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The American Republic: Its Constitution, Tendencies, and Destiny
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The American Republic: Its Constitution, Tendencies, and Destiny

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  45 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Orestes Brownson's The American Republic was first published in 1865. The nation had just survived a Civil War that threatened to destroy the very life of a country less than one hundred years old. In this magisterial work, Brownson emerges as a political realist as well as a theorist. With brilliant and sobering thought Brownson presents his views on the nature, necessity ...more
Hardcover, 279 pages
Published November 1st 2002 by Intercollegiate Studies Institute (first published January 1st 1972)
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Coyle
Jul 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
A surprisingly thoughtful and theoretical approach to politics, given that it's written by one of us Americans :)
Brownson discusses America in the context of:
1) what a "nation" is
2) what a "constitution" is, both written and unwritten
3) the relationship between the individual and the nation
4) the relationship between the states and the federal government
5) the place of God in thinking about politics.

Some quotes from the book:
-"Church and state, as governments, are separate indeed, but the princi
...more
Kenneth
May 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Orestes Brownson in his classic political essay on the origin, constitution or nature of government, lays out a general framework to interpret debates over sovereignty or secession.

Living in the north, Orestes came from a modest background. He went through various religious transitions from Unitarian to Presbyterian to Transcendentalist then finally to the Roman Catholic Church where he stayed. He wrote profusely on nearly every subject.

The American Republic is a brilliant book that clearly def
...more
Jeff Miller
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really a very interesting book. This book which was published after the Civil War is far more ranging than just discussing the American Republic. The first half or so of the book discusses the nature of government and it's authority. It takes a historical look at the subject and views it from multiple angles include as seen by the natural law and by theology. The last half of the book takes on what was certainly the subject of the time regarding whether the individual states were sovereign. His ...more
Naomi
Jan 02, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: democracy
Disappointing. I had read that Brownson was a constitutional conservative, and wondered exactly what that meant. He reveals himself in finding theological doctrines expressed through the form and constitution of the republic.
Trenton
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The introduction by Peter Lawler is worth the price of the book.
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Orestes Augustus Brownson was an American intellectual, preacher, labor organizer and writer.
He was the father of Henry Francis Brownson.
“But American statesmen have studied the constitutions of other states more than that of their own, and have succeeded in obscuring the American system in the minds of the people, and giving them in its place pure and simple democracy, which is its false development or corruption. Under the influence of this false development, the people were fast losing sight of the political truth that, though the people are sovereign, it is the organic, not the inorganic people, the territorial people, not the people as simple population, and were beginning to assert the absolute God-given right of the majority to govern. All the changes made in the bosom of the States themselves have consisted in removing all obstacles to the irresponsible will of the majority, leaving minorities and individuals at their mercy. This tendency to a centralized democracy had more to do with provoking secession and rebellion than the anti-slavery sentiments of the Northern, Central, and Western States.” 1 likes
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