INTRODUCTION: The theme stated; part played by European intellectual movements; influence in colonial America of old-world liberalisms-English Independency, French romantic theory; incoming of a diverse philosophy-English laissez faire; significance of theology and politics in colonial America


New England a product of old-world custom and institutions, modified by new-world environment. Emergence of two classes: yeomanry, gentry; and two ideals: Puritan and Yankee


The Puritan Heritage--1620-1660


I. Carolinian liberalism an attempt to create a new social system to replace the feudal, resulting in the doctrine of natural rights, democracy, and equalitarianism. The result of changing economics. Puritanism primarily middle-class. Types of church polity--monarchical, aristocratic, democratic. Separatism the left wing of Puritanism

II. Diverse theologies of Luther and Calvin. Reactionary nature of Calvinism: established in absolutism--universality of moral law, determinism, reprobation--denial of natural rights


I. The settlement of New England came in the middle period of the Puritan movement. Pilgrim and Puritan.

II. The Puritan Presbyterian: Social station--aristocratic, yet with middle-class ambitions. Hostility to ideal of Separatism. Sanctions of the oligarchy, of the theocracy. A Utopian venture

III. Certain Mistakes: The Plymouth covenant-principle--stages in the nullification of the Separatist principle: the fellowship of the churches; statutes erecting a state church; the climax reached in the Cambridge Platform. The adoption of a freehold tenure of land. Webster's interpretation


I. Master John Cotton--Priest: Representative of priestly stewardship. Scholar and intellectual. Doctrine of an ethics laristocracy and carnal liberty. A scripturist, seeking to check the drift towards democracy. His Model of Moses his Judicials. Rejection of natural rights, of hereditary aristocracy. The Way of the Congregational Churches Cleared. Debate with Roger Williams--freedom to follow the law of God

II. John Winthrop--Magistrate: Lay representative of theocracy. A cultivated gentleman. Reasons for removal. Influence of the Bible. His leadership; conception of magistracy ennobled by Puritanism. Implied absolutism--political philosophy. Struggle with the deputies; distrust of democracy. Absolute authority of law--the Little Speech. Liberty to the good, just, and honest. Consequences


I. The clash between Presbyterianism and Independency-the right of individual freedom. Liberal leaders-Hooker, Williams. Two commonwealths--Connecticut, Rhode Island

II. Thomas Hooker--Puritan Liberal: A moderate. Sprung from low social origins. As a preacher in England; removal to Hartford. Democratic order of the commonwealth due to Hooker. His Survey of the Summe of Church Discipline

III. Roger Williams-Seeker: Embodiment of radical.In dependency, and forerunner of later generations. A provocative figure. Stages in his intellectual development. A mystic and Christian democrat, concerned with a new social order. His political theory: the compact theory and theocratic absolutism; conception of the state--of government; the compact a constitution, government an agent, and the end the common well-being. Theory of toleration. A great political thinker. The constitution of Rhode Island


I. Nathaniel Ward--Elizabethan Puritan: A Puritan wit and belated Euphuist. The Simple Cobler of Aggawamm--a mingling of satire and politics. A constitutionalist, pleading for a written compact to delimit prerogative and popular rights. His body of law

II. John Eliot--A Theocratic Utopia: The Christian Commonwealth. Ordered to be suppressed. His plan of a Christian state. A rigid social order

The spread of provincialism and the consequences. Formalism in the church; superstition. The psychology of the Salem outbreak. The muddling of the oligarchy and the end

I. SAMUEL SEWALL--YANKEE--First representative of the new order. The Sewall of tradition; the real Sewall: middle-class, governed by a prudential morality. Uncreative, conservative, conventional. The other side--generous, kindly, the first embodiment of village friendliness


I. Difficulties involved in attempting an estimate. Certain Harvard contributions

II. Increase Mather: An arch conservative, bred by a conservative environment. His sympathy for the Genevan system; attempts to strengthen discipline; steps in his Presbyterianizing. Intolerant--his biographer quoted. Unread in political theory-dictatorial. As agent at the English court. His bitterness. Not a great Puritan compared with Samuel Hopkins. His Illustrious Prooidences--not scientific. The last of the New England Presbyterians

III. Cotton Mather: Victim of a provincial environment. Subject for a psychologist. His egoism; his quarrels. The Diary. His venture into politics. A natural Tory. His writings: Wonders of the Invisible World; the Magnalia. The futility of his dream


I. John Wise--Village Democrat: Before Dudley; at Quebec. Character--a liberal. His Vindication of the New England Churches--based on the doctrine of natural rights. Defense of democratic Congregationalism against the movement to Presbyterianize. Comment of Cotton Mather. His contribution to the paper-money controversy. His later influence

II. Social Drifts: Economic forces--a chasm opening between old England and New England. The village and Toryism: Joseph Dudley and the Garters. First newspapers: News-Letter; New-England Courant; NewEngland Weekly Journal


The middle eighteenth century undistinguished, yet it created the individualism that was the source of a new democratic psychology .


