The United States Constitution both established both a strong central government and protected states' rights. But to say that something is of two parts is not to say that the parts are equal. Advocates of state sovereignty believed the Constitution created an executive power that was so strong it might as well have been a monarchy, while advocates of national government felt that a strong executive was essential to steer America through crises.
Civil Disobedience is Henry David Thoreau's argument for the deliberate violation of laws for reasons of conscience. Thoreau's concept is based on the belief that no law should command blind obedience, and that non-cooperation with unjust laws is both morally correct and socially beneficial.
Reflections on the Revolution in France is a slashing attack on the French Revolution by one of Britain’s most famous statesmen. Liberty and social order, Burke argues, are maintained by the traditional rights and duties embedded in custom and law. And when these traditions are overthrown in revolutions, society is threatened with chaos, bloodshed and despotism.
"Reflecting on Reflections"
Two Treatises of Government is the most famous and influential defense of limited government ever published. Written during a period of increasing opposition to the restored English monarchy, this work was published anonymously in 1689. It is a classic account of natural rights, social contract, government by consent, and the right of revolution.
An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations is the foundation of classical economics, and it has influenced a broad range of thinkers. In it, Adam Smith stresses the importance of the division of labor to economic progress. He criticizes the arguments for economic planning and offers a detailed theoretical and historical case for free trade.
"it's about time..."
In 1776 the 13 American colonies, refusing to pay unjust taxes, declared their independence from Britain. The resulting years of war became known as the American Revolution, but many of the Founding Fathers believed the real American revolution was not the war with Britain but the revolution in ideas that had preceded and caused the war. From 1760 to 1775, many Americans were transformed from loyal British subjects into rebels. Together, the 13 colonies set out to create something new: a government that derived its just authority from the consent of the governed.
Individualism: A Reader provides a wealth of illuminating essays from the 17th to the early 20th centuries. In 26 selections from 25 writers, individualism is explained and defended, often from unusual perspectives. The depth and complexity of ideas about individualism are reflected in the six sections in this collection. The first examines individuality generally, with the following five detailing social, moral, political, religious, and economic individualism.
In 1783, America emerged from a long and bitter war for independence. The 13 colonies were now 13 sovereign states, bound together by the Articles of Confederation. After years of war, men like Thomas Jefferson saw the possibility of something new under the sun: a government which derived its just power from the consent of the governed.
"Like an excellent podcast"
Common Sense examines how Americans defended the right to resist unjust laws, and how this right of resistance was transformed into a right of revolution. It examines Thomas Paine's views on the difference between society and government, his defense of republican government, his total rejection of hereditary monarchy, and his belief that Americans should take up arms against the English government.
"Not Common Sense"
Leviathan is a vigorous defense of a strong central government that was originally published in 1651, just after the English wars of 1642-49. This presentation explores the social and political turmoil during which Leviathan was written, including an examination of the radical political philosophies spawned by opposition to Stuart monarchy in England. It explains the materialistic foundation of Hobbes' philosophy and how this influenced his theory of man, society, and government.
In 1764, Britain imposed the first of several taxes with the Sugar Act. This was followed by the Stamp Act and the Townshend Revenue Act. In 1773, the Seven Years War with France had made Britain the greatest power on earth. But the war had doubled her national debt; interest payments alone consumed 5/8ths of Britain's annual budget. To ease this burden, Britain made a fateful blunder: she decided to impose and enforce taxes upon the American colonies.
"Not quite what I expected."
"Good book for a short Historical review "
An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations is one of the most important and influential works ever published on economic theory. A masterpiece of the eighteenth-century Scottish Enlightenment, it develops a theory of social order arising from the unintended consequences of self-interested behavior. This self regulating system of the free market, Adam Smith contends, protects consumers from entrenched special interests and is usually harmed by government intervention.