Democracy and the Arts: The Role of Participation

By Terri Lynn Cornwell | Go to book overview

6
Nineteenth-Century American Democracy and the Arts

The theory of participatory democracy and the arts can also be tested by examining later historical permutations of the democratic political system. The microdemocracy of ancient Greece served as the only model of democracy for theorists for some two thousand years, but with the American and French revolutions, when large nationstates began experimenting with democratic principles, political philosophers began to revise their democratic models. By the nineteenth century, theorists were beginning to take the idea of a macrodemocracy seriously.

In Chapter 2, several models of American democracy were examined. This chapter, focusing on the Jacksonian era, named after President Andrew Jackson, uses as its theoretical foundation Dahl's model of Populist Democracy, which has as its central principle pure majority rule. In theory, decision making under this political system was to be left entirely to the majority.


JACKSONIAN DEMOCRACY: AN OVERVIEW

Immediately following the Revolution in 1776, Americans were busy with the mechanics of establishing a democratic government, yet a widespread democratizing movement did not exist until the second quarter of the nineteenth century. Americans, by that time, had lived under their government long enough to feel confident in suggesting major changes. Arthur Schlesinger Jr., in The Age of Jackson, stated that the Jacksonians believed society was a struggle between the producers (farmer and laborers) and the nonproducers (the business community). The growing industrialization of the nineteenth century began to foster monopolistic tendencies in businesses, and the work-

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Democracy and the Arts: The Role of Participation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - Democracy and the Arts: An American Perspective 1
  • Notes 9
  • 2 - Democratic Theory: General Considerations 11
  • Notes 28
  • 3 - Participation in the Arts: A Historical Perspective 31
  • Notes 45
  • 4 - Participatory Democracy and the Arts 49
  • Notes 76
  • 5 - Democracy and the Arts in Ancient Greece 83
  • Notes 89
  • 6 - Nineteenth-Century American Democracy and the Arts 93
  • Notes 103
  • 7 - Twentieth-Century American Democracy 107
  • Notes 119
  • 8 - Participation in the Arts: Mid-Twentieth Century America 123
  • Notes 158
  • 9 - The Role of Participation: Implications and Recommendations 165
  • Notes 185
  • Appendices 189
  • Bibliography 199
  • Index 209
  • About the Author *
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