The Mind in the Making-1720-1763,


I. New Stock: Economic motive of immigration. The Scotch-Irish influx; indented servants--the Germans; diary of John Harrower

II. The Frontier--Lubberland: Journal of Madam Knight--frontier leveling, poverty. History of the Dividing Line, Col. William Byrd--the backcounty, lubberland, impatient of law

III. The Frontier-Land of Promise: Letters of Crevecoeur: A French Physiocrat; his travels in America; first interpretation of the influence of the frontier in economic terms--Ubi panis ibi patria; a new type; influence of the middle settlements, the frontier. More Letters: Crevecoeur the Loyalist--dislike of American Whiggery.


I. Backgrounds: Decay of Calvinism; beginnings of rationalism. A free environment and the dogmas of total depravity and election. The major question of determinism

II. Edwards a Puritan mystic. Sought to establish theology in philosophy. Idealistic philosophy. Desire to magnify God-interpreted in terms of will. Defended threatened dogmas. On the Freedom of the Will--the triumph of the theologian. Narrative of the Surprizing Works of God and the psychology of conversion. The Great Awakening. Father of later Congregationalism. The tragedy of his position

III. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN--OUR FIRST AMBASSADOR--A Democrat in an aristocratic world. A free soul; product of environment. Compared with Defoe. His rise. Enters politics. Agent in England. Corruption of English politics. A sociologist; our first economist. Economic theories: A Modest Inquiry into the Nature and Necessity of a Paper Currency. Labor the measure of value. Accepted Physiocratic views: laissez faire, agrarianism. Distrust of industrialism. Principles of Trade. Political views: imperial federation, Whiggery. In the Constitutional Convention--a unicameral system. A child of the eighteenth century


The Awakening of the American Mind--1763-1783


I. Background Facts: Causes of the Revolution obscure. Home rule and imperial centralization. Native liberalism. Three areas and three diverse interests. The imperial problem. Grievances of merchants, planters, yeomanry

II. Argument and Propaganda: American case based on the British Constitution; on natural rights. Theories of representation, English and colonial. Powers of Parliament. Natural rights and Locke--reasons for his appeal

III. Certain Social Consequences: Emergence of republicanism. Attitude of upper class. Expulsion of Loyalists. Influence on American culture. Rise of middle class; political centralization


I. Thomas Hutchinson--Royal Governor: The House of Hutchinson. Character and intellectual attainments. Insincerity of the Tory philosophy. Situation on his accession to the governorship. Prerogative and democracy. Proposals for remodeling Massachusetts government. The Town Meeting. Affair of the letters. The problem of sovereignty. Government by ministerial instructions. Comment on his enemies. His failure

II. Daniel Leonard--Tory Lawyer: Character. Massachusettenis. A follower of Hobbes--the leviathan state. The sin of rebellion and the law of treason. Groundlessness of American sedition--the virus of republicanism. On the right of revolution

III. Jonathan Boucher--Tory Priest: Character. A View of the Causes and Consequences of the American Revolution. Influence of Filmer's Patriarcha. Doctrine of obedience. Evil effects of republicanism. Government a divine institution-the patriarchal nature of kingship. An extreme Tory

III. JOHN DICKINSON--THE MIND OF THE AMERICAN WHIG--A moderate--spokesman of the colonial Whigs. Essence of Whiggery--the rule of property. His social position; conception of political stewardship. A constitutional lawyer. Accepted parliamentary sovereignty, right to regulate trade. Taxation and Whiggery--a tax and an imposition. Not a republican. His Two Letters on the Tea Tax. In the Constitutional Convention. Letters of Fabius. His views old-fashioned

IV. SAMUEL ADAMS--THE MIND OF THE AMERICAN DEMOCRAT--An agitator and practical politician. Member of the opposition. Advocate of home rule. Understood the ways of Tory government. Master of political theory. Three lines of argument: natural rights, constitutional rights, the charter compact. Influence of Locke, of Coke. Reliance on public opinion. Use of publicity, organization, town meetings. Newspaper articles. Motive of attacks on royal officials. Faith in the people. A democrat. The cost in reputation


I. The Whig Satirists

  • I. John Trumbull: A lover of belles lettres drawn into the itrife. M'Fingal. The note of humor. A potential intellectual; a moderate liberal. An echo of Connecticut opinion

  • 2. Francis Hopkinson, Esq.: The state of Philadelphia culture. A dilettante. A potential Tory turned Whig. The New Roof, Objections to the Proposed Plan of a Federal Government. A Federalist

II. The Tory Satirists

  • I. Jonathan Odell: A bitter nature. His satires--an embodiment of class prejudice. The .4merican Times. Estimate of Whig leaders

  • 2. Samuel Peters: His curious ambition. His History of Connecticut. Explanation of the cause of the Revolution-ministerial neglect. The cure-establishment of a colonial aristocracy



