The Political Theory of the American Founding: Natural Rights, Public Policy, and the Moral Conditions of Freedom



This Book Provides A Complete Overview Of The American Founders Political Theory, Covering Natural Rights, Natural Law, State Of Nature, Social Compact, Consent, And The Policy Implications Of These Ideas The Book Is Intended As A Response To The Current Scholarly Consensus, Which Holds That The Founders Political Thought Is Best Understood As An Amalgam Of Liberalism, Republicanism, And Perhaps Other Traditions West Argues That, On The Contrary, The Foundational Documents Overwhelmingly Point To Natural Rights As The Lens Through Which All Politics Is Understood The Book Explores In Depth How The Founders Supposedly Republican Policies On Citizen Character Formation Do Not Contradict But Instead Complement Their Liberal Policies On Property And Economics Additionally, The Book Shows How The Founders Embraced Other Traditions In Their Politics, Such As Common Law And ProtestantismThe Political Theory of the American Founding: Natural Rights, Public Policy, and the Moral Conditions of Freedom

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the The Political Theory of the American Founding: Natural Rights, Public Policy, and the Moral Conditions of Freedom book, this is one of the most wanted Thomas G. West author readers around the world.

BOOKS ✮ The Political Theory of the American Founding: Natural Rights, Public Policy, and the Moral Conditions of Freedom Author Thomas G. West – E17streets4all.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 465 pages
  • The Political Theory of the American Founding: Natural Rights, Public Policy, and the Moral Conditions of Freedom
  • Thomas G. West
  • English
  • 06 May 2018
  • 1316506037

10 thoughts on “The Political Theory of the American Founding: Natural Rights, Public Policy, and the Moral Conditions of Freedom

  1. says:

    In this book, Thomas G West gives a comprehensive overview of the American founders natural rights theory and examines the policy implications of that theory West counters scholars and historians who argue that the founders theory is simply an amalgam of disparate strands of liberalism, republicanism, Scottish enlightenment theory, and British common law Instead, he argues that a coherent theory of natural rights is at the core of the founders political thought and determined the extent to In this book, Thomas G West gives a comprehensive overview of the American founders natural rights theory and examines the policy implications of that theory West counters scholars and historians who argue that the founders theory is simply an amalgam of disparate strands of liberalism, republicanism, Scottish enlightenment theory, and British common law Instead, he argues that a coherent theory of natural rights is at the core of the founders political thought and determined the extent to which those traditions were accepted West also connects the founders theory to their policies, showing that they thought government i.e., the state governments should inculcate virtue and morality through an intricate web of laws designed to protect individual rights and the sanctity of the family He also gives a detailed examination of the founders economic views, which focused on securing property rights, maintaining a domestic free market, and sound money This book is a masterpiece that should be on the bookshelf of every scholar and patriot who cares about their nation

  2. says:

    Easily one of the best books on the American Founding that I ve read Thomas West makes a persuasive case that the Founders vision was shaped primarily by the Enlightenment theories of natural law and natural rights He examines their voluminous writings pamphlets, diaries, official documents and even State constitutions to expose the profundity of their thinking The book looks not only at theory but also practice their views on race and gender the role of the state in fostering an educated Easily one of the best books on the American Founding that I ve read Thomas West makes a persuasive case that the Founders vision was shaped primarily by the Enlightenment theories of natural law and natural rights He examines their voluminous writings pamphlets, diaries, official documents and even State constitutions to expose the profundity of their thinking The book looks not only at theory but also practice their views on race and gender the role of the state in fostering an educated and virtuous populace policies of religious liberty and economics Highly recommended

  3. says:

