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The author traces a constellation of intimately related ideas - about the nature of parental authority and filial rights, of moral obligation of Scripture, of the growth of the mind and the nature of historical progress - from their most important English and continental expressions in a variety of literary and theological texts, to their transmission, reception and application in Revolutionary America and in the early national period of American culture.
Acknowledgments; Introduction; Part I. The Ideological Inheritance: 1. Educational theory and moral independence; 2. The transmission of ideology and the bestsellers of 1775; 3. The familial politics of the Fortunate Fall; Part II. Forms of Filial Freedom: 4. The debt of nature reconsidered; 5. Affectionate unions and the new voluntarism; 6. Filial freedom and American Protestantism; Part III. The Character of the National Family: 7. George Washington and the reconstituted family; 8. The sealing of the garden, Or the world well lost; Notes; Index.