Reading the Early Republic (review)

Reading the Early Republic (review) JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Summer 2005) ton relative to Jefferson and Madison recall many of its features. Readers who are versed in the realist critique of Jeffersonian policymaking, from Robert W. Tucker and David Hendrickson in the early 1990s all the way back to Henry Adams a century earlier, will find much that is familiar in Smith's judgments. At a couple of points, he even refers to a ``whig republican realpolitik'' (103). Smith runs into some of the same problems as other writers on early republic ideology. His categories feel somewhat artificial. Individuals and policies often seem to have been shoehorned into their respective places largely for the sake of the argument. I find it hard to imagine his subjects recognizing their thinking or their policies in his terms. ``Republicanism'' itself, moreover, becomes so capacious in Smith's hands that it comes to include things that might be better understood on their own terms. Its meaning is diluted; the distinct characteristics of the concepts that are subsumed within it are lost. Certainly, much of what Smith sees as influences upon early American foreign policy--ancient, English, and colonial history, the nation's geographic situation, and the experiences of the Revolution http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
ISSN
1553-0620
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Summer 2005) ton relative to Jefferson and Madison recall many of its features. Readers who are versed in the realist critique of Jeffersonian policymaking, from Robert W. Tucker and David Hendrickson in the early 1990s all the way back to Henry Adams a century earlier, will find much that is familiar in Smith's judgments. At a couple of points, he even refers to a ``whig republican realpolitik'' (103). Smith runs into some of the same problems as other writers on early republic ideology. His categories feel somewhat artificial. Individuals and policies often seem to have been shoehorned into their respective places largely for the sake of the argument. I find it hard to imagine his subjects recognizing their thinking or their policies in his terms. ``Republicanism'' itself, moreover, becomes so capacious in Smith's hands that it comes to include things that might be better understood on their own terms. Its meaning is diluted; the distinct characteristics of the concepts that are subsumed within it are lost. Certainly, much of what Smith sees as influences upon early American foreign policy--ancient, English, and colonial history, the nation's geographic situation, and the experiences of the Revolution

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Jun 13, 2005

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