The adams family and emphasized the necessity of a

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Unformatted text preview: 782, what had seemed to be a distant dream a few years earlier had become reality [I had to end this with one of those corny type sayings, just like the textbook – sorry]. From the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution (1776 – 1789) 46 *Varieties of Republicanism* - Although most Americans after the war felt that their country should be a republic, and that its citizens should be virtuous to maintain the republic’s stability, there were three different interpretations of the concept of republicanism… One was mainly held by the educated elite [ex. the Adams family] and emphasized the necessity of a small, homogenous republic in which the citizens would be willing to sacrifice their own private interests for the good of the whole. In return for sacrifices equality of opportunity would prevail, eventually creating a merit-based “natural aristocracy.” Another was held by other members of the elite and some skilled craftsman [ex. Alexander Hamilton] and was more about economics, drawing on Adam Smith’s theories about individual self-interest leading for the best for the community. It stated that if everyone followed their private interests republican virtue would be achieved. Yet another was held by less educated people and some radicals [ex. Thomas Paine] and emphasized widening participation in gov’t in order to give ordinary people more of a say (the egalitarian approach). - All three approaches still shared the concept of the contrast between corrupt Britain and industrious America and felt that the republic could only succeed through hard work and virtue. 47 *Creating a Virtuous Republic* - Since pretty much everyone was sure that America could only work if the citizens were virtuous, artists, educators, and politicians began trying to inculcate values into people. For instance… - In art they had a tough time b/c to many Americans art was an example of corruption and luxury. Nevertheless, artists tried to show virtue and nat’lism in their work. - For...
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