The Agrarian Defeat--1783-1787


I. Background of Ideas--English and French contributions. The struggle between political realists and humanitarian liberals. Influence of English middle class. Puritan ethics of work and capitalism. Attitude towards current liberalisms--the state. Influence of Harrington, Locke, Adam Smith. The new individualism. Rousseau and French humanitarianism--decentralization and the paternalistic state. Reasons why English influence prevailed

II. The Political Situation: Party alignments. Weakness of agrarians. The composite group of Federalists. Odium attaching to democracy--confused with Populism. Shays's Rebellion. Reaction from natural rights to economic realism., The return to seventeenth-century republicanism

II. THE GREAT DEBATE--Inadequate theory of republicanism. Earlier English liberalism undemocratic. Democratic theory undeveloped. First debate: republicanism and the majority rule--Madison's view; the Whig doctrine of property rule. Second debate: opposition to checks on majority will. The Federalist--its repute, the augmented state, theory of faction, economic basis of government. Letters of R. H. Lee--analysis of economic conditions, the Constitution undemocratic. Emergence of parties


I. Alexander Hamilton--The Leviathan State: Representative of conservative interests. A master of finance, administrator rather than thinker. Inadequate intellectual equipment. A political realist: men are swayed by self-interest; the rule of the strong. Undemocratic. The doctrine of vox justiciae. His plan of government--the fallacy of his argument. As a statesman: necessity of allying the wealthy with government: position on funding, taxation, the tariff, the industrial revolution. Statesman of the rising capitalism

II. John Adams-Realist: Compared with Dr. Johnson--apostle of common sense. Shift from earlier position. Intellectual qualities. His early constitutionalism--a federated British empire. A Defense of the Constitution of Government, and Discourses on Davila. Opposition aroused by latter. His political philosophy: theory of human nature, doctrine of rivalry, the class struggle, natural aristocracy. Foolishness of French doctrines of equality and fraternity. Faction the weakness of democracy--the end anarchy or absolutism. The fact of property rule. Hence need for system of checks and balances. Sources of his philosophy--Harrington. Hostility to Hamilton. A notable political thinker

I. THE IMPACT OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION--Stirred party passions afresh. Popularized democracy in America and provided a body of philosophy: doctrines of the majority will, expediency, local self-government. Later party divisions. Democratic clubs. The odium theologicum. Paine's Rights of Man and J. Q. Adams's Publicola. The shift of positions


I. Tom Paine--Republican Pamphleteer: An internationalist. Odium attaching to his name. A social inefficient. Common Sense--appeal to expediency; attack on monarchy and the British Constitution. Political philosophy: doctrine of continuous compact, of the res publica. The Rights of Man--a reply to Burke's theory of civil contract and the expediency of aristocratic rule. The business of the revolution. Agrarian justice: civilization and poverty; relation to Babeuf; theory of unearned increment; a tax proposal. Decline and Fall of the English System of Finance--an attack on funding. A pacifist. Sources of his philosophy. His position in contemporary American opinion

II. Thomas Jefferson--Agrarian Democrat: Position. His inconsistencies due to a slowly clarifying philosophy. An intellectual, holding to American experience. Chief doctrines: the social compact, the res publica, the diminished state--a philosophy of decentralization. Belief in the excellence of an agrarian economy--a Physiocrat; fear of cities and industrialism. Suspicious of appeal to past experience: the evils of the past due to leviathan state; consolidation would repeat those evils in America. Excellence of home rule; the majority will. Fear of judicial encroachment, the Common Law. Class rule serves class interests. Faith in the common people. The industrial revolution and a new centralization


I. The Federalist Group

  • I. The Hartford Wits: Arch conservatives. sources of Connecticut Federalism--Calvinism and business. The Connecticut fear of democracy. Members of the group. Theodore Dwight. Timothy Dwight--his contemporary reputation, likeness to Increase Mather, a clerical Federalist. His literary work

  • 2. The Anarchiad. Political writings of the Wits. Character of Lemuel Hopkins. The theme of the work--an attack on populism and democracy

II. The French Group

  • I. Philip Freneau--Poet of Two Revolutions: A revolutionary volunteer--effect on his reputation. A radical advocate of all liberal movements. Effect on his poetic career. Spirit of his satire--attack on England. His desire to strip colonial loyalties from the American. Influence on Freneau of the French Revolution. The National Gazette--a leader of anti-Federalism. The consequences. His growing reputation

  • 2. Joel Barlow--Jacobin: Early career: his experience abroad and his adoption of Jacobin views. Cost to his reputation. Advice to the Privileged Orders: the doctrine of res publica; social responsibility for the individual. Letter to the National Convention of France, and the machinery of a democratic state. The Columbiad--a republican poem

  • 3. Hugh Henry Brackenridge--Free-Lance Democrat: An independent critic of the shortcomings of democracy. Modern Chivalry--a frontier book, a satire of current manners. Democracy must not be sacrificed to selfish individualism-the folly of the political climber and of the electorate. A notable book