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Political History

2010

Algernon Sidney

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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

The Republican-Liberal Continuum: De-Polarizing The Historiographical Debate, Katrina Loulousis Combs Aug 2010

The Republican-Liberal Continuum: De-Polarizing The Historiographical Debate, Katrina Loulousis Combs

M.A. in Philosophy of History Theses

The historiography of the American Revolution and the Early National Period remains a polarized debate. Historians attribute either classical Whig republican ideology or classical liberal ideology to influencing those periods. However, republicanism and liberalism exist along a philosophical and practical continuum. Because Louis Hartz attributed American liberalism exclusively to John Locke, I first examine Locke’s relationship to Algernon Sidney, observing similarities between these exemplars of liberalism and republicanism. Next I examine the confluence of Thomas Reid’s commonsense moral philosophy (via John Witherspoon) and republicanism, particularly concerning views on man and moral liberty. These commonalities are further demonstrated in ...