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American Political Thought

American Political Thought

Seventh Edition
Edited by:

August 2014 | 912 pages | CQ Press
President Obama's hope of bringing a new kind of politics to Washington has fallen on hard times, with hardening party lines reflecting ideological polarization. Utilizing the organizing theme of partisan gridlock in the seventh edition's introductory materials and author headnotes, editor Michael Cummings reminds readers that partisanship has long been a recurring problem for Americans, dating back to the deadly conflicts among the Iroquois nations, to the debates of the constitutional convention, and to the near destruction of the young republic during the Civil War. American Political Thought challenges students to examine their own political thinking in light of insights from past thinkers and in terms of the challenges they face as citizens of the twenty-first century. Along with time-tested readings, about one-third of this edition's authors are new, including a number of thinkers from earlier periods, as well as more recent selections from liberal, conservative, and more unconventional thinkers.
Introduction: American Political Thought*
Part I: A Revolutionary Experiment: 1620–1800*
1. John Winthrop
The Little Speech (1639)

2. Roger Williams
The Bloody Tenet of Persecution for Cause of Conscience (1644)

The Bloody Tenet of Persecution, Made Yet More Bloody (1652)

3. John Wise
“Democracy Is Founded in Scripture” (1717)

4. Jonathan Mayhew*
“A Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to the Higher Powers” (1750)*

5. Benjamin Franklin
0bservations Concerning the Increase of Mankind, the Peopling of Countries, etc. (1751)

Excerpts from the Great Law of Peace of the Iroquois Nations (n.d.)

Short Hints towards a Scheme for Uniting the Northern Colonies (1754)

The Albany Plan of Union (1754)

6. Samuel Adams
“The Rights of the Colonists” (1772)

7. Benjamin Rush
“An Address to the Inhabitants of the British Settlements in America, Upon Slave-Keeping” (1773)

“Paradise of Negro Slaves—A Dream” (1798)

8. Thomas Paine
Common Sense (1776)

The American Crisis I (1777)

Rights of Man—Part One (1791)

9. The Declaration of Independence
The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America (1776)

10. The Articles of Confederation
Articles of Confederation (ratified 1781)

11. John Adams
“Thoughts on Government” (1776)

“A Defense of the Constitutions of the United States” (1787)

Correspondence with Abigail Adams (1776)

12. The Constitution
The Constitution of the United States of America (1787)

13. In Favor of Adoption of the Constitution
James Madison’s Federalist Essays (1787–1788)

Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Essays (1787–1788)

14. Against Adoption of the Constitution
Dissent of the Pennsylvania Minority (1787)

Letter from Samuel Adams to Richard Henry Lee (1787)

Richard Henry Lee’s Letters from the Federal Farmer (1787)

15. Alexander Hamilton’s Program
Report on Credit (1790)

Opinion on the Constitutionality of the Bank (1791)

Report on Manufactures (1791)

16. Thomas Jefferson: Principles and Program
Notes on Virginia (1785)

Madison’s Report to the Virginia General Assembly (1800)

First Inaugural Address (1801)

Selected Letters (1787–1823)

17. George Washington
Farewell Address (1796)

Part II: Development and Democracy: 1800–1865*
18. John Marshall
Marbury v. Madison (1803)

McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)

19. Frances Wright*
“On Existing Evils, and Their Remedy” (1829)*

20. William Lloyd Garrison
Declaration of Sentiments of the American Anti-Slavery Society (1833)

21. Angelina Grimke Weld*
Speech at Pennsylvania Hall (1838)*

22. Orestes Brownson
“The Laboring Classes” (1840)

23. Jane McManus Storm Cazneau (“Cora Montgomery”)
Annexation (1845)

24. Henry David Thoreau
“Civil Disobedience” (1848)

25. Elizabeth Cady Stanton
“Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions” (1848)

Address to the New York State Legislature (1860)

26. Frederick Douglass*
Speech at the Anti-Slavery Association (1848)

“What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” (1852)*

“The Various Phases of Anti-Slavery” (1855)

27. John C. Calhoun
A Disquisition on Government (1848)

28. Sojourner Truth*
“Ain’t I a Woman” and other speeches (1851-1881)*

29. George Fitzhugh
Cannibals All! (1857)

30. Abraham Lincoln
Lyceum Address (1838)*

Speech on the Dred Scott Decision (1857)

