Sunday, July 26, 2020

Bilder on Democracy as White Male Aristocracy

Perhaps you, like me, have been revising your legal history course to help students make sense of the grave challenges to liberal democracy we might be confronting in the United States next semester.  If so, you might be thinking through how to address the question of when, if at all, did the United States become a liberal democracy, given that the expansion of the suffrage coincided with a limiting of the electorate to white males. Fortunately, Gerald Leonard and Saul Cornell published The Partisan Republic (2020) in time for my summer reading, and now comes an interview in BC Law of Mary Sarah Bilder, Expecting Deference: America as a white male aristocracy.  Talk about "ripped from the headlines": it illuminates both the controversy within the Society for the History of the Early Republic, as reported in the New York Times, and the Yoho/Ocasio-Cortez exchange, as reported everywhere.

--Dan Ernst