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David Humphreys was aide-de-camp to Washington during the American Revolution. His Life of Israel Putnam, originally published in 1788, has rightly been described as “the first biography of an American written by an American.” It is, as William C. Dowling observes, “a classic of revolutionary writing, very readable and immensely interesting in what it says about the temper of the new republic in the period immediately after the American Revolution.” The subject—General Israel Putnam—is remembered to history and legend as exclaiming: “Don’t fire ’til you see the whites of their eyes!” to American soldiers at the Battle of Bunker Hill. As Professor Dowling notes, “All the episodes are retold—Bunker Hill, the Battle of White Plains, the crossing of the Delaware, the Battle of Princeton—but from the perspective of one who was there throughout, and who always permits us to see Putnam as the sort of character by whom history is, in the last analysis, made.” Humphreys wrote the biography when formation of the Society of the Cincinnati, composed of men who were officers in the Revolution, “focused debate in the new republic about the competing claims of individual liberty and the good of the community.”
William C. Dowling is a Professor of English at Rutgers University
This edition contains the thirty-nine essays included in Essays, Moral, and Literary, that made up Volume I of the 1777 posthumous Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects. It also includes ten essays that were withdrawn or left unpublished by Hume for various reasons. The two most important were deemed too controversial for the religious climate of his time.
This revised edition reflects changes based on further comparisons with eighteenth-century texts and an extensive reworking of the index.
Eugene F. Miller was Professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia from 1967 until his retirement in 2003.
The essays selected here for translation derive largely from Thomasius’s work on Staatskirchenrecht, or the political jurisprudence of church law. These works, originating as disputations, theses, and pamphlets, were direct interventions in the unresolved issue of the political role of religion in Brandenburg-Prussia, a state in which a Calvinist dynasty ruled over a largely Lutheran population and nobility as well as a significant Catholic minority. In mandating limited religious toleration within the German states, the provisions of the Peace of Westphalia (1648) also provided the rulers of Brandenburg-Prussia with a way of keeping the powerful Lutheran church in check by guaranteeing a degree of religious freedom to non-Lutherans and thereby detaching the state from the most powerful territorial church. Thomasius’s writings on church-state relations, many of them critical of the civil claims made by Lutheran theologians, are a direct response to this state of affairs. At the same time, owing to the depth of intellectual resources at his disposal, these works constitute a major contribution to the broader discussion of the relation between the religious and political spheres.
Christian Thomasius (1655–1728) was a German philosopher and legal theorist. He was a cofounder of the University of Halle, where he was also a professor.
Ian Hunter is Australian Professorial Fellow in the Centre for the History of European Discourses, University of Queensland.
Frank Grunert is a member of the Institute for Philosophy at the University of Giessen.
Thomas Ahnert is a Lecturer in History at the University of Edinburgh.
Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History at the University of Sussex, England.
Henry Home, Lord Kames (1696–1782), one of the leaders of the Scottish Enlightenment, was a judge in the supreme courts of Scotland and wrote extensively on morals, religion, education, aesthetics, history, political economy, and law, including natural law. His most distinctive contribution came through his works on the nature of law, where he sought to combine a philosophical approach with an empirical history of legal evolution.
Mary Catherine Moran taught in the Department of History at Columbia University.
Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History and Director of the Centre for Intellectual History at the University of Sussex, England.
Or, The Right Constitution of a Commonwealth
The Gideon Edition
The Federalist, by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, constitutes a text central to the American political tradition. Published in newspapers in 1787 and 1788 to explain and promote ratification of the proposed Constitution for the United States, which up to then were bound by the Articles of Confederation, The Federalist remains today of singular importance to students of liberty around the world.
The new Liberty Fund edition presents the text of the Gideon edition of The Federalist, published in 1818, which includes the preface to the text by Jacob Gideon as well as the responses and corrections prepared by Madison to the McLean edition of 1810. The McLean edition had presented the Federalist texts as corrected by Hamilton and Jay but not reviewed by Madison.
The Liberty Fund Federalist also includes a new introduction, a Reader’s Guide outliningsection by sectionthe arguments of The Federalist, a glossary, and ten appendixes, including the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Virginia Resolution Proposing the Annapolis Convention, and other key documents leading up to the transmission of the Constitution to the governors of the several states. Finally, the Constitution of the United States and Amendments is given, with marginal cross-references to the pertinent passages in The Federalist that address, argue for, or comment upon the specific term, phrase, section, or article of the Constitution.
