American Credo: The Place of Ideas in American Politics by Michael Foley

By Michael Foley

American society could be adversarial to the concept of ideologies, however it possesses a cosmopolitan yet little understood skill to have interaction in deep conflicts over political rules, whereas even as lowering adverse positions to valid derivatives of yankee background and improvement. The learn asks how this happens; how the assets, traditions and usages of middle rules and their by-product compounds animate political discourse and constitution the root of political clash; and the way it's attainable to maintain a excessive occurrence of aggressive value-laden argument and principled political clash inside a strong political order. the elemental goal of this learn is to ascertain the traditions and usages of yank political rules in the enviornment of functional politics. via finding them of their respective contexts, will probably be attainable to evaluate either their altering meanings and their moving relationships to each other. In surveying America's center rules either in isolation and together, the e-book enables an educated information in their political and cultural leverage as different types of persuasion and assets of legitimacy. American Credo roots the exam of yank political rules firmly within the milieu of social drives, political events and modern concerns in which the information themselves are embedded. This not just permits the learn to enquire the inner homes and conventional priorities of America's key values yet allows the theoretical implications and useful outcomes of those rules to be traced and evaluated. through marshalling a wide selection of facts from varied disciplines and views, and by means of making use of leading edge ideas of organization, the learn deals readability and intensity in aid of a creative explanatory scheme. It concludes with a evaluate of the present and certain destiny demanding situations to the protocols and conventions surrounding the matrix of ideational coexistence.

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Set against . . Freedom as an aggregate expression of a group or communal identity privileging a collective claim to substantive liberty. The issues arising from these disjunctions are a testament to the way that the meanings, usages, traditions, and logics of this iconic principle have not only been generic to American political history and development but have also sustained an enduring level of intensive cultural engagement. If the United States can be said to have a prevailing public philosophy and a defining discourse, then it is one that pivots upon the meaning of freedom and its leverage as a political resource.

Individuals, therefore, exercised their own liberties through their own being and on their 2 See Morton White, The Philosophy of the American Revolution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981), pp. 23–35, 42–8, 64–78; Garry Wills, Inventing America: Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1978), pp. 169–75, 181–5, 208–15, 240–5. The Individual 39 own authority—not on behalf of others or through an intermediary agency. 3 It was this central proposition of the individual ownership of rights which led, ultimately, to the modern ethos of individualism in which any individual is seen literally as being their own person.

Ferguson, The American Enlightenment, 1750–1820 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997), p. 77. , pp. 42–3. 55 For a highly sophisticated synthesis of the influence of eighteenth-century republican ideology, and the idiosyncratic nature of New World conditions whereby Americans could not be said to have been born free but came to be so as a result of the long-term repercussions of the American Revolution, see Gordon S. Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution (New York: Vintage, 1993).

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