Tocqueville, Covenant, and the Democratic Revolution: Harmonizing Earth with Heaven

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Tocqueville, Covenant, and the Democratic Revolution examines the intellectual and institutional context in which Alexis de Tocqueville developed his understanding of American political culture, with its profound influence on his democratic theory. American democracy, Tocqueville maintained, had emerged from the covenant tradition of Reformed Protestantism. The covenant, or foederal, theology of New England Puritans provided the ideational basis for federated church and civil government, which directly influenced the American constitutionalism and the republican institutions that Tocqueville later observed. Tocqueville suggested that the principles underlying American constitutionalism offered broader lessons in the art and science of self-government. An important book for scholars of Tocqueville as well as American political thought, this book suggests that an understanding of the American covenant tradition is critical to our interpretation of Tocqueville's analysis of the democratic revolution and the "new science of politics" it necessitated.

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Editorial Reviews

American Historical Review
Full of fine moments.
Perspectives On Politics
This book is a remarkably original effort to develop a fresh understanding and appreciation of Tocqueville's "new science of politics."
Robert L. Bish
For those of us who have recognized the common intellectual framework in Adam Smith and The Federalist in their analysis of polycentric systems as applied to self-governance through federalism and in markets, Barbara Allen's analysis of Tocqueville makes two very important contributions: First is how closely the self-government covenanting of New England
Protestants parallels federalism in its analysis of governance systems and secondly how important religious culture was to reinforcing polycentric arrangements. This work is revealing for those who would like to extend self-government, federalism and markets into other cultures and especially for economists who need to understand the cultural context of institutional arrangements for both markets and governance.
Perspectives on Politics
This book is a remarkably original effort to develop a fresh understanding and appreciation of Tocqueville's "new science of politics."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739110645
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 10/20/2005
  • Pages: 414
  • Product dimensions: 9.21 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Allen is Professor of Political Science at Carleton College.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface: A Curious Inquiry Part 2 Part One: Tocqueville & American Federal Democracy Chapter 3 Point of Departure: Covenant & the Democratic Revolution Chapter 4 Orderly Knit Together: Colonial Covenants & Federations Chapter 5 Harmonizing Earth with Heaven: Church & State in the Federal Republic Part 6 Part Two: The Hopes & Fears of the Democratic Age Chapter 7 Another Form of Hope: Religious Belief & the Democratic Soul Chapter 8 The Art and Science of Association: The Federal Matrix & the Democratic Soul Chapter 9 A Failure of Heart and Mind: Conformity, Uniformity, & Despotism in the Democratic Social Power Part 10 Part Three: Democracy & Paradox Chapter 11 Bonds of Affection: Republican Motherhood, Sacrifice, & Civic Virtue Chapter 12 Bonds of Affliction: Race Ideology & the Limits of Democratic Progress Chapter 13 Servitude or Freedom? Civic Enlightenment & the New Science of Politics

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