Challenges to the American Founding
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Challenges to the American Founding : Slavery, Historicism, and Progressivism in the Nineteenth Century

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Ronald J. Pestritto's and Thomas G. West's earlier volume The American Founding and the Social Compact addressed the nature of the thought and philosophy of the men who shaped the American founding. In this second volume in a trilogy, Pestritto and West examine the fate of the founders' principles in the nine teeth century, when these principles faced their first great challenges. Support of slavery, culminating in secession and civil war, came from the South; and after the war came positivism, relativism, and radical egalitarianism, which originated in Europe and infiltrated American universities, where intellectuals repudiated the founders' views as historically obsolete and insufficiently concerned with true human liberation. In ten chapters covering major thinkers in nineteenth-century American political thought, contributors discuss the rise and resolution of ideological conflicts in the early generations of the American republic. In Challenges to the American Founding Pestritto and West have compiled an invaluable resource for the roots of the twentieth-century departure in American politics from the political vision of the American founders.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 314 pages
  • 154.9 x 231.1 x 27.9mm | 612.36g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0739108719
  • 9780739108710

Review quote

Inspired by the writings of Leo Strauss, this collection of essays explores how the original U.S. founding was contested and challenged by the Civil War, industrialization, and the rise of the progressive era in the writings of such diverse thinkers as John Calhoun, Jefferson Davis, Abraham Lincoln, Henry Adams, and Jane Adams... A good addition to collections on U.S. political thought or history... Recommended. General readers and undergraduate collections and above. -- D. Schultz, Hamline University CHOICE Recommended. CHOICEshow more

About Ronald J. Pestritto

Ronald J. Pestritto is Charles and Lucia Shipley Chair in the American Constitution at Hillsdale College and a Research Fellow of the Claremont Institute. He is the author ofFounding the Criminal Law: Punishment and Political Thought in the Origins of America as well as a forthcoming book on the political thought of Woodrow Wilson.Thomas G. West is Professor of Politics at the University of Dallas and a Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute. He is the author ofVindicating the Founders: Race, Sex, Class, and Justice in the Origins of America.show more

Table of contents

Part 1 Prologue Chapter 2 Republicanism and Constitutional Government in the Political Thought of Andrew Jackson Part 3 The Challenge of Pro-Slavery Thought Chapter 4 John C. Calhoun and the New Science of Race and Politics Chapter 5 Lincoln, Secession, and Revolution: The Civil War Challenge to the Founding Chapter 6 Jefferson Davis and Self-Government Chapter 7 Protecting the Privileges of Citizenship: Founding, Civil War, and Reconstruction Part 8 The Challenges of Positivism, Relativism, and Progressivism Chapter 9 Theology, Metaphysics, and Positivism: The Origins of the Social Sciences and the Transformation of the American University Chapter 10 Shoreless Ocean, Sunless Sea: Henry Adams's Democracy Chapter 11 Walt Whitman's Civic Religion for America Chapter 12 Jane Addams, Benjamin Franklin, and the Problem of Welfare Dependency Chapter 13 Woodrow Wilson, American History, and the Advent of Progressivismshow more

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