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The Mythic Meanings of the Second AmendmentTaming Political Violence in a Constitutional Republic$
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David C. Williams

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300095623

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300095623.001.0001

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The Background of the Framers' Thinking

The Background of the Framers' Thinking

(p.21) 1 The Background of the Framers' Thinking
The Mythic Meanings of the Second Amendment

David C. Williams

Yale University Press

This chapter explores the doctrine of revolution according to the traditions of classical liberalism and civic republicanism, arguing that America was born out of the principles of classical liberalism, made apparent by its emphasis on individual rights and self-determination. On the other hand, America was also born out of the principles of civic republicanism: it emphasizes the significance of virtue and the common good. These two principles swirl around each other, playing around in the minds of political thinkers, as they were always invoked in the great debates among scholars in the last half of the previous century. Some thinkers reconcile these two principles by making a hybrid ideology called liberal republicanism, which focuses both on individual rights and the common good.

Keywords:   classical liberalism, civic republicanism, liberal republicanism, hybrid ideology, America

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