Letter to Boston Republicans (1859)

Cooper Union Address (1860)

First Inaugural Address (1861)

Second Annual Message to Congress (1862)

The Gettysburg Address (1863)

The Emancipation Proclamation (1863)*

Second Inaugural Address (1865)

Part III: Reconstruction and Industrialization: 1865–1900*
31. The Civil War Constitutional Amendments and the Failure of the “Sixteenth” Amendment
The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments (1865–1870)

Excerpts from The Revolution (1869)

Debates at Meetings of the Equal Rights Association (1869)

Susan B. Anthony’s Statement at the Close of Her Trial (1873)

Susan B. Anthony’s Petition to Congress for Remission of Her Fine (1874)

32. Henry George*
Progress and Poverty (1879)*

33. William Graham Sumner
What Social Classes Owe to Each Other (1884)

“The Conquest of the United States by Spain” (1899)

34. Edward Bellamy*
Looking Backward (1888)*

35. Andrew Carnegie
“Wealth” (1889)

36. Populism
The Ocala Demands (1890)

The Populist Party Platform (1892)

37. Robert Ingersoll
A Christmas Sermon (1891)

Superstition (1887)

Has Free Thought a Constructive Side? (1890)

Centennial Oration (1876)

God in the Constitution (1890)

The Liberty of Man, Woman, and Child (1877)

On Lent (1881)

Why I Am an Agnostic (1896)

On Science and Reason (n.d.)

On Happiness as the Only Good (1882)

38. Henry Demarest Lloyd
“Revolution: The Evolution of Socialism” (1894)

39. Ambrose Bierce
The Devil’s Dictionary (Selections) (1911)

40. Mark Twain
The War Prayer (1923 [1904–1905])

41. Black Elk/John G. Neihardt
Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux (1932)

Part IV: The Rise of the Positive State: 1900–1945*
42. W.E.B. Du Bois
The Souls of Black Folk (1903)

43. Emma Goldman
“Anarchism: What It Really Stands For” (1907)

“The Tragedy of Woman’s Emancipation” (1910)

44. Eugene V. Debs
“Revolutionary Unionism” (1905)

Speech to the Jury (1918)

45. Herbert Croly
The Promise of American Life (1909)

46. Theodore Roosevelt*
New Nationalism Speech (1910)*

47. Progressivism
The Progressive Party Platform (1912)

Article V of the Colorado State Constitution, as Amended (1910)

The Progressive Era Constitutional Amendments, Sixteen through Twenty-One (1913–1933)

48. Frederick W. Taylor
The Nature of Scientific Management (1912)

49. Woodrow Wilson
“The Meaning of Democracy” (1912)

50. Randolph Bourne*
Youth and Life (1913)*

51. John Dewey
The Public and Its Problems (1927)

52. Zora Hurston*
“What It Feels Like to Be Colored Me” (1928)*

53. Franklin D. Roosevelt
The Commonwealth Club Address (1932)

Campaign Address (1936)

An Economic Bill of Rights (1944)

54. Henry A. Wallace*
Radio Address “The Cotton Plow-Up” (1933)*

55. Langston Hughes
“A New Song” (1938)

“Let America Be America Again” (1938)

“Harlem, or Dream Deferred” (1951)

Part V: Liberalism in the Post-War Period: 1945–1980*
56. Walter Lippman*
The Public Philosophy (1955)*

57. Robert Dahl*
A Preface to Democratic Theory (1956)*

58. Dwight D. Eisenhower*
Farewell Address (1961)*

59. John F. Kennedy
Inaugural Address (1961)

60. Milton Friedman and Rose Friedman*
Capitalism and Freedom (1962)*

61. Ayn Rand*
The Virtue of Selfishness (1962)*

62. Martin Luther King Jr.
Letter from the Birmingham City Jail (1963)

63. Young Americans for Freedom*
Sharon Statement (1960)*

64. Students for a Democratic Society
The Port Huron Statement (1962)

65. Lyndon B. Johnson*
Great Society Speech (1964)*

66. Ronald Reagan*
A Time for Choosing (1964)*

67. Aldo Leopold
A Sand County Almanac (1966 [1949])

68. Betty Friedan
Our Revolution Is Unique (1968)

69. La Alianza Federal de Mercedes
Reies Tijerina, the Alianza, and the Land-Grant Struggles in the Southwest (1972)

70. John Rawls*
Justice as Fairness: Political not Metaphysical (1985 [1971])*

71. Christopher Lasch
The Culture of Narcissism (1979)

Women and the Common Life (1997)

