Liberalism and Republicanism in the Historical Imagination

ISBN-10: 0674530136
ISBN-13: 9780674530133
Edition: 1992
Authors: Joyce Appleby
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Description: Like dye cast into water, liberal assumptions color everything American, from ideas about human nature to fears about big government. Not the dreaded "L" word of the 1988 presidential campaign, liberalism in its historical context emerged from the  More...

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Book details

List price: $47.50
Copyright year: 1992
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 3/1/1992
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 364
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

Like dye cast into water, liberal assumptions color everything American, from ideas about human nature to fears about big government. Not the dreaded "L" word of the 1988 presidential campaign, liberalism in its historical context emerged from the modern faith in free inquiry, natural rights, economic liberty, and democratic government. Expressed in the nation-building acts of revolution and constitution-writing, liberalism both structured and limited Americans' sense of reality for two centuries. The nation's scholars were unable to break away from liberalism's pervasive hold on the American mind until the last generation--when they recovered the lost world of classical republicanism. Ornate, aristocratic, prescriptive, and concerned with the common good, this form of republicanism held sway among the founding fathers before the triumph of liberal thought, with its simple, egalitarian, rational, and individualistic emphasis. The two concepts, as Joyce Appleby shows, posed choices for eighteenth-century thinkers much as they have divided twentieth-century scholars. Entering one of the liveliest debates in the scholarly world about our ideological roots, Appleby follows the labyrinthine controversies that these two perspectives have generated in their day and in ours. In doing so, she addresses the tensions that remain to be resolved in the democratic societies of the late twentieth century--the complex relations between individual and community, personal liberty and the common good, aspiration and practical wisdom.

Introduction: Liberalism and Republicanism in the Historical Imagination
Political and Economic Liberalism in Seventeenth-Century England
Locke, Liberalism, and the Natural Law of Money
Modernization Theory and Anglo-American Social Theories
Ideology and the History of Political Thought
Liberalism and the American Revolution
The Social Origins of American Revolutionary Ideology
John Adams and the New Republican Synthesis
The American HeritageThe Heirs and the Disinherited
The American Model for the French Revolutionaries
The "Agrarian Myth" in the Early Republic
Republicanism and Ideology
What Is Still American in Jefferson's Political Philosophy?
Republicanism in Old and New Contexts
Sources
Index

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