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The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 36 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.
This section contains 798 words
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Themes

The Rise and Fall of Capitalism

One of the major themes of The American Political Tradition is the role that private property rights and capitalism play in American history. The book begins with a discussion of why the Founders preferred private property rights. They believed strongly in natural rights, the doctrine that strong property rights are part of transcendent moral reality, rather than human convention. However, they also defended property rights in a largely pre-industrial economy. Property was central for citizens to have a stake in maintaining their government and would lead to general prosperity. However, the Founders did not foresee that the growth of industry would generate some - in Hofstadter's mind - nasty consequences. Eventually, a tension developed in American political thought between those who thought that government should help the elite business classes and those who thought the government shouldn't be associated with the economy save...

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This section contains 798 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It Study Guide
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The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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