The Politics and Aesthetics of Deliberation

Sandra M. Gustafson

in Imagining Deliberative Democracy in the Early American Republic

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780226311296
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226311302 | DOI:
The Politics and Aesthetics of Deliberation

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This chapter discusses the politics and aesthetics of deliberation. It states that the aesthetics of deliberation evolved in tandem with its politics. Henry Clay contributed to the evolution of Congress by building up the post of House Speaker, an accomplishment that acted as a piece of his interpretation of the presidency and his theory of republicanism. Clay's associate Edward Everett was a leading analyst of deliberative eloquence and an influential advocate for literary oratory. He laid out the criteria for aesthetically compelling parliamentary rhetoric in an 1827 North American Review article on the collection of Clay's speeches. The chapter describes Daniel Webster's speeches and states that Webster crafted a rhetorical style that combined broad knowledge with an elegant vernacular idiom, sentiment with clear, accessible argument.

Keywords: deliberation; aesthetics; politics; Henry Clay; Edward Everett; Daniel Webster; rhetoric; speeches

Chapter.  11943 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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