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Civil Liberties and National Unity: Reaction to the Sedition Act in the Southern States, 1798

Description: The traditional narrative of political party development in the United States of America during the latter half of the 1790s ascribes the decline in popularity of the Federalist Party in the Election of 1800 to that party's passage of controversial legislation, specifically the Sedition Act of 1798, prior to the election. Between the passage of the Sedition Act and the Election of 1800, however, the midterm elections of 1798-1799 transpired and resulted in a significant increase in Federalist popularity in four states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia. This study seeks to ascertain why these four states increased their support for the Federalist Party in 1798-1799, despite the passage of the Sedition Act by the Federalist Party. By examining newspapers and election results, this study analyzes the reaction of these four states to the passage of the Sedition Act and finds that generally, these states did not react strongly against the Sedition Act in the immediate aftermath of its passage. Instead, all four states urged national unity and emphasized the need to support the national government because the United States faced the threat of war with France. This study employs a state-by-state formula to determine each state's individual reaction to the Sedition Act and the Quasi-War, finding that ultimately, the Sedition Act did not have as significant of an impact in these states as the popular narrative holds.
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Date: December 2017
Creator: Robinson, Sarah Elizabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Impact of Middle Class Economic Strength on Civil Liberties Performance and Domestic and External Peace

Description: Using data for 93 countries from 1972 through 2001 in cross-national analysis, this study compares the relative economic strength of a country's middle-class with its civil liberties performance and its history of domestic and external conflict. For purposes of this analysis, the relative strength of a country's middle-class is determined by multiplying the square root of a country's gross domestic product per capita by the percentage of income distributed to the middle 60 % of the population (middle class income share). Comparisons between this measure of per capita income distributed (PCID) and several other indicators show the strength of the relationship between PCID and civil liberties performance and domestic and external conflict. In the same manner, comparisons are made for the middle class income share (MCIS) alone. The countries are also divided by level of PCID into 3 world classes of 31 countries each for additional comparisons. In tests using bivariate correlations, the relationships between PCID and MCIS are statistically significant with better civil liberties performance and fewer internal conflicts. With multivariate regression the relationship between PCID and civil liberties performance is statistically significant but not for PCID and internal conflict. As expected, in both correlations and regression between PCID and external conflict, variables related to power dominate. However, when the countries are divided into world classes by level of PCID, the eleven countries with the highest level of PCID have had no internal or external conflict since 1972. Moreover, there is no within group conflict for countries in either the upper or middle classes of countries based on their level of PCID. The between group conflict does include democracies.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Stedman, Joseph B.
Partner: UNT Libraries