The Political Theory of the American Founding

Author: Thomas G. West
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107140486
Release Date: 2017-04-03
Genre: History

This book provides a complete overview of the Founders' natural rights theory and its policy implications.

The Political Theory of the American Founding

Author: Thomas G. West
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781108179515
Release Date: 2017-04-03
Genre: Political Science

This book provides a complete overview of the American Founders' political theory, covering natural rights, natural law, state of nature, social compact, consent, and the policy implications of these ideas. The book is intended as a response to the current scholarly consensus, which holds that the Founders' political thought is best understood as an amalgam of liberalism, republicanism, and perhaps other traditions. West argues that, on the contrary, the foundational documents overwhelmingly point to natural rights as the lens through which all politics is understood. The book explores in depth how the Founders' supposedly republican policies on citizen character formation do not contradict but instead complement their liberal policies on property and economics. Additionally, the book shows how the Founders' embraced other traditions in their politics, such as common law and Protestantism.

The Political Theory of the American Founding

Author: Thomas G. West
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316506037
Release Date: 2017-04-03
Genre: Political Science

This book provides a complete overview of the American Founders' political theory, covering natural rights, natural law, state of nature, social compact, consent, and the policy implications of these ideas. The book is intended as a response to the current scholarly consensus, which holds that the Founders' political thought is best understood as an amalgam of liberalism, republicanism, and perhaps other traditions. West argues that, on the contrary, the foundational documents overwhelmingly point to natural rights as the lens through which all politics is understood. The book explores in depth how the Founders' supposedly republican policies on citizen character formation do not contradict but instead complement their liberal policies on property and economics. Additionally, the book shows how the Founders' embraced other traditions in their politics, such as common law and Protestantism.

Natural Rights and the New Republicanism

Author: Michael P. Zuckert
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400821525
Release Date: 2011-06-27
Genre: Philosophy

In Natural Rights and the New Republicanism, Michael Zuckert proposes a new view of the political philosophy that lay behind the founding of the United States. In a book that will interest political scientists, historians, and philosophers, Zuckert looks at the Whig or opposition tradition as it developed in England. He argues that there were, in fact, three opposition traditions: Protestant, Grotian, and Lockean. Before the English Civil War the opposition was inspired by the effort to find the "one true Protestant politics--an effort that was seen to be a failure by the end of the Interregnum period. The Restoration saw the emergence of the Whigs, who sought a way to ground politics free from the sectarian theological-scriptural conflicts of the previous period. The Whigs were particularly influenced by the Dutch natural law philosopher Hugo Grotius. However, as Zuckert shows, by the mid-eighteenth century John Locke had replaced Grotius as the philosopher of the Whigs. Zuckert's analysis concludes with a penetrating examination of John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon, the English "Cato," who, he argues, brought together Lockean political philosophy and pre-existing Whig political science into a new and powerful synthesis. Although it has been misleadingly presented as a separate "classical republican" tradition in recent scholarly discussions, it is this "new republicanism" that served as the philosophical point of departure for the founders of the American republic.

Common Sense Nation

Author: Robert Curry
Publisher: Encounter Books
ISBN: 9781594038266
Release Date: 2015-11-24
Genre: History

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This sentence is perfectly familiar. We know it as a core principle of our founding. But few, if any of us consider why Jefferson wrote it in exactly this way. Why “unalienable rights” and not simply rights? Why “self-evident” truths and not simply truths? Why does the Declaration make these distinctions? Do they really matter? If these questions are challenging or Jefferson’s words seem esoteric, it is because we no longer conduct our politics in the language of the Founders and we are no longer able to think as they once thought. In Congress and the media, political arguments are advanced by a torrent of policy studies and “expert” opinions—not on the basis of self-evident truths, unalienable rights, and definitely not in the language of the Founders. Common Sense Nation is a potent re-introduction to the political ideas of the Founders—in their own words and on their terms. It is dedicated to the proposition that the only way to fully unlock the profound and distinctive power of American self-government is to understand it as its inventors did. Common Sense Nation reclaims the language of liberty from entities that prefer to interpret our freedoms for us. For in knowing the Founders as they knew themselves, readers will learn the surprising depths of their own political powers as American citizens.

Vindicating the Founders

Author: Thomas G. West
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 0847685179
Release Date: 2000-11-28
Genre: History

Describes the myths surrounding the Founding Father's political thought and contrasts their ideas of liberty and equality with today's views.

God and the Founders

Author: Vincent Phillip Muñoz
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139479721
Release Date: 2009-07-13
Genre: Political Science

Did the Founding Fathers intend to build a 'wall of separation' between church and state? Are public Ten Commandments displays or the phrase 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance consistent with the Founders' understandings of religious freedom? In God and the Founders, Dr Vincent Phillip Muñoz answers these questions by providing comprehensive interpretations of James Madison, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson. By analyzing Madison's, Washington's, and Jefferson's public documents, private writings, and political actions, Muñoz explains the Founders' competing church-state political philosophies. Muñoz explores how Madison, Washington, and Jefferson agreed and disagreed by showing how their different principles of religious freedom would decide the Supreme Court's most important First Amendment religion cases. God and the Founders answers the question, 'What would the Founders do?' for the most pressing church-state issues of our time, including prayer in public schools, government support of religion, and legal burdens on individuals' religious consciences.

