The Origins of the American Party System

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Author's thesis and bias: In my opinion, the main thesis of Joseph Charles's book is that the debate on issues of foreign policy in the late 1700's, specifically the Jay Treaty, was a major cause of the formation of political parties in the United States. I do not believe that Charles showed much bias in the book, but there are some slight biases. For example, although he describes both Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson as being inconsistant, he exemplifies more of Hamilton's inconsistancies then those of Jefferson.

Kinds of evidence used: Joseph Charles used a number of primary sources in his book. He quoted Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, as well as other important political figures of the time. However, I do feel that at times, Charles used too many quotes and not enough explanations of these quotes.

Favorite part: My favorite paggage in the book, The Origins Of The American Party System , is in the second paragraph of page 139. Charles writes, "If we observe the struggle of the two parties in the effort to shape our foreign policy, we see that the contest is not between abstract forces but between two groups of men. These men professed principals of constitutional interpretation, and they were moved in part by their economic interests, or their conception of them." Although I believe it is a negative aspect of government, I agree with this quote, as politicians almost always are only looking out for the good of themselves, and their class, as opposed to the good of the nation as a whole and all of its people.

Least favorite part: My least favorite part of this book is the description of Alexander Hamilton from pages 7 through 36. This section provided far too many quotes, and not enough explanations of these quotes. In general, I felt that these pages especially could have been written in clearer language, making them easier to comprehend.

Evaluation: Overall, I thought that many areas discussed in this book could have...
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