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Unformatted text preview: Government 366 F INAL R EVIEW Course Themes I. America’s love affair with individual liberalism ⇒ Rugged individualism: deterministic and individualistic view that men make themselves II. Problematic attitude toward government ⇒ Negative and anti-statist III. Ambivalence about human rights ⇒ For rights of people already here, difficulty in gaining citizenship and obtaining voting rights IV. Uniqueness of American political thought V. American system is founded or set up; not evolved from centuries of thought ⇒ Foundational documents have a stranglehold over political thought VI. Impact of American egalitarianism ⇒ Radical equality creates suspicions of elitism and anti-intellectualism VII. Uniqueness of federal system ⇒ Central government with autonomous states VIII. Importance of som ⇒ Ideal of equality trumps sot policies even through widespread denial of rights and rampant racism The Lockean Legacy I. Locke and the Founding Fathers • Locke’s philosophy provided the formative text for American thought o Locke expounds on impartiality in government: “It is the duty of the civil magistrate, by the impartial execution of equal laws, to secure unto all the people in general, and to everyone one of his subjects in particular the just possession of these things belonging to this life” “I affirm that the magistrate’s power extends not to the establishing of any articles of faith, or form of worship, by the force of his laws” • Origins of life, liberty, property rights, and the pursuit of happiness in early colonial texts lean heavily on Lockean texts (Adams cites “Mr. Lock” as the source of natural rights) o Sam Adams “Among the Natural Rights of the Colonists are these First: a Right to Life ; Secondly to Liberty ; thirdly to Property ; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best manner they can “All Men have a Right to remain in a State of Nature as long as they please: And in case of intolerable Oppression, Civil or Religious, to leave the Society they belong to, and enter into another” • Locke’s theories of natural rights and consent were widely heralded, though it was his social theory — his ideas about work — that emerged as the cornerstone for the American structure II. Rights, Consent and Limited Government • Locke’s Treatises on Government o Sacredness and protection of rights is basis for government o In the state of nature, rights are only secured via a social contract o Limited conception envisions government as a necessary evil — only functions to protect rights (“good and health … be...
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- Fall '08
- KRAMNICK, I
- Government, Lockean