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2 - Republicanism

The People “Is”

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

Chapter 2 introduces selections from Aristotle, Polybius, William Blackstone, and Edmund Burke, and lays out the basic tenets of classical republicanism. By focusing on the “res-publica”, the common good, republicanism embraces a corporatist and organic vision of both the people and the state. The political community is envisioned as a human body, suggesting that the body politic grows naturally; each organ or member contributes a different task and the health of the whole depends on the well-being of each member. Moreover, republican theorists suggest the need to adapt political institutions to the character and changing circumstances of the people. Selections from Aristotle focus on the organic origin of the political community and on the mixed regime. Polybius introduces the idea of checks-and-balances and the importance of religious beliefs for the stability of the political order. Blackstone and Burke tried to accommodate some of the new liberal ideas in their theoretical framework, attempting to reconcile theoretically opposed visions—an approach that would prove particularly popular during the American founding.

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Chapter
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Foundations of American Political Thought
Readings and Commentary
, pp. 13 - 48
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Republicanism
  • 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/10.1017/9781108774154.003
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  • Republicanism
  • 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/10.1017/9781108774154.003
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.

  • Republicanism
  • 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/10.1017/9781108774154.003
Available formats
×