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Legacies of Losing in American Politics$
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Jeffrey K. Tulis and Nicole Mellow

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226515298

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226515465.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Legacies of Loss in American Politics

Legacies of Loss in American Politics

(p.134) 5 Legacies of Loss in American Politics
Legacies of Losing in American Politics

Jeffrey K. Tulis

Nicole Mellow

University of Chicago Press

Among scholars of American politics who study the regime as a whole, two approaches loom large. Identified most notably by the work of Walter Dean Burnham, Theodore Lowi, and Bruce Ackerman, regime change scholarship focuses on the three extraordinary constitutional moments in American political development—the Founding, Reconstruction, and the New Deal. This book’s account of the Anti-Federalists, Andrew Johnson, and Barry Goldwater shows that there were three anti-moments as crucial to American political development as the well-known winners of those critical constitutional junctures. The new interpretation here also challenges the proposition that the moments were equivalent in constitutional significance, suggesting instead that the first moment and anti-moment established a political logic and rhetorical repertoire that structured the subsequent two junctures. The second narrative of American politics emerges from the work of scholars who have tried to understand the relation between the liberal tradition and anti-liberal practices in American political development. Underscoring the persistence of multiple traditions in American political culture, this account shows how both are built into the constitutional architecture, sustained over time, and braided in these extraordinary contests.

Keywords:   Burnham, Lowi, Ackerman, liberal tradition, multiple traditions, political logic, American political development, constitutional moments, anti-moments

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