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Take home mid term (nonresearch other than course readings) - Essay Example

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Political thoughts are the ideas that shape the world around us and structure the society that serves our needs. At the cornerstone of America's political thought is our concept of private property rights and free market economics. It shapes our institutions and defines our philosophies…
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Take home mid term (nonresearch other than course readings)

Download file to see previous pages... The social structure that we have is dictated by our economics. Class and stratification come about as a result of economic opportunity. Groups that struggle for equal rights pin their demands on the need for economic equality and equal pay. Efforts to create new social institutions are done so not with speeches and persuasion, but with economic motivations. Barrington Moore's argument that economic trends are a better predictor of political behavior is certainly true in America. America was built on free market economics and has molded the way we perceive our class system and our social programs.
The American Revolution was unique in that it was not a revolution that overthrew an existing system, but was rather a fight for independence that was in the process of building a system of government. Historians have, at times, noted the multiple roles of America's revolution and termed it a liberal-republic or exclusionary republic. John Adams observed with some pride that America had turned "their backs on Europe's class-ridden corporate society, for rejecting the canon and feudal law" (Hartz 322). This viewpoint painted America as a Democratic Republic in which each individual was a participant in their own fate. Indeed, there was little to overthrow when America was created. It was the most orderly and free society in the world and there was a movement to preserve that tradition. Sam Adams was less hopeful and predicted that all systems, however free, would eventually fall prey to man's tyranny and the "passions of Men that are fixed and timeless" (Hartz 324).
The American Revolution created a free republic that was still in its infancy. There was freedom that was unknown to Europeans as Hartz notes that, "millions of Europeans have fled to America to discover the freedom of Paine, there have been a few Americans, only a few of course, who have fled to Europe to discover the freedom of Burke" (336). This freedom was not only in political thought and social structure, but also economics. Free market economics demanded freedoms of political thought and this was not overlooked by Franklin. Franklin was more absorbed with the philosophy of economics than that of politics and was revered for the philosophy by which Poor Richard lived more than for the Almanac itself (Hartz 332). From this aspect America was a rugged Republicanism that was exclusionary by necessity. They were building a society with deliberate frugality.
The deliberate course of events created a free market republic, yet many economic sectors were dependent upon the oppression of slaves and women. Their freedoms, built into the constitution, would not be realized for centuries. Still, the free Republic was inevitable as Hartz writes, "When men have already inherited the freest society in the world, and are grateful for it, their thinking is bound to be of a solider type (324). This soldier mentality has been the impetus for the steady progress toward the building of the Republic as it was founded and it was intended.

3a.) James Madison's Political Thought

James Madison, one of the most influential founding fathers of the constitution, was a complicated political thinker whose enigma, has at times, been interpreted as inconsistent. Madison began his life born into wealth and privilege offering him a liberal education in one of America's finest universities. Madison was a man of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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