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Democratic VistasReflections on the Life of American Democracy$
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Jedediah Purdy, Anthony Kronman, and Cynthia Farrar

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780300102567

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300102567.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 28 November 2021

Public Emblem, Private Realm: Family and Polity in the United States

Public Emblem, Private Realm: Family and Polity in the United States

Chapter:
(p.53) 3 Public Emblem, Private Realm: Family and Polity in the United States
Source:
Democratic Vistas
Author(s):

Nancy F. Cott

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300102567.003.0004

This chapter discusses how conceptions of family have figured centrally in the history of thinking about American representative government. Although common wisdom roots American democracy conceptually in individualism, with a political genealogy indebted to the social contract theory of John Locke and his fellow liberals, there is at least equal evidence for a political genealogy leading from Montesquieu and the Scottish moralists to root American representative government in a family unit based on monogamous marriage.

Keywords:   family, American representative government, democracy, monogamous marriage, Montesquieu, Scottish moralists

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