72. Theodore Lowi*
The End of Liberalism: The Second Republic of the United States (1979)*

73. Summary of an Era: Amendments Ratified and Not Ratified
Articles of Amendment Ratified

Articles of Amendment Not Ratified

Part VI: The Triumph of Neoconservatism: 1980–2006*
74. Irving Kristol*
Two Cheers for Capitalism (1978 [1970]):“When Virtue Loses All Its Loveliness”*

75. Ronald Reagan
First Inaugural Address (1981)

State of the Union Address (1984)

76. George Will*
Statecraft as Soulcraft (1983)*

77. National Conference of Catholic Bishops
Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy (1986)

78. Glenn C. Loury
“Achieving the ‘Dream’: A Challenge to Liberals and Conservatives in the Spirit of Martin Luther King Jr.” (1990)

79. Paul Wolfowitz
“U.S. Strategy Plan Calls for Insuring No Rivals Develop” (1992) [New York Times article by Patrick Tyler summarizing the Wolfowitz Doctrine]

80. Patrick J. Buchanan
Where the Right Went Wrong: How Neoconservatives Subverted the Reagan Revolution and Hijacked the Bush Presidency (2004)

81. Winona LaDuke
All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life (1999)

82. Rudolfo A. Anaya
Elegy on the Death of César Chávez (2000)

83. George W. Bush
The National Security Strategy of the United States of America (2006)

Part VII: Voices of the Twenty-First Century*
84. bell hooks*
Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics (2000)*

85. Americans with Disabilities Act (1990, 2009)*
Excerpts from, commentary on, and extensions of the A.D.A. by Catherine Kudlick (2003), Lloyd Burton (2013), and Claudia Folska (2013)*

86. International Institute for Restorative Practices*
From Restorative Justice to Restorative Practices: Expanding the Paradigm (2004)*

Restorative Justice Practices in Every Classroom (2013)*

87. Andrew J. Bacevich*
“Appetite for Destruction: Never Have So Many Shoppers Owed So Much…” (2008)

88. Presidential Candidate Barack Obama*
Speech on Race: A More Perfect Union (2008)*

89. Rand Paul (with Jack Hunter)*
The Tea Party Goes to Washington (2011)*

90. Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger*
Me to We (2011)*

91. U.S. Catholic Nuns vs. the Vatican *
Pat Farrell, OSF: “Navigating the Shifts,” presidential address to the 2012 Leadership Conference of Women Religious” (2012) and Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious” (2012)*

92. Bill Drayton*
Interview with Forbes Magazine: “Ashoka Chairman Bill Drayton on the Power of Social Entrepreneurship” (2012)*

93. Glenn Morris*
“U.S. Indigenous Political Thought for the Twenty-First Century” (2013)*

94. President Barack Obama, Al Gore, and the Heritage Foundation on Climate Change*
Obama Speech on Climate Change; Gore response; Heritage response (2013)*

95. National Coalition for LGBT Health*
“Guiding Principles for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Inclusion in Health Care” (2013)*

96. Richard Blanco*
Inaugural Poem “One Today” (2013)*


“Overall, the book is excellent. It is well organized and quite inclusive.”

Neal Wise
St. Edward’s University

“Overall, the selections in American Political Thought really help to bring these debates alive in my classes. It helps my students understand where we are coming from and where we are going as a nation. In particular, the effort over the last few editions to bring in more diversity of political thought has been really beneficial.”

Brian Russell
Tennessee State University

“This is a great book to introduce students to a wide selection of American political theorists. The organization of the book is excellent—I can assign readings based on themes or times in American history, allowing me to make connections between theories/theorists and current events or policies that students can relate to.”

Paul Hathaway
Jacksonville State University

American Political Thought offers a good selection of writings. The editor’s introductions set up the readings very well.”

Charles S. Matzke, Michigan State University
Charles S. Matzke, Michigan State University

“It’s an outstanding resource of primary texts for students to become acquainted with. I think the introductory material is just right—not too much, but enough information to give students a framework within which to assess what they read.”

Marie A. Eisenstein, Indiana University Northwest
Marie A. Eisenstein, Indiana University Northwest

Sample Materials & Chapters

Part 1

Part 7

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781483307718