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The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It - Study Guide Chapter 1, The Founding Fathers: An Age of Realism Summary & Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 27 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It.
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Hofstadter begins his history of the American political tradition with the Founding Fathers. He is focused to consider not so much what happened during this period of time but on the ideas that shaped governance and policy. He begins by arguing that the Constitution was based on the Founders' particular conception of the person. They believed that most men were evil, self-interested and that they could not be changed, or at least not easily. The Constitution, in one way, was founded on experience, from the observations the Founders made about the prevalence of tyranny across the globe and history. Hofstadter argues that this attitude about human nature was largely ubiquitous among the Founders.

The Founders had a mixed attitude towards democracy, as well. Hofstadter notes that democratic ideas usually arise among...

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This section contains 700 words
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