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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The twenty-five-year political history of the early American republic, covering the period from the first federal election through the War of 1812, critically shaped the terms and path of American politics over the ensuing two centuries. During this time the United States emerged from the volatility of revolutionary politics to establish the bipolar party structure that has dominated the American political landscape ever since. The central ideological debate over the power of the national government was shaped by classical understandings of politics and by powerfully contested interests. This essay begins with a short chronological summary of the politics of the period, and then turns to the five broad frameworks that historians of the politics of the early republic have addressed over the past half-century: party structure, republican ideology, political culture, slavery, and state-formation.

Keywords: First Party System, Federalists, Democratic Republicans, Bank of the United States, party structure, republican ideology, political culture, slavery, state-formation

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