In response to:
The Triumph of the Country from the May 12, 1994 issue
To the Editors:
Christopher R. Robbins has called my attention to a serious misunderstanding that might be conveyed by a careless phrase in my article “The Triumph of the Country” [NYR, May 12]. When summarizing Stanley Elkins’s and Eric McKitrick’s argument that the English revolution of 1689 led to a “Court” settlement, whereas the American Revolution led to a “Country” settlement, I mistakenly condensed a complex and enormously significant political transformation. Discussing theories about the long-term consequences of the two revolutions, I wrote that “Following the triumph of the Court party in England’s ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1689 and the later regime of Robert Walpole….” I should, of course, have written “after” England’s Glorious Revolution. The “Court” party of James II was overthrown in 1689 and some years elapsed before the Whigs created their own “Court” party. In America the ultimate triumph of the “Country” party came after eleven years of Federalist “Court” party rule, which is the subject of Elkins’s and McKitrick’s fine book.
David Brion Davis
New Haven, Connecticut