By Johann N. Neem
The usa is a state of joiners. Ever given that Alexis de Tocqueville released his observations in Democracy in America, americans have well-known the individuality in their voluntary culture. In a piece of political, criminal, social, and highbrow background, concentrating on the grassroots activities of standard humans, Neem lines the origins of this venerable culture to the vexed beginnings of yankee democracy in Massachusetts.
Neem explores the a number of conflicts that produced a colourful pluralistic civil society following the yankee Revolution. the outcome was once an wonderful liberate of civic power as usual humans, lengthy denied a voice in public debates, equipped to suggest temperance, to guard the Sabbath, and to abolish slavery; elite americans shaped inner most associations to advertise schooling and their stewardship of tradition and data. yet skeptics remained. fans of Jefferson and Jackson nervous that the recent civil society could let the prepared few to trump the need of the unorganized majority. while Tocqueville again to France, the connection among American democracy and its new civil society was once faraway from settled.
The tale Neem tells is extra pertinent than ever―for american citizens enthusiastic about their very own civil society, and for these trying to construct civil societies in rising democracies round the world.
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Extra info for Creating a Nation of Joiners: Democracy and Civil Society in Early National Massachusetts (Harvard Historical Studies)
Despite their efforts, however, the 1780s and 1790s were not decades of social and political harmony. Political and religious divisions continued to threaten the Commonwealth. While Federalists supported those associations and institutions that served what they took to be the common good, they proved actively hostile to any association that weakened popular unity. The state proved capable of expanding the number and type of associations in civil society in order to promote communitarian republicanism.
The state proved capable of expanding the number and type of associations in civil society in order to promote communitarian republicanism. It would prove equally capable of limiting alternative civic aspirations in order to defend the ambitious new Commonwealth. 2 Fragmentation and Contestation Th e f r e e d om of a ss o c i at ion was not protected by the 1780 constitution under Article Six. According to Federalists, only the state could determine which associations and corporations to sanction because the state alone represented the community.
The conventions therefore could not speak for the people. A minority must not be allowed to endanger the common good. 22 Violence effectively de-legitimized the conventions. Massachusetts leaders did not recognize the right of citizens to bear arms against a legitimate republican government. As Alexander Hamilton would later 40 C r e at i ng a Nat ion of Joi n e r s put it when reﬂecting on the rebellion, “Where the whole power of the government is in the hands of the people, there is less pretense for the use of violent remedies in partial or occasional distempers of the State.
Creating a Nation of Joiners: Democracy and Civil Society in Early National Massachusetts (Harvard Historical Studies) by Johann N. Neem