DEUG2  - TD - Concepts

Locke (1632-1704)

English philosopher who was an initiator of the Enlightenment in England and France, an inspirer of the U.S. Constitution, and the author of, among other works, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, his account of human knowledge, including the "new science" of his day, i.e., modern science.

The philosophical basis of the American Revolution are to be found in the works of English philosopher John Locke (1632-1704). John Locke wrote An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690) and Treatises on Public government (1690 too). He advocated limited sovereignty and held that revolution was not only a right but an obligation if liberty were threatened. These are the very ideas expressed in the Declaration of IndependEnce (1776).

É it was John Locke who, in the early eighteenth century, claimed that a man defines himself primarily by laboring to acquire and develop a piece of property, taking it out of a state of wildness [sic] and into one of cultivation. Donald Worster, Under Western Skies: Nature and History in the American West (New York: OUP, 1992) 233.

The Enlightenment

A European philosophical and social movement of the eighteenth century, often referred to as 'the Age of Reason'. Enlightenment philosophers developed a variety of progressive ideas: freedom of thought and expression, the criticism of religion, the value of reason and science, a commitment to social progress and the significance of individualism. These critical, secular ideas played a crucial role in the emergence of modern societies. The principal adherents of the Enlightenment included M. Condorcet (1734-94), D. Diderot (1713-84), D. Hume (1711-76), I. Kant (1724-1804), J. H. J. Rousseau (1712-78) and Voltaire (1694-1778). Source: xrefer

'Enlightenment', and its equivalents in other European languages, denotes an intellectual movement which began in England in the seventeenth century (Locke and the deists), and developed in France in the eighteenth century (Bayle, Voltaire, Diderot, and other Encyclopaedists) and also (especially under the impetus of the rationalist philosophy of Christian Wolff) in Germany (Mendelssohn, Lessing). But virtually every European country, and every sphere of life and thought, was affected by it. The age in which the movement predominated is known as the Age of Enlightenment or the Age of Reason.

Thus the leading doctrines of the Enlightenment, shared by many, if not all, of its spokesmen, are these:

1. Reason is man's central capacity, and it enables him not only to think, but to act, correctly.

2. Man is by nature rational and good. (Kant endorsed the Christian view of a 'radical evil' in human nature, but held that it must be possible to overcome it.)

3. Both an individual and humanity as a whole can progress to perfection.

4. All men (including, on the view of many, women) are equal in respect of their rationality, and should thus be granted equality before the law and individual liberty.

5. Tolerance is to be extended to other creeds and ways of life. (Lessing conveyed this message in his play Nathan the Wise (1779).)

The republican experiment

The Founding Fathers launched an experiment not only in representative democracy, but also an experiment in large scale democracy (a republic). The ideas of the Enlightenment were possibly appealing to European intellectuals, but few people thought they could work in practice. The principle of a representative democracy, i.e. electing representatives to decide in your place was possibly acceptable by the elite, but to apply this principle and make it work for all male citizens sounded like rebellion against the established order. Moreover, a large scale republic had never worked before. Perhaps a new country, separate from Europe, could try and test such ideas. Indeed, some Europeans saw America as a place where to start anew (18th C): ÒBy the eighteenth century the European Enlightenment had developed a view of America as a special place where human society might begin anew, uncorrupted by Old World institutions and ideasÓ (William Earl Weeks, Building the Continental Empire: American Expansion From the Revolution to the Civil War (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1996) 61. Once the Founding Fathers had established their institutions with a constitution for each state (1776) and the Articles of Confederation (1777) soon to be replaced by the Constitution (1787-1790), they had founded a new social order based on natural rightsÑequality, individual freedomÑ, the separation of powers, justice for all . Of particular importance was the fact that the principles that were the foundation of the American republic were thought to be universal, applicable to all men in the rest of the world. This gave the Founding Fathers, more exactly the Jeffersonians, an excuse and a justification for territorial expansion.

