The book examines the origins and development of the modern liberal tradition and explores the relationship between republicanism and liberalism between 1750 and 1830. The authors consider the diverse settings of Scotland, the American colonies, the new United States, and France and examine the writings of six leading thinkers of this period: Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson, James Madison, Thomas Paine, Germaine de Stael, and Benjamin Constant. The book traces the process by which these thinkers transformed and advanced the republican project, both from within and by introducing new elements from without. Without compromising civic principles or abandoning republican language, they came to see that unrevised, the republican tradition could not grapple successfully with the political problems of their time. By investing new meanings, arguments, and justifications into existing republican ideas and political forms, these innovators fashioned a doctrine for a modern republic, the core of which was surprisingly liberal.
Ira Katznelson is Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University. His most recent books are When Affirmative Action Was White (2005) and Desolation and Enlightenment: Political Knowledge After Total War, Totalitarianism, and the Holocaust (2003), which received the David and Helene Spitz Prize and the David Easton Award. Andreas Kalyvas is Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics at The New School for Social Research and the Eugene Lang College for Liberal Arts. He is the recipient of the 2002 Leo Strauss Award for the best doctoral dissertation in the field of political philosophy and the author of Democracy and the Politics of the Extraordinary: Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, Hannah Arendt (2008).
1. Beginnings; 2. The rhetoric of the market: Adam Smith on recognition, speech, and exchange; 3. Adam Ferguson's agonistic liberalism: modern commercial society and the limits of classical republicanism; 4. After the king: Thomas Paine's and James Madison's institutional liberalism; 5. Embracing liberalism: Germaine de Stael's farewell to republicanism; 6. On the liberty of the moderns: Benjamin Constant and the discovery of an immanent liberalism; 7. After republicanism: a coda.