This edition includes a modern introduction and a list of suggested further reading.
A provocative exposé on American politics, The American Democrat will amuse, shock, and offend contemporary readers - just as it did when originally published in 1835. It depicts a country teetering on the edge of sacrificing the principles of the American Revolution on the altar of parochial interests. In a startling twist on this all-too-familiar theme, however, Cooper traces this problem to the growing power of the people and the tendency of elected officials to pander to public opinion. The American Democrat was intended to sound the tocsin in regard to this emerging threat to individual liberty and the nation's vitality.
Written in the midst of the Jacksonian revolution in American politics, Cooper's fundamental purpose is to stress the importance of remaining faithful to the foundational principles of the republic as reflected in the U.S. Constitution - that carefully crafted checks and balances system which was explicitly designed to distance the people from the process of governance. Seen from this perspective, The American Democrat lays bare one of the most fundamental - if rarely spoken - issues underlying the design of the American political system.
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