The republican experiment thus refers to that experiment on the ideas of the Enlightenment, putting them into practice in the United States.


A synonym for American patriotism, especially in the first decades of the nineteenth century, during the republican experiment. It can be defined as the reverence for the Union i.e. the United States as opposed to sectionalism or parochialism.


Thomas Jefferson obviously pondered over the problem of the continued existence of a large scale democracy and accordingly developed his agrarian vision of the United States. The solutions he devised and that, as a leading Founding Father and as third President of the USA, he implemented, were based on three ideas: order, decentralization and land. As for order, Jefferson agreed with Washington that the settlement of the free land in the West would lead to chaos and disorder if not organized. All these were just mere principles. Jefferson wanted to make the principles work and he accordingly developed a system—agrarianism—that has shaped the American landscape to this very day. Jefferson came to the conclusion that to oppose a possible return of tyranny, individual American citizens should be given independence from any political power, in other words, the means to survive, that is a farm, hence, land. Now there was plenty of free, public land in the West ( the Northwest Territory, the Ohio Valley to the Great lakes) after the Treaty of Paris (1783). So Thomas Jefferson organized first the distribution of public land to individual farmers (Land Ordinances of 1785) and access of new territories in the West to equal statehood with the former exiting states (Northwest Ordinance, 1787). If the Northwest ordinance did work and avoided a lot of strife and struggles between former states and new states, the Land Ordinance, for financial reasons, never worked. It was regularly amended, or even updated (Homestead Act, 1862; Reclamation Act, 1902), but the isolated Jeffersonian yeoman farmer could never compete with land speculators and land companies. At any rate, JeffersonÕs system of east-west ranges, divided into townships, each township being divided into 36 sections, survived the early days of the republic and the whole American West was surveyed and distributed along JeffersonÕs directions. And Jefferson had imagined each isolated pioneer could buy a section or two and start a farm. The idea was to make the farmer independent, economically and therefore politically; educated so that he would not become the prey of demagogues and tyrants. In fact, in each township, the benefits of the sale of section 16 were to be used for the building and functioning of a school. Jefferson also wanted to make the American farmer virtuous because, as we shall see, it was thought democracies declined and died because of corruption, so that virtue was the best bulwark against corruption and decay. Jefferson thus believed that as long as there was ÒfreeÓ land, the American Democracy could grow into an Òempire for liberty.Ó Therefore, it would be one essential aim for the American government to find more and more land. Where to find farming lands? In the west, as far as the Pacific, which induced two principles: westward expansion, and continentalism, all in the name of universalism, and under God. Indeed, JeffersonÕs agrarianism was somehow reminiscent of the Puritan sense of national election.

Manifest Destiny

(Source of the following: Caroll and Noble 167) American expansionists in the first half of the 19th century argued that the United States had a "Manifest Destiny" to stretch its influence until the Pacific coast. Central to the concept of Manifest Destiny was the belief in American superiority: democracy, political liberty, the Protestant religion. Expansionists wanted to protect the virgin lands of the West from the Spanish Jesuits.


The emergence of Manifest Destiny followed the "victory" of the United States over Britain at the end of the 2nd War of Independence (1812-14). It created a feeling of American superiority and nationalism.

Manifest Destiny, in American history, is the supposed belief that America was the land of the chosen people of God, and consequently promised to a great destiny. This assumption justified the conquest of the frontier or the annexation of Indian and Spanish territories. America came to be regarded by Americans as the model nation, important enough to extol its image of a redeeming country, under God and His providence.

The phrase "manifest destiny" was coined by J. O'Sullivan in 1845, the year when Polk was elected president on an expansionist platform. The next year, the Oregon treaty was signed. Manifest Destiny was already a very popular doctrine.

(WASP) civilization and progress were thus to advance into the wilderness. WASP institutions*[1] (democracy, individual liberties, public education) were thought to be superior and therefore should be spread across the continent. Protestantism was also thought to be a superior form of religion, better than Spanish JesuitsÕ Catholicism.

