The New Deal to the Carter Administration - Vol. 3

By Philip H. Burch Jr. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 8

Conclusion

This three-volume work, which consists of a detailed historical analysis of the recruitment pattern and selected governmental actions of the nation's chief Cabinet and diplomatic officials and Supreme Court justices, was undertaken primarily as a means of assessing the distribution of power in the country at different points in time. This research involved the compilation and organization of a great mass of data on which other scholars can, and hopefully will, build in the years ahead. At this stage, however, it is essential to summarize the material and place it in its proper perspective. In short, what are the major findings of this study of roughly 190 years of American history? Are there any recurrent themes or important trends which merit special emphasis?


GEOGRAPHIC BACKGROUND OF APPOINTEES

It is clear that in the primarily agrarian and mercantile pre-Civil War period certain states were, from a statistical standpoint, heavily over‐ represented in almost every presidential administration up to 1861. Three states in particular—Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia—secured a disproportionate share of the key Cabinet and diplomatic posts during these early years (see Table 11). In all, these states had between 36 and 40 percent of the nation's population in the last decade of the 18th century, and only about 25 percent of the total by the late 1820s. Yet they received about 50 percent of the most important federal posts during this period, one long span of which was known as the reign of the "Virginia dynasty" because all of the presidents between 1801 and 1825 came from this important state. 1 And though these three states had, by 1860, less than 20 percent of the population, they still managed, thanks partly to the power of the Richmond Junto, to obtain nearly 40 percent of the major Cabinet and diplomatic posts between the outset of the Jackson administration and the start of the Civil War, in contrast to New York, which fell significantly behind during this

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The New Deal to the Carter Administration - Vol. 3
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Elites in American History - The New Deal to the Carter Administration *
  • Contents vii
  • Tables ix
  • Preface and Acknowledgments xi
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction 1
  • Chapter 2 - The New Deal 13
  • Chapter 3 - The World War II and Truman Years 69
  • Chapter 4 - The Eisenhower Administration 123
  • Chapter 5 - The Kennedy-Johnson Years 169
  • Chapter 6 - The Nixon-Ford Regime 231
  • Chapter 7 - The Carter Administration 307
  • Chapter 8 - Conclusion 359
  • Appendix A 399
  • Appendix B 519
  • Index 535
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