By Richard J. Ellis
This paintings demanding situations the thesis first formulated via de Tocqueville and later systematically constructed by way of Louis Hartz, that American political tradition is characterised through a consensus on liberal capitalist values. Ranging over 300 years of background and drawing upon the seminal paintings anthropologist Mary Douglas, Richard Ellis demonstrates that American background is healthier understood as a competition among 5 rival political cultures: egalitarian group, aggressive individualism, hierarchical collectivism, atomized fatalism, and self sufficient hermitude.
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Extra info for American Political Cultures
111 Other followers of Garrison to launch utopian communities included Bronson Alcott in New England, the Brooke brothers in Ohio, and Garrison’s own brother in-law, George Benson, who had been a committed abolitionist since the movement’s inception in 1831. Another utopian venture was organized by the perfectionist and abolitionist Marcus Spring (who was married to the daughter of Arnold Buffman, one of the original members of the Garrisonian movement). " 114 Although the great majority of abolitionists doubted the practicality of these self-sufficient communes, many remained intrigued by the models they offered.
Carnegie’s concern was the effect upon those who inherit; Skidmore’s concern was with those who inherit little or nothing. Another radical Jacksonian who was too much of a Lockean ever to favor European-style socialism was William Leggett. 44 The answer is an individualist republic, and Leggett’s rhetorical question makes clear that this is not his preferred way of life. Given this narrow reading of what constituted labor, the Lockean injunction concerning the fruits of one’s labor became subversive rather than supportive of competitive individualism.
65 "Every man," Julian reminded his congressional colleagues, "has by nature... Thomas D. Eliot, a Massachusetts House Republican who sponsored and authored the Freedman’s Bureau bill, excoriated northern speculators as "white blood hounds... "68 Radicals hoped not only to destroy the Southern slaveholding aristocracy but also to remake the entire nation’s institutions in a more equalitarian direction. Thaddeus Stevens expressed the Radical hope that the war against slavery would provide the occasion for "the intelligent, pure and just men of this Republic [to remodel] all our institutions" in such a way as to free them from "every vestige of human oppression, of inequality of rights, of the recognized degradation of the poor, and the superior caste of the rich....
American Political Cultures by Richard J. Ellis