An associated notion was that of the "natural law tradition": Those who wasted the land (Spanish missions, Indians) must yield.

Technological progress

Part of the WASP belief in progress and the tool of westward expansion.


The belief in the superiority of the White Anglo-Saxon race and institutions, a belief that possibly culminated in the late 19C.


Also called the peculiar institution.*

Slavery was the fundamental institution* of the South.

It was justified among other things by the affirmation that it allowed the civilization* of the "African race."

One way of defining slavery is to describe it as the exploitation* of men held in bondage for their labor.

Slaves of course were deprived of their human rights and of citizenship.*

The Virginian aristocratic ideal was based upon paternalism and slavery. The image of the Southern belle exposes the foundations of a [ÔpeitriÓarkl] patriarchal society (patriarchy*). The idealization of the Southern lady is also a way to keep her in the bonds of conventions, to keep her at a lower rank in the social hierarchy. The plantation system was dominated by white men, it was a patriarchal society. Interestingly, just as the white female was idealized and put onto an inaccessible pedestal of virtue, black slaves were relegated to the rank of children. The masters argued that they were like fathers to their black children, thus expressing an ambiguous kind of [p,Ót*rn,lizm] patÕernalism which caused the black slaves to be deprived of education and of course civil rights, spending their time in the fields. The master and his family lived in their mansion. The slaves lived in barracks; they lived in one concentrated area. In the morning slaves would be gathered in slave-gangs by either a slave-driver (sometimes a black man) or an overseer. They would be driven to the fields, they would work there during the day, had lunch in the fields and they would come back at dusk. It was a routinized, regimented kind of existence.(Exactly the same in reunion)

All in all, the aristocratic ideal of the South froze southern society into a rigid social hierarchy dominated by white men, a [>pe2triarki] patriarchy. Such a society ruled by a small group and in which women and black people were denied their rights bred violence, a dominant characteristic of the South even today.

In other words, the Southern aristocratic tradition runs violently against the principles of the Declaration of Independence—all men are created equal and are entitled to some inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Southern aristocratic ideal also runs counter to the democratic ideal of the American Constitution. Only a war, the Civil War, could put an end to such a situation. But even so, the South today appears as violently different from the rest of the United States.



setting a slave free


Abolitionism was a movement in several nations of the 19th century that sought to abolish slavery and the slave trade. Members of this movement are known as abolitionists.

In the United States, abolitionists were involved in the conflict between North and South. While the Quakers were particularly noted for activity in this movement, it was by no means limited to Quaker participation.

Some well-known abolitionists:

Harriett Beecher Stowe  Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852)
Sojourner Truth
John Brown (1800 - 1859)

He was the American abolitionist who raided Harper's Ferry


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

John Brown (May 9, 1800—December 2, 1859) was a radical American abolitionist who played a major part in the history of slavery in the United States leading up to the American Civil War. Brown took part in the violence during the Bleeding Kansas crisis, but his most famous action was his leadership of the raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia (in modern-day West Virginia). The killings that followed and Brown's subsequent capture, trial, and execution by hanging are generally considered an important part of the origins of the Civil War.

Brown's nicknames were Oswatomie Brown, Old Man Brown, Captain Brown and Old Brown of Kansas. His aliases were "Nelson Hawkins," "Shabel Morgan," and "Isaac Smith." Later the song "John Brown's Body" became a Union marching song during the Civil War.

William Lloyd Garrison

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

William Lloyd Garrison (December 12, 1805, Newburyport, Massachusetts - May 24, 1879, New York City) was a United States Abolitionist and reformer.

Garrison worked as a compositor for his hometown newspaper in his teens, then began writing articles as well, often under the pseudonym Aristides. He soon became involved with the opposition to slavery, writing for and then becoming co-editor of the Quaker Genius of Universal Emancipation newspaper.


