Secrets American Political Thought A Norton Anthology
Bridging the gap between historical, empirical, and theoretical research, is the only journal dedicated exclusively to the study of American political thought.
The following course will provide an introduction to American Political Thought through an examination of these ambiguities and contestations. We will trace the development of American Democracy through the debates and dialogues that advanced and challenged the very grounds upon which the country was founded. The course begins with an exploration of the multiple and competing philosophical traditions that influenced the founding of the country including liberalism, Puritanism, and the often ignored Native American Indians. Part II examines the practice of democracy in America focusing on the late days of antebellum America through the beginning of the 20th century, a tumultuous time in which the lofty rhetoric of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights began to take on new meaning. While the course is rooted in the historical circumstances of the founding and re-founding of America, students are highly encouraged to draw parallels between historical readings and the contemporary political environment.
Before turning to the Constitutional Convention, it is important to note that the Framers of the document were entering uncharted territory. The early objections of some Convention delegates notwithstanding, they were gathering not to make minor adjustments to a flawed confederal government, but to create an entirely new form of government. As they did so, they expanded a growing body of knowledge collectively known as American Political Thought. With roots in the writings of numerous "Old World" authors and in the experiences of the colonies before and after the war, the concepts and precepts the Framers brought to Philadelphia with them were at the same time deeply philosophical yet utterly practical; thousands of years old, but as new as the sunrise that dawned on the delegates as they arrived to participate in the Convention.This paper should be 7-8 pages. You should use it to reflect on the whole course and draw some conclusions about the contours and development of American political thought. I am leaving it to you to formulate a precise question and thesis. It may be helpful to consider the following questions: Are American political traditions fundamentally liberal, as Hartz contended? Are there any persistent themes in American political thought? Has American political thought changed substantially since the founding? Are there any fundamental defects in American political traditions that need to be rectified? The purpose of these papers is to achieve and demonstrate a good understanding of the texts, to develop your own critical insights into American political thought, and to hone your reading and writing skills until you are the envy of all your peers. American Political Thought: Readings and Materials presents a diverse collection of writings, speeches, judicial opinions, and other political documents, offering an introduction to the controversies and disputes that have mobilized Americans since the first settlements in North America. Ranging from the Colonial era to the present day-and featuring both traditional readings and lesser-known documents-this reader takes a historical approach that helps students see how political, economic, and social conditions led to the development of specific political ideas. Each chapter includes a substantial introduction and each reading is enriched by headnotes and discussion questions.