Locke in America

Author: Jerome Huyler
Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas
ISBN: UOM:39015034028038
Release Date: 1995
Genre: History

"An important work of historical scholarship and interpretation. It makes a genuine contribution to the ongoing debate about Locke, liberalism, and the nature of the American founding". -- American Political Science Review. "A nuanced, generally convincing study that sets Locke back at center stage and provides a valuable perspective on the intellectual discourse of the revolutionary era". -- Journal of American History.

The Administrative Threat

Author: Philip Hamburger
Publisher: Encounter Books
ISBN: 9781594039508
Release Date: 2017-05-02
Genre: Political Science

Government agencies regulate Americans in the full range of their lives, including their political participation, their economic endeavors, and their personal conduct. Administrative power has thus become pervasively intrusive. But is this power constitutional? A similar sort of power was once used by English kings, and this book shows that the similarity is not a coincidence. In fact, administrative power revives absolutism. On this foundation, the book explains how administrative power denies Americans their basic constitutional freedoms, such as jury rights and due process. No other feature of American government violates as many constitutional provisions or is more profoundly threatening. As a result, administrative power is the key civil liberties issue of our era.

A New Birth of Freedom

Author: Harry V. Jaffa
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 0847699536
Release Date: 2004-01-01
Genre: History

This book represents the culmination of over a half a century of study and reflection by Jaffa, and continues his piercing examination of the political thought of Abraham Lincoln.

The Story of American Freedom

Author: Eric Foner
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393319628
Release Date: 1999
Genre: History

Chronicles the history of America's pursuit of liberty, tracing the struggles among freed slaves, union organizers, women rights advocates, and other groups to widen freedom's promise

Separation of Church and State

Author: Philip HAMBURGER
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674038189
Release Date: 2009-06-30
Genre: Law

In a powerful challenge to conventional wisdom, Philip Hamburger argues that the separation of church and state has no historical foundation in the First Amendment. The detailed evidence assembled here shows that eighteenth-century Americans almost never invoked this principle. Although Thomas Jefferson and others retrospectively claimed that the First Amendment separated church and state, separation became part of American constitutional law only much later. Hamburger shows that separation became a constitutional freedom largely through fear and prejudice. Jefferson supported separation out of hostility to the Federalist clergy of New England. Nativist Protestants (ranging from nineteenth-century Know Nothings to twentieth-century members of the K.K.K.) adopted the principle of separation to restrict the role of Catholics in public life. Gradually, these Protestants were joined by theologically liberal, anti-Christian secularists, who hoped that separation would limit Christianity and all other distinct religions. Eventually, a wide range of men and women called for separation. Almost all of these Americans feared ecclesiastical authority, particularly that of the Catholic Church, and, in response to their fears, they increasingly perceived religious liberty to require a separation of church from state. American religious liberty was thus redefined and even transformed. In the process, the First Amendment was often used as an instrument of intolerance and discrimination.

Leviathan

Author: Thomas Hobbes
Publisher: First Avenue Editions
ISBN: 9781541518421
Release Date: 2018-01-01
Genre: Philosophy

During the upheaval of the English Civil War in the seventeenth century, political philosopher Thomas Hobbes composed his masterwork, Leviathan. It was first published in 1651, between the trial and execution of King Charles I and the creation of the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell. In his book, Hobbes argued that a strong and undivided central government was necessary to maintain societal order. By accepting the rule of a sovereign authority figure—which Hobbes called the "Leviathan" after the biblical sea monster—humans could avoid being ruled instead by self-interest and fear, and so escape humankind's natural state of war and violence. This is an unabridged version of Hobbes's most famous philosophical text, which established social contract theory and remained influential in political philosophy for centuries.

Vindicating the Commercial Republic

Author: Anthony A. Peacock
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9781498553483
Release Date: 2018-04-15
Genre: Political Science

Contrary to most academic commentary on The Federalist, this book contends that the most significant teachings of the work did not have to do with the institutions of government so much as with the non-institutional features of American constitutionalism, specifically its advocacy for greater union, the development of an unparalleled culture of enterprise, and provision for war. Key to understanding why these features were so critical to The Federalist is the work’s rejection of classical liberalism’s orthodoxy that commercial republics were moderate or pacific in nature rather than spirited, enterprising, and warlike. Using the ancient historian Thucydides account of the daring, innovation, and restlessness of ancient commercial Athens as an interpretive guide for the commercial republican theory that The Federalist embraces, this book provides a sweeping reinterpretation of American constitutionalism. At the heart of The Federalist’s teaching, Peacock contends, is the intention to create an innovative and spirited culture of enterprise that will not only inform America’s civil character post-1787 but its military character as well. No scholarship has considered the significance of Thucydides to the The Federalist. This book does in a comprehensive reconstruction of the work that concludes that The Federalist anticipates as well as any text on American constitutionalism what many consider to be the most definitive features of American character today: its spirit of enterprise and its qualified willingness to engage in war for both reasons of national interest and republican principle.

A Theory of Justice

Author: John RAWLS
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674042605
Release Date: 2009-06-30
Genre: Philosophy

Though the revised edition of A Theory of Justice, published in 1999, is the definitive statement of Rawls's view, so much of the extensive literature on Rawls's theory refers to the first edition. This reissue makes the first edition once again available for scholars and serious students of Rawls's work.