The American Congress: The Building of Democracy
Congress is the heart and soul of our democracy, the place where interests are brokered, laws are established, and innovation is turned into concrete action. It is also where some of democracy's greatest virtues clash with its worst vices: idealism and compromise meet corruption and bitter partisanship. The American Congress unveils the rich and varied history of this singular institution.
Julian E. Zelizer has gathered together forty essays by renowned historians to capture the full drama, landmark legislation, and most memorable personalities of Congress. Organized around four major periods of congressional history, from the signing of the Constitution to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, this volume brings a fresh perspective to familiar watershed events: the Civil War, Watergate, the Vietnam War. It also gives a behind-the-scenes look at lesser-known legislation debated on the House and Senate floors, such as westward expansion and war powers control. Here are the stories behind the 1868 vote to impeach President Andrew Johnson; the rise of Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress and a leading advocate for pacifism; and the controversy surrounding James Eastland of Mississippi, who carried civil rights bills in his pockets so they could not come up for a vote. Sidebars further spotlight notables including Huey Long, Sam Rayburn, and Tip O'Neill, bringing the sweeping history of our lawmaking bodies into sharp focus.
If you've ever wondered how Congress worked in the past or what our elected officials do today, this book gives the engaging, often surprising, answers.
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Governance JOHN LAURITZ LARSON
THE PARTISAN ERA 1830s1900s
Impeachment DONALD A RITCHIE
THE COMMITTEE ERA 1910s1960s
The Transformation of the Congressional Experience ERIC RAUCHWAY
Economic Regulation in the Progressive Era ELIZABETH SANDERS
The Seventeenth and Twentieth Amendments to the Constitution DAVID E KYVIG
The Second Reconstruction TIMOTHY N THURBER
The Warren Court and the Political Process L A POWE JR
The Great Society EDWARD D BERKOWITZ
The Vietnam War FREDRIK LOGEVALL
The Environment PAUL C MILAZZO
THE CONTEMPORARY ERA 1970sToday
Congressional Reform BARBARA SINCLAIR
Congress and Watergate BRUCE J SCHULMAN
Womens Activism ALISON M PARKER
The Transformation of American Immigration Policy DANIEL J TICHENOR
Prohibition THOMAS R PEGRAM
The First World War JOSEPH A MCCARTIN
The Forgotten New Deal Congress PATRICK MANEY
Conservatism and Constituency Politics ALONZO L HAMBY
The Cold War RANDALL BENNETT WOODS
Investigating Communism DONALD A RITCHIE
Congress and the Media MICHAEL SCHUDSON
Congress and the Budget Since 1974 ERIC PATASHNIK
War Power LOUIS FISHER
Conservatives in Congress DONALD T CRITCHLOW
ILLUSTRATION CREDITS 766
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Página 74 - If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union, or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it.
Página 70 - The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state ; but this consists in laying no previous restraints upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter, when published. Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public ; to forbid this is to destroy the freedom of the press ; but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous, or illegal, he must take the consequence of his own temerity.
Página 209 - These measures, whether strictly legal or not, were ventured upon under what appeared to be a popular demand and a public necessity ; trusting, then, as now, that Congress would readily ratify them.
Página 70 - ... any false, scandalous and malicious writing or writings against the Government of the United States, or the President of the United States...
Página 274 - No Indian nation or tribe, within the territory of the United States, shall be acknowledged or recognized as an independent nation, tribe, or power, with whom the United States may contract by treaty...
Página 447 - I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis — broad executive power to wage a war against the emergency as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.
Página 6 - Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation with one interest — that of the whole: where, not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member, indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not a member of Bristol,...
Página 40 - The aim of every political constitution is or ought to be, first, to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of the society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust.
Página 175 - Mexican republic, conformably with what is stipulated in the preceding article, shall be incorporated into the union of the United States and be admitted at the proper time (to be judged of by the Congress of the United States...
Página 210 - Congress, banishing all feelings of mere passion or resentment, will recollect only its duty to the whole country; that this war is not waged upon our part in any spirit of oppression nor for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, nor purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of those States, but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution. and to preserve the Union with all the dignity, equality, and rights of the several States unimpaired:...
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