Ridgway, Whitman H. Community Leadership in Maryland, 1790-1840. A Comparative Analysis of Power in Society.
Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1979.
Annotations / Notes: Applying social science methodology to reconstruct patterns of decision making and their significance, this work examines the formation of elites in four political communities representing the diversity of the state (Baltimore City, and the counties of Frederick, St. Mary's, and Talbot) in two political eras (the Jeffersonian and the Jacksonian). In the more rural areas, such as St. Mary's and Talbot counties, decision makers overlapped with those who held public office and dominated community affairs, and little changed between the two periods. Where there was greater social and economic diversity, the patterns were considerably different. Elites became more specialized forcing decision makers to accommodate the demands of new leaders who represented a expanding popular political base. Members of the different elites (decisional, commercial, positional and traditional) are identified, along with individual socio-economic information, in the appendices.