The University of Wisconsin Press

American History


Sectionalism and American Political Development, 1880–1980
Richard F. Bensel

Sectionalism, Richard Bensel argues in this new study, constitutes one of the most pervasive, complex, and underrated influences in American history and government. Documenting the origin, nature, and substance of that sectional competition, he demonstrates the ways in which regional rivalries between North and South have helped shape American history and political development. For this task, Bensel proposes a new theory of sectional stress that spans the boundaries of several academic disciplines—including political science, history, and economics. Students and scholars in each of these fields will find his work important to an understanding of the development of the American party system, governmental institutions, and the formulation of public policy.


This study of the fundamental role of sectionalism in the growth of the American nation is supported by a vast array of evidence—more than a hundred and fifty maps, tables, and figures in all. This evidence, together with the policy and political analysis contained in these pages, provides a dramatic overview of American government at work and modern American history in the making.


Richard Franklin Bensel is associate professor of political science in the graduate school of the New School for Social Research.


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October 1984
LC: 84-040145 UK
512 pp.   6 x 9
36 maps
ISBN-10: 0-299-09830-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-299-09830-8
Cloth $16.95 s

ISBN-10: 0-299-09834-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-299-09834-6
Paper $16.95 s

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