Civil Peace and the Quest for Truth: The First Amendment Freedoms in Political Philosophy and American Constitutionalism

Front Cover
Lexington Books, 2004 - Law - 309 pages
0 Reviews
The freedoms of speech and religion assumed a sacrosanct space in American notions of civil liberty. But it was not until the twentieth century that these freedoms became prominent in American constitutional law; originally, the first ten amendments applied only to the federal government and not to the states. Murray Dry traces the trajectory of freedom of speech and religion to the center of contemporary debates as few scholars have done, by looking back to the American founding and to the classical texts in political philosophy that shaped the founders' understanding of republican government. By comparing the colonial charters with the new state constitutions and studying the development of the federal Constitution, Dry demonstrates the shift from governmental concern for the salvation of souls to the more limited aim of the securing of rights. For a uniquely rich and nuanced appreciation of this shift Dry explores the political philosophy of Locke, Spinoza, Montesquieu, and Mill, among others, whose writings helped shaped the Supreme Court's view of religion as separate from philosophy, as a matter of individual faith and not a community practice. Delving into the polyvalent interpretations of such fundamental concepts as truth, faith, and freedom, Civil Peace and the Quest for Truth immeasurably advances the study of American constitutional law and our First Amendment rights.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN THE AMERICAN FOUNDING
15
The American Founding and the Puritan Origins
19
Religious Freedom and Freedom of Speech in the State Constitutions of the Confederation Period
32
The Federal Constitution and the Bill of Rights
52
The Postfounding Debate on Freedom of Speech The Sedition Act the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions and the Virginia Report
65
THE FIRST AMENDMENT FREEDOMS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
79
Ancient Political Philosophy Plato Aristotle and Thucydides
81
SeventeenthCentury Political Philosophy Bacon Hobbes Milton Locke and Spinoza
95
The Preferred Position Doctrine and the Categorical Approach to Freedom of Speech Libel
165
The Increased Protection for Fighting Words and Other Offensive Speech Obscenity Pornography and Commercial Speech
178
Money and Speech and the Public Forum or Time Place and Manner Doctrine
201
Religious Freedom and the Constitution
219
The Free Exercise Clause
221
The Establishment Clause I
242
The Establishment Clause II
266
Conclusion
283

Montesquieus Constitution of Liberty The Spirit of the Laws
120
John Stuart Mills On Liberty
133
THE SUPREME COURTS TREATMENT OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
145
Freedom of Speech
147
Seditious Libel and Fifty Years of Clear and Present Danger From Schenck to Brandenburg
149
Bibliography
291
Index
299
About the Author
309
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 20 - Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Page 35 - That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
Page 27 - ... thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.

About the author (2004)

Murray Dry is Charles A. Dana Professor of Political Science at Middlebury College.

Bibliographic information