Natural rights and imperial constitutionalism: The american revolution and the development of the american amalgam
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Social Philosophy and Policy 22 (1):27-55 (2005)
Robert Nozick worked in a Lockean tradition of political philosophy, a tradition with deep resonance in the American political culture. This paper attempts to explore the formative moments of that culture and at the same time to clarify the role of Lockean philosophy in the American Revolution. One of the currently dominant approaches to the revolution emphasizes the colonists' commitments to their rights, but identifies the relevant rights as “the rights of Englishmen,” not natural rights in the Lockean mode. This approach misses, however, the way the Americans construed their positive or constitutional rights in the light of a Lockean background theory. In a word, the Americans recreated an amalgam of traditional constitutional principles and Lockean philosophy, an amalgam that nearly guaranteed that they and the British would speak past each other. The ambiguities and uncertainties of the British constitution as extended to the colonies provided an incentive to the Americans (but not the British) to look to Locke as a guide to their rights, thereby helping win a place for Lockean theory in American political thinking.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Richard J. Arneson (2005). The Shape of Lockean Rights: Fairness, Pareto, Moderation, and Consent. Social Philosophy and Policy 22 (1):255-285.
Daniel Moseley (2011). A Lockean Argument for Basic Income. Basic Income Studies 6 (2):11.
Ellen Frankel Paul, Fred Dycus Miller & Jeffrey Paul (eds.) (2005). Natural Rights Liberalism From Locke to Nozick. Cambridge University Press.
John Witte Jr, Rights, Resistance, and Revolution: The Protestant Foundations of Rights and Revolution.
Ville Päivänsalo (2010). Purposes of Social Contracts : Hobbesian Laws, Lockean Rights, and Rawlsian Ideas. In Virpi Mäkinen (ed.), The Nature of Rights: Moral and Political Aspects of Rights in Late Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy. The Philosophical Society of Finland.
Terrance McConnell (1984). The Nature and Basis of Inalienable Rights. Law and Philosophy 3 (1):25 - 59.
John Hasnas (2005). Toward a Theory of Empirical Natural Rights. Social Philosophy and Policy 22 (1):111-147.
Anthony Pagden (2003). Human Rights, Natural Rights, and Europe's Imperial Legacy. Political Theory 31 (2):171-199.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads31 ( #155,090 of 1,925,272 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #418,236 of 1,925,272 )
How can I increase my downloads?