The Foundations of American Citizenship: Liberalism, the Constitution, and Civic Virtue

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byRichard C. Sinopoli

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This study of exemplary writings from the debates over the ratification of the 1787 Constitution deals with the American constitutional founders' understandings of citizenship and civic virtue. Discussion of these debates is set in an analytical and historical context, addressing therationales for and the nature of civic allegiance in liberal political regimes. Sinopoli analyzes the development of a distinctly liberal political psychology from its origins in John Locke, Adam Smith, and David Hume through the American founding and traces its implications for the current Americanpolity.

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Much of the literature on the American constitutional founding focuses on the creation of the institutions and procedures of government. This study of the debates over the ratification of the 1787 Constitution deals with the founders' conceptions of citizenship and civic virtue. Sinopoli argues that the first principles of the founders...

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This study of exemplary writings from the debates over the ratification of the 1787 Constitution deals with the American constitutional founders' understandings of citizenship and civic virtue. Discussion of these debates is set in an analytical and historical context, addressing therationales for and the nature of civic allegiance in ...

Richard C. Sinopoli is at University of California, Davis.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 9.57 × 6.38 × 0.94 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195070674

ISBN - 13:9780195070675

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From Our Editors

Much of the literature on the American constitutional founding focuses on the creation of the institutions and procedures of government. This study of the debates over the ratification of the 1787 Constitution deals with the founders' conceptions of citizenship and civic virtue. Sinopoli argues that the first principles of the founders were politically liberal--yet, Federalists and Anti-Federalists alike were deeply concerned with fostering civic virtue. Participants in the constitutional controversies contested the psychological, social, and political conditions which promote a bond of attachment between the citizen and the state. This book situates the American founding controversy in the broader context of liberal theory and history--from John Locke to major figures of the Scottish Enlightenment. The discussion includes the influences of Adam Smith and David Hume, each of whom contributed to a characteristically liberal understanding of citizenship. Finally, the founders' arguments over the appropriate attitudes, beliefs, and roles for citizens are evaluated in

Editorial Reviews

"A solid contribution to the literatures on liberalism and the founding period."--The Journal of American History