of Judicial Institution Building

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pp. 1-22

When the United States Supreme Court convened for the first time in history at the Royal Exchange Building in New York City on February 2, 1790,1 it was a sorry scene, and even the justices knew it. With only four of George Washington’s initial six nominees bothering to show up and the Court lacking even a single case to hear,2 Chief Justice John Jay and his three colleagues...

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TWO: The Early Republic: ESTABLISHMENT

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pp. 23-83

The early republic was a volatile time.1 Though a decade had passed from the firing of the first shots of independence at Lexington and Concord, to the opening gavel of the first session of the new government in New York City, the United States was still a work in progress. Since the Treaty of Paris in 1783, Americans had already discarded one governmental framework (that instituted by the Articles of Confederation) and, by 1789, were trying...

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THREE: Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democracy: REORGANIZATION

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pp. 84-131

If the early republic was America’s infancy, then the first half of the nineteenth century was its adolescence. The government had survived its early years—the uncertainty of the First Congress, the farewell of George Washington, the rise of political parties, the emergence of contested elections, and the first transfer of power from one coalition to another—but a new set of challenges had surfaced.1 Many of those...

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FOUR: The Civil War and Reconstruction: EMPOWERMENT

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pp. 132-170

The twenty-eight years from the passage of the infamous Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 to the removal of Northern troops from the South in 1877 witnessed nothing less than the dissolution of one political order and the reconstitution of another.1 From the mounting sectional tensions swirling around antebellum politics to the internecine bloodshed at Gettysburg and Antietam to the Northern division of...

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FIVE: The Gilded Age and the Progressive Era: RESTRUCTURING

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pp. 171-196

Although the end of Reconstruction in 1877 brought a close to the bloodiest and most divisive period in American history, the transformation of American politics and society unleashed by the Civil War and its aftermath continued into the last quarter of the nineteenth century and the first decade of the twentieth.1 With the twin processes of...

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SIX: The Interwar and new Deal years: BUREAUCRATIZATION

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pp. 197-237

World War I began as America reached a crossroads.1 By that point, the “promise of American life” had been challenged,2 and it was not yet clear which course the nation would take in restoring it. The continued growth of business and industry meant more economic development but also more conflicts between labor and management over unionization, yellow dog contracts, and injunctions. The continued...

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SEVEN: Modern America: SPECIALIZATION

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pp. 238-269

As America emerged triumphant from its wartime engagements, it found itself both a consolidated administrative state and a critical world power.1 Indeed, if the nation faced any lingering questions about either the character of its regime or its role in the world when Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941, it almost certainly had clear answers by the time Hiroshima and...

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EIGHT: Judicial Power in a Political World

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pp. 270-280

“With all due deference to separation of powers,” Barack Obama said in his second State of the Union Address in January 2010, “last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that, I believe, will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections.”1 A response to the Court’s controversial decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission,2 Obama’s...

INDEX

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pp. 281-296