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5 - Independence

The Negative Founding

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 July 2021

Alin Fumurescu
Affiliation:
University of Houston
Anna Marisa Schön
Affiliation:
University of Houston
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Summary

Focusing on the decades leading up to the Declaration of Independence, chapter 5 presents historical arguments in favor and against independence. Selections from Patriots and Loyalists show that both the liberal social contract and the republican political contract could be levered in support of either position. Based on the political contract between ruler and ruled, Jonathan Mayhew argued that the people as a whole has a duty to rebel when the ruler becomes tyrannical. Daniel Leonard, in turn, opposed the Parliament’s oppression of the colonies from a liberal perspective, contending that men enter civil society to protect their property and that taxation without representation violated the principles of the social contract. After the First Continental Congress, however, Leonard changed to the Loyalist side and excerpts from his later writings reveal the use of republican arguments about virtual representation to argue against independence. Jonathan Boucher, again, argued based on the Locke’s theory that a right of resistance is incompatible with the duty to submit to majority decision. Other authors in this chapter include Daniel Dulaney, John Adams, Thomas Paine, and Peter Oliver.

Type
Chapter
Information
Foundations of American Political Thought
Readings and Commentary
, pp. 134 - 177
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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References

Suggested Readings

Blyfield, Nathaniel, An Account of the Late Revolution in England (London: Ric. Chiswell, 1689).Google Scholar
Otis, James, The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved (Boston: Edes & Gill, 1764).Google Scholar
Dulany, Daniel, Considerations on the Propriety of Imposing Taxes in the British Colonies for the Purpose of Raising a Revenue, by Act of Parliament (Annapolis: Jonas Green, 1765).Google Scholar
Dickinson, John, “Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania” [17671768] in McDonald, F. (ed.), Empire and Nation: Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania (John Dickinson). Letters from the Federal Farmer (Richard Henry Lee) (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1999).Google Scholar
Downer, Silas, A Discourse at the Dedication of the Tree of Liberty (Providence: John Waterman, 1768).Google Scholar
Jefferson, Thomas, A Summary View of the Rights of British America (Williamsburg: Clementina Rind, 1774).Google Scholar

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  • Independence
  • Alin Fumurescu, University of Houston, Anna Marisa Schön, University of Houston
  • Book: Foundations of American Political Thought
  • Online publication: 09 July 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108774154.006
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  • Independence
  • Alin Fumurescu, University of Houston, Anna Marisa Schön, University of Houston
  • Book: Foundations of American Political Thought
  • Online publication: 09 July 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108774154.006
Available formats
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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Independence
  • Alin Fumurescu, University of Houston, Anna Marisa Schön, University of Houston
  • Book: Foundations of American Political Thought
  • Online publication: 09 July 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108774154.006
Available formats
×