Revolutionary Values for a New Millennium: John Adams, Adam Smith, and Social Virtue

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America's founders believed that democracy required virtuous citizens. The values they emphasized were heavily influenced by their religious background and included the pursuit of happiness, equality, and liberty. But liberty did not trump community; individual freedom was described within the context of the community. In addition to these virtues, the founders advocated universalism, tolerance, moderation, and concern for the common good as requirements for a just society—values relevant for a new millennium. John Hill draws on the extensive written record of the thought of John Adams, the "Atlas of American Independence," and Adam Smith, known as the father of modern capitalism, to argue for a balanced, values-based, and just political economy. Hill finds that Adams, commonly conceived as a rugged individualist, emphasized political balance, with no one social class politically dominating any other. Smith favored economic balance, in which no class or individual received special treatment from the government. In his study Hill challenges common interpretations of the political thought of Adams and Smith, providing scholars and students with an engaging and novel portrait of social and political theory in America, at its founding and at the inception of the twenty-first century.

Author Biography: John E. Hill is Professor and Chairperson of the Politics and History Department at Curry College.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739101025
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 3/15/2000
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

John E. Hill is Professor and Chairperson of the Politics and History Department at Curry College.

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Table of Contents

1 John Adams? 1
2 Revolutionary Values 21
3 Virtues for Democratic Citizens 59
4 Individuality within Communities 83
5 Government and Self-Interest 111
6 Self-Interest and the Economy 137
7 Property and Democracy 171
8 Democracy: Political Equality and Justice for All 195
Bibliography 213
Index 225
About the Author
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