Skip to main content

The complexity, and principles, of the American founding: a response to Alan Gibson

Buy Article:

$17.65 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Alan Gibson has invited me to discuss publicly some of the issues I raised in my (at the time anonymous) referee's report for History of Political Thought on his article ‘Ancients, Moderns and Americans: The Republicanism- Liberalism Debate Revisited’. I gladly accepted, not least because a dialogue on views of the American Founding is fitting both for the subject and Gibson's instructive characterization of it. The Federalist opens by identifying candid debate as a fundamental achievement for young America, giving hope that reflection and choice, not just accident and force, can govern humans. Similarly, Gibson's argument that America's formative political thought comprises ‘multiple traditions’ — including Lockean liberalism, the republicanism of English opposition writings, and other influences — seems to define the Founding as not a monologue but a lively dialogue. I agree that complexity and not a single, pure strain of thought defines America's Founding, but this is not to say there are no fundamental principles for which the Founding stands. In the spirit of candid exchange, I will not discuss the many points in Dr Gibson's article with which I agree but those where one might interpret the American Founding differently or find an important dimension overlooked.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Data/Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Dept. of Political Science, Fairchild Hall, US Air Force Academy, CO 80840-6258, USA. Email:[email protected]

Publication date: 2000-04-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more