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  • Author: Matthew J. Dickinson
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: In his study of the leadership style exhibited by six presidents, James Polk, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and Abraham Lincoln, Fred Greenstein applies the analytic scheme he first unveiled in The Presidential Difference to explain how the decisions that these men made in the critical period 1846–1861 led to the Civil War. Greenstein argues that their actions, beginning with Polk's ill-fated decision to provoke a war with Mexico, formed a funnel of causality that increasingly limited the options of their successors when dealing with the slavery issue, so that when Lincoln took office, it was impossible to keep the Union together short of military conflict. In addition to addressing a significant period in American history, Greenstein's choice of topic has the added virtue of shining a spotlight on a group of presidents who, with the exception of Lincoln, tend to be overlooked in the history books. To be sure, this is not a revisionist study; Greenstein's analysis is unlikely to change anyone's assessment of these six presidents in terms of their historical rankings (although I admit to coming away with a slightly greater appreciation for Millard Fillmore's presidency).
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: William G. Howell
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: American wars waged by American presidents have come at such great cost. Repeatedly, our commanders - in - chief have failed to deliver on their inflated promises when deploying troops abroad. The events of war regularly have overtaken even the most - meticulous planning, hemming in the military and frustrating civilian commanders. When choosing and then conducting wars, presidents have either ignored or misinterpreted historical precedents. Fixated on the prerequisites of victory, meanwhile, presidents have not planned adequately for the peace, and have then watched the unraveling of their wartime accomplishments acquired with so much blood and treasure.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Casey A. Klofstad
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Over the past half-century, Americans have withdrawn from numerous forms of civic participation, from voting, to voluntarism, and everything else in between. A standard explanation for this phenomenon is generational replacement; each generation since the World War II “Greatest Generation” has been less civically active. Henry Milner enters this dialogue by examining the coming-of-age “Internet Generation.” Using data sources from different countries, Milner argues that this generation is woefully inactive in politics. He worries that this high frequency of “political dropouts” leaves the Internet Generation unprepared to battle the political challenges they will face over their lifetimes.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: MARK A. SMITH
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: In his speech to the Republican National Convention in 1992, Patrick Buchanan seized the pulpit to proclaim that Americans were fighting an intense culture war. This was a struggle “for the soul of America," Buchanan declared, "as critical to the kind of nation we will one day be as was the Cold War itself." Just a year earlier, sociologist James Davison Hunter had written of a culture war waged between those with orthodox and progressive worldviews. With one side believing in a fixed and transcendent authority, and the other invoking human reason as the guide to morality, conflict invariably engulfed a range of political issues. Considering the context of incendiary debates over public funding for the arts, the legality of abortion, civil rights for gays and lesbians, and teaching evolution in public school classrooms, Hunterʼs analysis seemed an accurate description of American politics in the 1980s and 1990s.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: America