Nature and History in American Political Development

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Harvard University Press, 2006 - Počet stran: 229
In this inaugural volume of the Alexis de Tocqueville Lectures, political scientist James Ceaser traces the way certain ideas, including nature, history, and religionâe"which he calls foundational ideasâe"have been understood and used by statesmen and public intellectuals over the course of American history, from the Puritans to the current day. Ceaser treats these ideas not as pure concepts of philosophy or theology, but rather as elements of political discourse that provide the ground or ultimate appeal for other political ideas, such as liberty or equality. At times, they have critically influenced the course of American political development, offering various opportunities and constraints for political leaders. Ceaser traces the histories of these ideas and their relation to other ideas, to practices, and to the fortunes of successive partisan regimes.Three critical commentatorsâe"historian Jack Rakove and political theorists Nancy Rosenblum and Rogers Smithâe"challenge Ceaserâe(tm)s arguments in several ways. They suggest that other ideas may be considered foundational, and they prod him to clarify further how foundational ideas work politically. Ceaser responds with vigor, and the result is a spirited debate about large and enduring questions in American politics.
 

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FOUNDATIONAL CONCEPTS AND AMERICAN POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT
1
CAN WE KNOW A FOUNDATIONAL IDEA WHEN WE SEE ONE?
91
REPLACING FOUNDATIONS WITH STAGING SECONDSTORY CONCEPTS AND AMERICAN POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT
113
WHAT IF GOD WAS ONE OF US? THE CHALLENGES OF STUDYING FOUNDATIONAL POLITICAL CONCEPTS
141
FOUNDATIONAL CONCEPTS RECONSIDERED
169
Notes
199
About the Authors
222
Index
223
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