Cover image for The unvarnished doctrine Locke, liberalism, and the American Revolution
The unvarnished doctrine Locke, liberalism, and the American Revolution
Dworetz, Steven M., 1947-
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Publication Information:
Durham : Duke University Press, 1990.
Physical Description:
x, 247 p. ; 24 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
The Historiographic Revolution: The Rise of "Cato" and the Decline of Locke in American Revolutionary Thought -- A Discourse on Method -- The Lockean Response to British "Innovations" Historiography and the Interpretation of Political Theory -- Theistic Liberalism in the Teaching of the New England Clergy -- History, Myth, and the Secular Salvation of American Liberalism.
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eBook ER213435 JC153 .L87 D86 1990 Electronic Resources

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In The Unvarnished Doctrine , Steven M. Dworetz addresses two critical issues in contemporary thinking on the American Revolution--the ideological character of this event, and, more specifically, the relevance of "America's Philosopher, the Great Mr. Locke," in this experience. Recent interpretations of the American revolution, particularly those of Bailyn and Pocock, have incorporated an understanding of Locke as the moral apologist of unlimited accumulation and the original ideological crusader for the "spirit of capitalism," a view based largely on the work of theorists Leo Strauss and C. B. Macpherson. Drawing on an examination of sermons and tracts of the New England clergy, Dworetz argues that the colonists themselves did not hold this conception of Locke. Moreover, these ministers found an affinity with the principles of Locke's theistic liberalism and derived a moral justification for revolution from those principles. The connection between Locke and colonial clergy, Dworetz maintains, constitutes a significant, radicalizing force in American revolutionary thought.