Restoration of the Republic: The Jeffersonian Ideal in 21st-Century America

Restoration of the Republic: The Jeffersonian Ideal in 21st-Century America

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by Gary Hart
     
 

Rarely does scholarship anticipate the most dramatic events of the moment. In this timely work Gary Hart does just that, arguing for the restoration of republican virtues and for homeland security as an important first step. The American democratic republic has from its founding been a paradoxical success. Simultaneously attached to state and national power,

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Overview

Rarely does scholarship anticipate the most dramatic events of the moment. In this timely work Gary Hart does just that, arguing for the restoration of republican virtues and for homeland security as an important first step. The American democratic republic has from its founding been a paradoxical success. Simultaneously attached to state and national power, citizens' rights and citizens' duties, American democracy has uniquely turned its reliance on consent from the governed into a powerful governing of the consenting. In a remarkable political feat, America's founders combined mixed government, the language of popular sovereignty and a self-conscious emphasis on checks and balances to forge a republic that has weathered the test of time. The complex realities of the twenty-first century, however, have fundamentally challenged the underpinnings of this enduring American experiment, repeatedly exposing the tensions at the heart of America's mixed system of government. What then is the nature of an American republic in an age of democracy? How can the democratic values of social justice and equality be balanced with republican values of civic duty and popular sovereignty? Bringing to light a long-neglected aspect of Thomas Jefferson's political philosophy—the "ward republic"—Gary Hart here offers a wholly original blueprint for republican restoration in which every citizen can participate democratically in the governing of his or her own life. Of crucial relevance for contemporary society, including its startlingly prescient plan for homeland security, Restoration of the Republic provides original insights into issues of national urgency as well as the timeless questions that bedevil the American democratic experiment.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195155860
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
08/28/2002
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 6.31(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
1580L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Introduction: "The Republic for Which It Stands"3
1New Realities in Twenty-first-Century America: Economics, Politics, and Society25
Economic Globalization, the Evolving Nation-State, and the Decline of Ideology26
The Scope of Twenty-first-Century Change in Historic Perspective40
Original Objections to Small Republics46
Responses to Original Objections49
Original Objections to Small Republics in the Light of Twenty-first-Century Realities58
Restatement of the Elements of Authentic Republicanism61
2Is America Still a Republic? Sovereignty, Corruption, Civic Virtue, and Liberty63
3Jeffersonian Republicanism and the Restoration of the Republic81
Jeffersonian Republicanism81
Jefferson's Republican Ideal in the Context of the Constitutional Debate117
Slavery and the Jeffersonian Republic124
The Mature Jefferson and the Radical Republic128
The Role of the Ward Republic in the Life of the Citizen132
4The Jeffersonian Republic in the Current Age163
The Republican Polis in Twenty-first-Century America172
Public Education in the Authentic Republic175
Social Welfare and Economic Justice in the Authentic Republic194
Homeland Security and the Militia in the Authentic Republic204
Education, Welfare, Homeland Defense, and the Republican Spirit218
Conclusion227
Notes239
Selected Bibliography269
Index275

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