The American Founding and the Social Compact
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The American Founding and the Social Compact

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The American Founding and the Social Compact is a first-rate collection of essays that examine the shared political ideas of the American Founders with a particular focus on the theory of the social compact. As this volume so convincingly argues, an understanding of social compact theory is essential for understanding the Founders' ideas about human nature, government and politics.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 296 pages
  • 150.4 x 233.2 x 21.6mm | 489.89g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0739106643
  • 9780739106648

About Ronald J. Pestritto

Ronald J. Pestritto is Charles and Lucia Shipley Chair in the American Constitution at Hillsdale College and author of Founding the Criminal Law: Punishment and Political Thought in the Origins of America (2000). Thomas G. West is professor of politics at the University of Dallas and director and senior fellow of the Claremont Institute. His book Vindicating the Founders: Race, Sex, Class and Justice in the Origins of America (1997) won the 2000 Paolucci Book Award.show more

Review quote

This study is thoroughly reseached, it engages critically with the existing literature, and it is convincingly argued. Political Studies Review This book magnificently succeeds in restoring the politics of natural right as an intelligible and persuasive alternative to the politics of historicism. Claremont Review of Books Recommended. CHOICE This volume makes a massive contribution to our understanding of the founding by emphasizing the social compact political theory behind the founding. This allows the various and thoughtful authors to be guided by those special qualities that inhere in the social compact theory-the ideas of nature, equality, liberty, and consent-and to interpret its meaning; this is the often forgotten, yet necessary, condition that helps explain how our constitutional democracy can work so well. I heartily recommend this volume to all students of the founding. -- Peter W. Schramm, Executive Director of the John M. Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs and a Professor of Political Science at Ashland Universityshow more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Locke on the Social Compact: An Overview Chapter 3 Contribution of William Blackstone Chapter 4 Hume, Historical Inheritance, and the Problem of Founding Chapter 5 The Political Theory of the Declaration of Independence Chapter 6 Thomas Jefferson and the Social Compact Chapter 7 From Subjects to Citizens: The Social Compact Origins of American Citizenship Chapter 8 Alexander Hamilton and the Grand Strategy of the American Social Compact Chapter 9 John Adams's "Hobbism" Chapter 10 Benjamin Franklin and the Theory of Social Compactshow more

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