img Leseprobe Leseprobe

The Myth of American Individualism

The Protestant Origins of American Political Thought

Barry Alan Shain

ca. 42,99
Amazon iTunes Hugendubel Bü kobo Osiander Google Books Barnes&Noble Legimi
* Affiliatelinks/Werbelinks
Hinweis: Affiliatelinks/Werbelinks
Links auf sind sogenannte Affiliate-Links. Wenn du auf so einen Affiliate-Link klickst und über diesen Link einkaufst, bekommt von dem betreffenden Online-Shop oder Anbieter eine Provision. Für dich verändert sich der Preis nicht.

Princeton University Press img Link Publisher

Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Geschichte


Sharpening the debate over the values that formed America's founding political philosophy, Barry Alan Shain challenges us to reconsider what early Americans meant when they used such basic political concepts as the public good, liberty, and slavery. We have too readily assumed, he argues, that eighteenth-century Americans understood these and other terms in an individualistic manner. However, by exploring how these core elements of their political thought were employed in Revolutionary-era sermons, public documents, newspaper editorials, and political pamphlets, Shain reveals a very different understanding--one based on a reformed Protestant communalism.

In this context, individual liberty was the freedom to order one's life in accord with the demanding ethical standards found in Scripture and confirmed by reason. This was in keeping with Americans' widespread acceptance of original sin and the related assumption that a well-lived life was only possible in a tightly knit, intrusive community made up of families, congregations, and local government bodies. Shain concludes that Revolutionary-era Americans defended a Protestant communal vision of human flourishing that stands in stark opposition to contemporary liberal individualism. This overlooked component of the American political inheritance, he further suggests, demands examination because it alters the historical ground upon which contemporary political alternatives often seek legitimation, and it facilitates our understanding of much of American history and of the foundational language still used in authoritative political documents.

Weitere Titel von diesem Autor



Delaware Constitution, emergent individualism, gossip, national government, anarchism, ambition, rationalism, anthropocentrism, majoritarianism, Baptists, publishing industry, abolitionists, despotism, minorities, economic enterprises, natural liberty, prescriptive liberties, civil liberty, Boston Massacre, localism, Roman republicanism, Kendall, Willmoore, personal liberty, elites, familial independence, British Constitution, Revolutionary War, liberty, German totalitarianism, First Amendment, historiography, disasters, happiness, pamphlet literature, old Revolutionaries, reciprocal dependence, communalism, political liberty, Kloppenberg, James, nationalism, Bill of Rights, direct democracy, Calvinism, inalienable rights, federalism, Jeffersonians, police powers, European bankers, liberalism, intermediate institutions, Madison, James