This is a paperback edition of a book originally published in hard covers by the Royal Historical Society.
'With enviable assurance and clarity of mind, (Ashworth) efficiently analyses the political ideologies of the two major parties of the Jacksonian era, and in so doing exposes the shortcomings of most recent interpretations of Jacksonian democracy. Each major party is shown to possess a coherent world view, or ideology, and the policies it espoused accurately reflected that ideology. More importantly, perhaps, in Mr Ashworth's eyes, the Democrats were much more radical and the Whigs more conservative than has commonly been realized. The Jacksonians were true levellers who were hostile to the entrepreneurial thrust of American capitalism with which the Whigs identified themselves. Thus he is able to argue that the 'American economy was on a collision course with the American democratic tradition'. Journal of American Studies 'Agrarians and Aristocrats is about the ideology of the Democratic and Whig parties in the decade immediately following the introduction of Van Buren's Independent Treasury Bill ... Ashworth demonstrates how sharply different, indeed opposing, the Democratic and Whig ideologies were.' Reviews in American History