“Party Spirit is the Madness of the Many for the Benefit of the few. This precious few in the United States….each insist upon their own Sect being exclusive Patriots & therefore alone to be confided in. And the general Mass of us the People, who sometimes distrust them all, are looked upon either as very stupid, or very indifferent to the Welfare of our dear Country and its all glorious Constitution. These gratuitous Guardians of the public Weal are perpetually sounding in our Ears the momentous Crisis of our Affairs, which according to their knowledge, Belief & most honest Fears, is continually occurring, and that the Country would be lost if it was not prevented by their disinterested Labours. And thus the Public is to be kept in an unceasing Sate of Ferment, Alarm, & Jealousy that these People may talk, write, & falsify with Impunity.”–Boston lawyer William Tudor, Sr. to John Adams, 20 May 1818In the above letter excerpt, William Tudor, writing in 1818 to John Adams, critiques the nature and practices of American political parties and their posture toward the American people. In 2-4 pages (Times New Roman, 12-point font, double-spaced, 1″ margins):1. Considering and citing specifics from Volkomer, explain how the party system that Tudor lamented to Jefferson developed in America.2. Then, at this site or using this playlist, after you have watched both Republican and Democratic presidential campaign commercials from a presidential election year of your choosing, explain (mentioning specifics from those ads), whether, in your view, the evidence of those modern T.V. ads fits well with William Tudor’s 1818 complaint to John Adams that each major political party is constantly creating an exaggerated sense of national crisis, so that they it can implausibly represent its candidate as a messianic figure, as the only antidote to the nation’s ills. In the ads that you watched for this and other assignments this week were political parties still doing that sort of thing? Was, and is, “party spirit” still “the madness of the many for the benefit of the few?”
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