In this study of early modern political thought, Bruce Smith traces the origin of modern democracy to Machiavelli. Offering careful readings of Machiavelli's most important political writings, Smith shows that Machiavelli's analysis of the human sentiment of injustice provides the theoretical basis for the participation of ordinary people in political life and rule. Also including chapters on Hobbes and Locke, the book shows how these two modern theorists responded to Machiavelli by contesting and modifying his republican politics to lay the groundwork for the emergence of the democracies of the modern era. Smith sheds new light on not only the influence of Machiavelli but also the character of our democracy, our democratic institutions, and even contemporary populism.
Bruce J. Smith is the Arthur E. Braun Professor of Political Science at Allegheny College.
Abbreviations Acknowledgments Introduction Niccolo Machiavelli and the Discovery of the People Thomas Hobbes and the Fear of the Seditious Mind John Locke and the Right of Resistance Conclusion: Self-Respect and Ordinary People