American political thought was shaped by a unique combination of theoretical influences: republicanism, liberalism, and covenant theology. This reader shows how these influences came together. Organized chronologically from the Puritans' arrival in the New World to the Civil War, each chapter includes carefully selected primary sources and substantial commentary to explain the historical context and significance of the excerpts. A coherent interpretative framework is offered by focusing the analysis on the different assumptions of the people - the republican understanding as a corporate whole and the liberal understanding as a multitude of individuals - that were intertwined during the founding. The book features, for the first time, two chapters on non-American authors, who capture the main tenets of republicanism and liberalism and were widely quoted in the era, as well as excerpts from lesser-known sources, including Puritan covenants, the first state constitutions, and Native American speeches.
Steven B. Smith - Yale University
Thomas L. Pangle - University of Texas, Austin
Justin Buckley Dyer - University of Missouri
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