A Source Book of American Political Theory

By Benjamin Fletcher Wright Jr. | Go to book overview

A SOURCE BOOK OF AMERICAN POLITICAL THEORY


CHAPTER I THE THEOCRATIC IDEAL IN EARLY NEW ENGLAND

INTRODUCTION

Philosophic discussion of political problems is not characteristic of colonies. The writings of the early period in New England, crabbed and illiberal as most of those writings are, appear more remarkable when compared with the almost complete absence of any political literature in the colonies to the south. There were frequent struggles in those colonies for place and power, but the controversies did not result, as in New England, in the production of a considerable volume of material discussing the nature and source of political power and the organization and functions of government. The reason for the difference is probably to be found in the strongly religious character of the Puritan culture. Most of the controversies in early New England were of purely local and temporary importance, and the authors of the pamphlets, speeches, and books which resulted from these controversies were not men who would under ordinary circumstances be concerned with political ideas. However, the close relationship of politics with religion, with which they were profoundly concerned, resulted in the discussion of principles which apply far beyond the bounds of the small Puritan colonies. To Cotton, Winthrop, Daven

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A Source Book of American Political Theory
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Chapter I the Theocratic Ideal in Early New England 1
  • References 40
  • Chapter II Constitutional Protest and Revolution 41
  • References 114
  • Chapter III State Constitution Making During the Revolution 116
  • References 173
  • Chapter IV the Framing and Ratification of the Federal Constitution 174
  • References 276
  • Chapter V Under the New Constitution 277
  • References 366
  • Chapter VI the Growth of Constitutional Democracy 367
  • References 431
  • Chapter VII the Slavery Controversy 432
  • References 477
  • Chapter VIII the Struggle for State Sovereignty 478
  • References 544
  • Chapter IX Some Recent Tendencies 545
  • References 642
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