Liberty, State & Union: The Political Theory of Thomas Jefferson

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Mercer University Press, 2010 - Political Science - 277 pages
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Author of the Declaration of Independence, diplomat in France, leader of the opposition to the Federalists in the 1790s, president o the United States from 1801 to 1809, critical conscience of the country until his death on July 4, 1826, Thomas Jefferson is the most widely studied, fascinating, and genuinely representative Founding Father of the entire age, a classical liberal "philosopher-king" that America produced in the birth throes of the Republic.

Bassani surveys Jefferson's views in the twofold articulation---the rights of man and state's rights---that represents the core of all his political ideas. While recent scholarship on the subject tends to portray a union devotee, nonindividualistic, antiproperty-rights Jefferson, with possible communitarian, if not even protosocialist undertones, this work will do Jefferson justice. After careful examination of Jefferson's political theory, the readers will recognize the third president as a champion of limited government, natural rights, and antagonism of the states towards interference by federal powers.
 

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Contents

Icon of a Vanished Republic
1
Jefferson and the Republican School
18
Popular Sovereignty from Locke to Jefferson
86
Jefferson and American Constitutionalism
119
and States Rights
161
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About the author (2010)

Luigi Marco Bassani, born in Chicago,

and educated mostly in Italy and in the

United States, is professor of History

of Political Theory at the University of

Milan, Italy. Though he has published

widely on subjects ranging from

revolutionary syndicalism to libertarian

theory, his paramount research interest

is on American political thought from

the Revolution to the Civil War.

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