    Excellent and a most informative book which will undoubtedly prove a useful resource against the critics among the right and the left who have taken to faulting the American founding for the present ills of our nation, revealing that the founders were actually farcoherent and unified in their theoretical understanding of the basis of the nation s founding in natural rights, and their application of such in fashioning our government, then is generally alleged in our times Honestly, after Excellent and a most informative book which will undoubtedly prove a useful resource against the critics among the right and the left who have taken to faulting the American founding for the present ills of our nation, revealing that the founders were actually farcoherent and unified in their theoretical understanding of the basis of the nation s founding in natural rights, and their application of such in fashioning our government, then is generally alleged in our times Honestly, after reading Patrick J Deneen s Why Liberalism Failed , West s scholarship and defense of the founding comes across like a refreshing breath of fresh spring air.Particularly surprising to me was the extent to which his critique extends not only to the usual suspects Michael Zuckert, Patrick Deneen but various scholars and historians I had otherwise held in high regard Mary Ann Glendon, Gordon S Wood There s a good, if critical, discussion here regarding some deficiencies with West s approach, but on the whole I found West to be careful in his treatment of the sources Neither the progressive left nor the right that is to say the libertarian and or paleo right will be pleased with his findings West makes the salient point that in the study of political thought the tendency is to confine one s perspective to the founding documents on a federal level, which is detrimental insofar as the founders left domestic policy to the states consequently, and it is only by a review of the wealth of largely ignored documentation from the latter, that we can really grasp their thought What I especially appreciated then was the sheer depth and scope of West s survey, encompassing not only the individual writings of Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison, Washington, et al the Federalist papers and the original founding documents as such but his most rewarding investigation of the founding documents, bills of rights, laws and ordinances of all thirteen colonies, by which the reader can gain a sense of their consistent and theoretically rooted understanding on a vast array of issues and questions, including the position of church and state government support for education and the cultivation of morality the promotion of virtue and the founder s understanding of such the proper definition of freedom and the pursuit of happiness the defense of property, free markets and sound money Related Reviews and Discussion compiled from further reading Founding philosophy, by Michael Anton Review The New Criterion June 2018 West sets for himself the seemingly modest task of explaining the American founders political views first, their political theory per se, and second, how they applied that theory to the practical task of building a new government The qualifier is necessary because while we think we understand the founding, West shows that we especially, all too often, those who ve been specifically trained to explain it to others do not.We misunderstand the founding, first, because of the dismal state of modern education, and second, owing to deliberate efforts to libel the founders and their works The founders political theory has been, by turns, denounced, misrepresented, mocked, dismissed, and forgotten The culprits have been and are of the Left, Right, and Center The founders detractors include fascists and communists, despots and anarchists, Yankees and Southerners, ardent abolitionists and slaveholding oligarchs, eastern elites and western individualists, foreign enemies and domestic terrorists, anti American leftists and patriotic conservatives, smug atheists and the deeply religious. A Partial Vindication of Thomas West, by James Stoner Law and Liberty 12 11 17 The Founders in Full, by Vincent Phillip Munoz Claremont Review of Books 10 19 17 By reintroducing the moral underpinnings of the founders natural rights republic, Thomas West has made an extraordinary contribution to our understanding of American political thought He shows that the founders republicanism is a part of their liberalism that duties and rights, properly understood, are not at odds In doing so, The Political Theory of the American Founding not only helps us better understand America s principles, it explains why we ought to cherish them and fight to restore them to their rightful place in our political life RECOMMENDED VIEWING Roundtable on The Political Theory of the American Founding Natural Rights, Public Policy, and the Moral Conditions of Freedom by Thomas G West Hillsdale College 09 19 17 Video Making Sense of the Founders Politics, Natural Rights, and the Laws of Nature by Justin Dyer Public Discourse 06 09 17 West argues that the founders did in fact share a theoretically coherent understanding of politics rooted in natural rights philosophy Other traditions were of course present, but the founders, West insists, embraced these other traditions in their official public documents and pronouncements only to the extent that those traditions could be enlisted as allies of the natural rights philosophy When natural rights conflicted with elements of the common law, customary practices, or religious tradition, it was the natural rights tradition that won the day Public documents and the affairs of state rather than sermons, commentaries, private letters, or other musings point to natural rights and the laws of nature as the lens through which politics is understoodThe Political Theory of the American Founding does a wonderful job of correcting some of the caricatures of the political thought of eighteenth century Americans as amoral, areligious, individualistic, or otherwise hostile to public virtue and the moral conditions of freedom The key, for West, is recognizing that the founders distinguished the purpose of politics securing rights from the purpose of life happiness , and the founders created a society that remained open to the private pursuit of nobility, wisdom, piety, and the higher goods that were supposedly sublimated by the founders into the base pursuit of material gain.Throughout, West leaves open the question whether the founders philosophy is true I venture a preliminary answer yes, for the most part, but only because they were buoyed by those other traditions notably Christianity, the common law, and elements of classical theological natural law and thereby built better than they knew.

  4. says:

    Larry Arnne recommendation

  5. says:

    Mind numbing, obscure work digging up private letters and diary entries by the Founders to prove they weren t liberal West seemsobsessed with identity politics than scholars on the left are Lots of coverage of property rights and, ironically, barely any mention of slavery My personal favorite is a letter James Madison wrote in which he says a virtuous man should always carry a musket and a satchel of gunpowder Should they always wear wigs and tights too I assume Thomas or Kavanaug Mind numbing, obscure work digging up private letters and diary entries by the Founders to prove they weren t liberal West seemsobsessed with identity politics than scholars on the left are Lots of coverage of property rights and, ironically, barely any mention of slavery My personal favorite is a letter James Madison wrote in which he says a virtuous man should always carry a musket and a satchel of gunpowder Should they always wear wigs and tights too I assume Thomas or Kavanaugh cites this book in the next big 5 4 blow to social justice After all, the same money that got them to the Supreme Court funds the Claremont Institute and Heritage Foundation, of which West was and is a member

  6. says:

    One of my top 50 books of all time Should be read by every American concerned about the future of our government.

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