Reading the Early Republic
Reading the Early Republic focuses attention on the forgotten dynamism of thought in the founding era. In every case, the documents, novels, pamphlets, sermons, journals, and slave narratives of the early American nation are richer and more intricate than modern readers have perceived. Rebellion, slavery, and treason--the mingled stories of the Revolution--still haunt national thought. Robert Ferguson shows that the legacy that made the country remains the idea of what it is still trying to become. He cuts through the pervading nostalgia about national beginnings to recapture the manic-depressive tones of its first expression. He also has much to say about the reconfiguration of charity in American life, the vital role of the classical ideal in projecting an unthinkable continental republic, the first manipulations of the independent American woman, and the troubled integration of civic and commercial understandings in the original claims of prosperity as national virtue. Reading the Early Republic uses the living textual tradition against history to prove its case. The first formative writings are more than sacred artifacts. They remain the touchstones of the durable promise and the problems in republican thought
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The Dialectic of Liberty
The Commonalities of Common Sense
The Forgotten Publius
Finding Rome in America
Jefferson at Monticello
Charity in the City of Brotherly Love
The Last Early Republican Text
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Página 83 - Without doubt, it denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint but also the right of the individual to contract, to engage in any of the common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, establish a home and bring up children, to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and generally to enjoy those privileges long recognized at common law as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.
Página 49 - ... enlightened by a benign religion, professed indeed and practiced in various forms, yet all of them inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of man; acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, which by all its dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here and his greater happiness hereafter, — with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people?
Página 63 - Religion, always a principle of energy, in this new people is no way worn out or impaired ; and their mode of professing it is also one main cause of this free spirit. The people are Protestants, and of that kind which is the most adverse to all implicit submission of mind and opinion.
Página 44 - Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none; the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns and the surest bulwarks against antirepublican tendencies; the preservation of the General Government in its whole constitutional vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad...
Página 44 - ... a well-disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace, and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them...
Página 42 - If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this union, or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it.
Página 118 - ... let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the charter ; let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God ; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America the law is king. For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king ; and there ought to be no other.
Página 66 - ... they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid : for the mouth of the Lord of Hosts hath spoken it.
Página 81 - FOR the principal aim of society is to protect individuals in the enjoyment of those absolute rights, which were vested in them by the immutable laws of nature ; but which could not be preserved in peace without that mutual assistance and intercourse which is gained by the institution of friendly and social communities. Hence it follows, that the first and primary end of human laws is to maintain and regulate these absolute rights of individuals.