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American CapitalsA Historical Geography$
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Christian Montès

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226080482

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226080512.001.0001

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Capital Choice and the Balance of Power

Capital Choice and the Balance of Power

(p.130) 5 Capital Choice and the Balance of Power
American Capitals

Christian Montès

University of Chicago Press

The first entry to this chapter furthers the study of the major factor of the capital selection process, politics. The aim is to build a model showing and putting into relation the factors at work in that process. This model is inductive because it does not stem from any theory or hypothesis, but from facts, notions or representations. The construction of the model dwells on the division of the political factor in more precise analyses. The first one deals with the evolution of the political system acting as a framework to the processes. That study emphasizes the stronger role of individuals than parties or political machines, but also deconstructs the myth of the founding hero. The analysis then tries to determine the weight of the three pillars of the American democracy (the executive, the legislative and the judicial) in the selection process, taking into account the effects of political instability on democracy, especially on the role directly given to “the People.” It is then possible to propose a tentative model, called “model of complexity.” The second entry of this chapter is based on case studies, which provide signifying variations to the model, by confronting it to specific times and spaces.

Keywords:   Democracy, Congress, Referendum, Territory, Model, Founding hero, Myth

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