The American Democrat: The Social and Civic Relations of the United States of America

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Transaction Publishers, Apr 1, 2010 - Literary Criticism - 292 pages
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Liberty, like equality, is a word that is more often used than understood. Perfect and absolute liberty is as incompatible with the existence of society, as equality of condition. It is impracticable even in a state of nature, since without the protection of the law, the strong would oppress and enslave the weak. Liberty is merely a state of the social compact that permits the members of a community to lay no more restraints on themselves than are required by their real necessities and obvious interests. To this definition may be added, that it is a requisite of liberty, that the body of a nation should retain the power to modify its institutions, as circumstances shall require.

These and other topics are explored in James Fenimore Cooper's "The American Democrat." Cooper argues that the natural disposition of all people is to be able to enjoy perfect freedom of action. It is a common error to suppose that the nation that possesses the mildest laws, or laws that impose the least personal, restraints is the freest. This is indefensible because the power that concedes this freedom of action, can recall it unless it is lodged in the body of the American community itself.

Cooper was a fierce democrat and a harsh cultural critic--much like Alexis de Tocqueville. This large print edition will resonate to the issues of this time almost as much as it did when originally published.

 

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Contents

ON GOVERNMENT
1
ON REPUBLICS
8
ON THE REPUBLIC OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
11
ON DISTINCTIVE AMERICAN PRINCIPLES
22
ON THE POWERS OF THE EXECUTIVE
31
ON EQUALITY
39
ON AMERICAN EQUALITY
42
ON LIBERTY
47
ON THE PRESS
132
ON THE LIBERTY OF THE PRESS
135
ON THE AMERICAN PRESS
137
ON PROPERTY
144
ON UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE
151
ON THE PUBLIC
156
ON DEPORTMENT
162
ON AMERICAN DEPORTMENT
163

ON THE ADVANTAGES OF A MONARCHY
56
ON THE ADVANTAGES OF AN ARISTOCRACY
57
ADVANTAGES OF A DEMOCRACY
60
ON THE DISADVANTAGES OF A MONARCHY
63
ON THE DISADVANTAGES OF ARISTOCRACY
65
ON THE DISADVANTAGES OF DEMOCRACY
68
ON PREJUDICE
74
ON STATION
78
ON THE DUTIES OF STATION
85
ON THE DUTIES OF PUBLIC OR POLITICAL STATION
86
ON THE PRIVATE DUTIES OF STATION
90
AN ARISTOCRAT AND A DEMOCRAT
98
ON DEMAGOGUES
102
ON REPRESENTATION
109
ON CANDOR
121
ON LANGUAGE
124
ON PUBLIC OPINION
168
ON CIVILIZATION
175
ON THE RIGHT OF PETITION
179
ON COMMERCE
182
ON THE CIRCULATING MEDIUM
186
ON SLAVERY
189
ON AMERICAN SLAVERY
191
ON SLAVERY IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
194
ON PARTY
196
ON INDIVIDUALITY
200
THEY SAY
202
RUMOUR
203
ON RELIGION
205
CONCLUSION
209
ENDNOTES
213
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

THIS edition is introduced by naval historian William S. Dudley, former director of the Naval Historical Center in Washington, DC, and Cooper critic Hugh Egan of Ithaca College. The text, edited from the manuscript by Karen Lentz Madison and R. D. Madison, conforms to the rigorous standards set by the Center for Scholarly Editions of the Modern Language Association of America.

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