« PreviousContinue »
This book seeks to bring together many of the most significant and succinct utterances of the statesmen and leaders who have occupied high place in American life or who have expressed in critical times the ideas and sentiments which other men have accepted as representing to some degree the essential political doctrines and principles of the people of the United States of America.
Many excellent source books have been published giving the chief national documents and the orations, debates, and writings which have sought to express these essential national doctrines and principles.
There appears, however, to be no small book which has distilled from this voluminous material many of the paragraphs and sentences which are most striking or appear most significant.
The present volume has been prepared to furnish some such distillate. It is an attempt to give, through the voices of some hundreds of Americans, the general political philosophy underlying all the external facts of American development, particularly the political philosophy underlying the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
The introductory material to this book will seek to show that the essential American political philosophy and tradition is a much less definite and much greater force than any combination of the ideas and formulas generally considered as constituting American ideals or as underlying American institutions.
It will not attempt to rephrase that philosophy and tradition in any new formulas.
It will, rather, attempt to study-in broad and sweeping summary : 1. The unique environmental conditions which affected the
early American mind, and the origin and development of some of the important characteristic political ideas or expressions of ideas accepted by the founders of the nation.
2. The contemporary (1925) criticism of these ideas or
expressions of ideas. 3. The degree to which the ideas, or their phrasing, found
enduring expression in the Declaration of Independence
and the Federal and State Constitutions. 4. The relation of the evolving folkways of the nation to
the characteristic ideas or the unformulated impulses associated with its gestation and birth.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Every effort has been made to ascertain the holders of the copyrights of the books from which material has been taken and to secure permission for the use of the quotations.
Thanks for the privilege of using copyrighted material are extended to the authors and publishers of the following books and magazine articles : For quotations in the Introduction: Frank J. Goodnow: "American Conceptions of Liberty
and Government,” Colver Lectures, Brown University. Albert J. Beveridge: “The Life of John Marshall,"
Houghton, Mifflin Company.
Page and Company.
tution of the United States," The Macmillan Company. Hannis Taylor : “The Origin and Growth of the English
Constitution,” Houghton, Mifflin Company.
Outlook Company and The Roosevelt Estate.
Page and Co.
Yale University Press.
permission of the Trustees of the Estate of Samuel L.
ers, Publishers, with full copyright reservation. Edwin Lawrence Godkin: “Problems of a Modern Democracy," Charles Scribner's Sons.
W. H. Taft: “Present Day Problems," Dodd, Mead anci
Company. Thomas M. Cooley: "Constitutional Limitations,” Little,
Brown & Company. Judge Ernest Crosby: "Freedom of Thought," North
American Review Co. Ernst Freund: "Police Power," Callaghan and Co. Lyman Abbott: “The Rights of Man,” Houghton, Mifflin
For quotations in the Notes:
The Crowell Publishing Co.
Macmillan Company. J. W. Burgess : “The Reconciliation of Government with
Liberty,” Charles Scribner's Sons. G. L. Scherger: “The Evolution of Modern Liberty,"
Longmans, Green and Co. Otto Gierke: "Political Theories of the Middle Ages,”
G. P. Putnam's Sons. G. Jellinek: “The Declaration of Rights of Man and Citi
zen,” Henry Holt and Company. C. J. H. Hayes: "A Political and Social History of Mod
ern Europe,” The Macmillan Company. James Truslow Adams: "Revolutionary New England,
1691-1776,” The Atlantic Monthly Press. R. V. Harlow: "Samuel Adams, Promoter of the Ameri
can Revolution,” Henry Holt and Company. George Bancroft: “History of the United States," D.
Appleton and Company. Alfred Korzybski : “The Manhood of Humanity,” E. P.
Dutton and Company. D. G. Ritchie : “Natural Rights,” The Macmillan Com
pany. J. K. Hart: "The Discovery of Intelligence,” The CenJames Bryce: "Studies in History and Jurisprudence,"
Oxford University Press. C. J. Keyser : “Mathematical Philosophy,” E. P. Dutton