Alexander Hamilton (1755–1804) was secretary and aide-de-camp to Washington in 1777–81, a member of the Continental Congress in 1782–83 and 1787–88, a representative from New York to the Annapolis Convention in 1786 and to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, first U. S. secretary of the treasury in 1789–95, and inspector general of the army, with the rank of major general, from 1798 to 1800. His efforts to defeat Aaron Burr for the presidency in 1800-01 and for the governorship of New York in 1804 led to his fatal duel with Burr.
John Jay (1745–1829) was a member of the Continental Congress in 1774 through 1779 and its president in 1778–79, drafter of New York’s first constitution in 1777, chief justice of the New York supreme court from 1777 to 1778, U. S. minister to Spain in 1779, a member of the commission to negotiate peace with Great Britain in Paris in 1787, U. S. secretary of foreign affairs from 1784 to 1789, Chief Justice of the United States from 1789 to 1795, and governor of New York from 1795 to 1801.
James Madison (1751–1836) was a member of the Virginia legislature in 1776–80 and 1784–86, of the Continental Congress in 1780–83, and of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, where he earned the title “father of the U. S. Constitution.” He was a member of the U. S. House of Representatives from 1789 to 1797, where he was a sponsor of the Bill of Rights and an opponent of Hamilton’s financial measures. He was the author of the Virginia Resolutions of 1798 in opposition to the U. S. alien and sedition laws. He was U. S. secretary of state in 1801–09, President of the U. S. in 1809–17, and rector of the University of Virginia, 1826–36.
George W. Carey is a professor of government at Georgetown University and the editor of several works on American government. He is the author of In Defense of the Constitution, published by Liberty Fund.
James McClellan (1937-2005) was James Bryce Visiting Fellow in American Studies at the Institute of United States Studies, University of London, and the author of Liberty, Order, and Justic
Hugo Grotius is one of the most important thinkers in the early-modern period. A great humanistic polymath—lawyer and legal theorist, diplomat and political philosopher, ecumenical activist and theologian—his work was seminal for modern natural law and influenced the moral, political, legal, and theological thought of the Enlightenment, from Hobbes, Pufendorf, and Locke to Rousseau and Kant, as well as America’s Founding leaders.David Armitage is the Lloyd C. Blankfein Professor of History at Harvard University. He is the author of The Ideological Origins of the British Empire and The Declaration of Independence: A Global History; the editor of Theories of Empire, 1450–1800; and the co-editor of The British Atlantic World, 1500–1800,Shakespeare and Early Modern Political Thought, and The Age of Revolutions in Global Context, c. 1760–1840.
Richard Hakluyt (d. 1616) was a geographer, editor, and translator of travel literature. Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History and Director of the Centre for Intellectual History at the University of Sussex, England.
Those who value individual freedom should reassess the place of the individual within the legal system as a whole. It is no longer a question of defending this or that particular freedom. . . . It is a question of deciding whether individual freedom is compatible in principle with the present system centered on . . . legislation.
—Bruno Leoni, from the introduction
The greatest obstacle to rule of law in our time, contends the author of this thought-provoking work, is the problem of overlegislation. In modern democratic societies, legislative bodies are increasingly usurping functions that were and should be exercised by individuals or groups rather than government. The result is an unwieldy surfeit of laws and regulations that by their sheer volume stifle individual freedom.
Bruno Leoni (1913–1967) was an attorney and Professor of Legal Theory and the Theory of the State at the University of Pavia, Italy.
Arthur Kemp is Professor Emeritus of Economics, at Claremont McKenna College.
In his famous Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), Edmund Burke excoriated French revolutionary leaders for recklessly destroying France's venerable institutions and way of life. But his war against the French intelligentsia did not end there, and Burke continued to take pen in hand against the Jacobins until his death in 1797.
This new collection brings together for the first time Burke's most important essays and letters on the French Revolution. There are seven items in the collection. Taken together, they anticipate, refine, and embellish Burke's Reflections. Included are Burke's "Letter to a Member of the National Assembly," in which he assails Jean Jacques Rousseau, the patron saint of the French Revolution; Burke's "Appeal from the New to the Old Whigs," in which he presents his classic defense of the Glorious Revolution of 1688; and his "A Letter to a Noble Lord," in which he defends his life and career against his detractors and, according to John Morley, writes "the most splendid repartee in the English language."
A foreword and headnotes to each selection point the reader to some of the key issues.
Daniel E. Ritchie is Professor of English Literature at Bethel College.