Party Government in the United States of America

By William Milligan Sloane | Go to book overview

II
LIBERTY

Relation of theory and fact in the politics of Angto-Saxons--The doctrine of total depravity in relation to politics--Freedom of choice in religious and secular affairs--Degree of government-- Early American politics and liberty--Struggle for emancipation-- Expansion of the suffrage in America--Parties under the Stuarts and Cromwell--Parties under the House of Hanover--Whig and Tory in England and America.

MANY rills have contributed to the current of American life, but the fountainhead was British. No other people has produced more political theorists and idealists, but it is an amusing circumstance that in the history of political philosophy there is a broad cleft between the Northern and the Mediterranean peoples. Among what are broadly called Anglo- Saxons, and to a great extent among Teutons, the theory is made after the fact, being a creed to justify conduct. Among other Europeans the reverse has been true; terrific efforts have been put forth to reduce pure theory to practice. The reason is plain. With us of the North politics is a matter of personal conviction and historical experience; elsewhere it is an affair of social conviction and philosophic speculation.

To illustrate: the medieval world was a unit on the question of human depravity; the modern world is split in two, Christians maintaining their old doctrine, so-called liberals and philosophers main-

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