Writing Archives

June 09, 2004

Lenner - Federal Principle

Andrew Lenner, The Federal Principle in American Politics, 1790-1833

I turned every page on Monday, so I guess I read the book (I did skim some.)

Lenner is a bright guy working with a relatively defined body of material and coming up with some clever insights about it. He examines the Federal Principle, and especially the role of Natural Law and the Law of Nations, in American politics from the 1790s through Nullification. In many ways this is a sequel to Jack Greene's Peripheries and Center, although Lenner is more interested in the working of dual sovereignty while Green told the story of how dual sov. was invented.

Lenner reminded me of the importance that Natural Law and the Law of Nations held for the founders, I might blog on that on the main blog later this week.

Posted by Red Ted at 08:53 AM | Comments (0)

May 12, 2004

Hirrel - Ideology of Antebellum Reform

Leo Hirrell, Ideology of Antebellum Reform Ph.D. dissertation, 1989

Hirrell's book has also been published as Children of Wrath but for my stuff I find the raw data in his dissertation more useful.

Re-read this to see if he discussed changing notions of Providence within new School Presbyterians in the 1830s. He did not, but rather focuses on the New School's focus on the self-evident nature of truth, the way that truth exists outside of a knower, and the hope that exposure to this truth will produce an immediate and effective change in people's hearts and actions.

It did not, or rather the truths they presented were not as inherently compelling as they wished, and so the New School became sad and discouraged.

Posted by Red Ted at 10:17 AM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2004

Story - Joseph Story

William W. Story [ed] Life and Letters of Joseph Story (New York: Books for Libraries Press, 1971), 2 vol. Orig pub 1851.

Most major political and religious leaders of the nineteenth century had their deaths followed by a volume of life and letters, commonly edited by a son or grandson. It was an act of fileopietism to create one of these volumes, and historians are very glad of that impulse.

William Story here combined the narrative of an autobiography written by his father with extracts from Joseph Story's letters, letters about Joseph story from his contemporaries, and comments on some of the more significant cases. It is a big book - each volume is some 575 pages - and luckily I was able to gut it, skimming for content and only commonplacing a few pages of notes.

More Joseph Story, some useful quotes including some letters on Christianity and the Common Law.

Now I get to think about how exactly I want to use Story in chapters two and three.

Posted by Red Ted at 03:37 PM | Comments (0)

Newmyer - Joseph Story

R. Kent Newmyer, Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story: Statesman of the Old Republic (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1985)

More Joseph Story. Newmyer emphasizes Story the conservative, starting with his Republican roots but framing his mature thought in Burkean lines, and even showing Story making approving references to Metternich. His Story is not the Madisonian Republican but the American Burke or Blackstone, appealing to the common law as the basis for a framework of jurisdiction that would restrain the Jacksonian devolution of the Republic.

Useful stuff.

Posted by Red Ted at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2004

Dunne - Joseph Story

Gerald Dunne, Justice Joseph Story and the Rise of the Supreme Court

I am reading up on Story because he figures prominently in chapter two and in the framing section for chapter three. I had, for example, filed him as a Federalist because of his buddies and his later whigdom. Dunne reminded me that Story had been a street-fighting Republican in the late 1790s and early 1800s - getting into at least one fistfight in 1803 - before making friends with Federalists while working on the Yazoo Land case and then being named to the Supreme Court.

Story appears to have been a National Republican - a Madisonian not a Jeffersonian - and he took this perspective into DeuteroFederalism in the 1810s and then into Whiggery in the 1840s.

It was a useful book, though I skimmed more than I read.

Posted by Red Ted at 08:24 PM | Comments (0)

April 03, 2004

Marty - Righteous Empire

Martin E Marty, Righteous Empire: The Protestant Experience in America
New York, Dial Press, 1970

A pop-history review of American Protestant religious history. A couple of useful quotes to thicken the dissertation. He focuses on consensus and argues that Evangelicals were effectively everything. I focus on the tension between the one and the many and argue that Evangelicals were terrified that they would become nothing - a difference in emphasis that leads us to very different conclusions.

Good stuff, nice read, a little dated.

Posted by Red Ted at 12:45 AM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2004

Wright - Beginnings of Unitarianism

Conrad Wright, The Beginnings of Unitarianism in America
Archon press
Repring of the Beacon Press, Boston, 1966 edition.

"Skim has the same number of letters as read."

Wright reviews the "Arminian" theology of the liberal wing of the New England Establishment from 1734 to 1805. Mostly an examination of the words and theology of the liberals, contrasting them with both Old Calvinists and Jonathan Edwards. Wright is smart, as were the Unitarians, and he makes some good points about both the similarites and differences between the two wings.

Things to remember: supernatural rationalism, much like Locke the Arminians believed that people must use reason to evaluate revelation, and that revelation existed and was really a revelation.

And so to run errands.

Posted by Red Ted at 12:28 PM | Comments (0)