Garrison made a name for himself as one of the most articulate, as well as most radical, opponents of slavery. While some other abolitionists of the time favored gradual emancipation, Garrison argued for "immediate and complete emancipation of all slaves". When someone attending one of Garrison's speeches objected that slavery was protected by the United States Constitution, Garrison replied that if this was true, then the Constitution should be burnt.


Garrison worked closely with Frederick Douglass but the two men eventually had differences regarding the value of the United States Constitution, which he called a "covenant with death and an agreement with Hell," and parted company. Douglass believed, along with Lysander Spooner and Gerrit Smith, that the Constitution mandated emancipation while Garrison burned copies of it publicly, calling it a pro-slavery document. Garrison was known as an immediatist not a gradualist as he favored an immediate end to slavery.


His outspoken views repeatedly brought him trouble; he was imprisoned for libel when he called a slave trader a robber and murderer; the government of the State of Georgia offered a reward of $5,000 for his arrest, and he received numerous and frequent death threats.


In 1831 he founded an anti-slavery newspaper of his own, The Liberator, which he continued to publish and edit for 35 years.


In 1832, Garrison founded the New-England Anti-Slavery Society. One year later, he founded the American Anti-Slavery Society.


In 1833 he visited the United Kingdom and assisted in the anti-slavery movement there.


After the abolition of slavery in the United States, Garrison continued working on other reform movements, including favoring the right of women to vote.

Frederick Douglass

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Frederick Douglass (born: Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey -- c.1818 - February 20, 1895) was an American abolitionist, editor, orator, author, statesman and reformer. Called "The Sage of Anacostia" and "The Lion of Anacostia," Douglass was the most prominent African-American of his time, and one of the most influential lecturers and authors in American history.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Citizenship is membership in a political community (originally a city but now a state), and carries with it rights to political participation; a person having such membership is a citizen. It is largely coterminous with nationality, although it is possible to have a nationality without being a citizen (i.e. be legally subject to a state and entitled to its protection without having rights of political participation in it); it is also possible to have political rights without being a national of a state - for example a citizen of Mozambique (or another Commonwealth country) resident in the UK is entitled to full political rights.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Capitalism generally refers to a combination of economic practices that became institutionalized in Europe between the 16th and 19th centuries, especially involving the right of individuals and groups of individuals acting as "legal persons" (or corporations) to buy and sell capital goods such as land, labor, and money É in a free market (see trade), and relying on the enforcement by the state of private property rights rather than feudal obligations.


Economic system characterized by the following: private property ownership exists; individuals and companies are allowed to compete for their own economic gain; and free market forces determine the prices of goods and services. Such a system is based on the premise of separating the state and business activities. Capitalists believe that markets are efficient and should thus function without interference, and the role of the state is to regulate and protect.


An exaggerated devotion to the interests of a region, here. Often refers to the oppositions between North and South. (Syn. sectional antagonism)




Unfavorable treatment based on prejudice, esp. regarding race, color, age, or sex.(xrefer)


The separation of a social or esp. racial group from others, as by laws against using the same schools, hotels, buses. (Longman)


This term is used to describe both the process of contacts between different cultures and also the outcome of such contacts. As the process of contact between cultures, acculturation may involve either direct social interaction or exposure to other cultures by means of the mass media of communication. As the outcome of such contact, acculturation refers to the assimilation by one group of the culture of another which modifies the existing culture and so changes group identity. There may be a tension between old and new cultures which leads to the adaptation of the new as well as the old. See: Accommodation; Assimilation. (xrefer)


Social integration is the process whereby a minority group, particularly an ethnic minority, adapts to the host society and where it is accorded equal rights with the rest of the community.Assimilation is integration such that the immigrants' culture is lost. xrefer


This concept was first used in American race relations research to describe the processes by which immigrant groups were integrated into the dominant white culture. Thus, in R. Park's (1950) 'race relations cycle', the social interaction between the host society and new immigrants was conceptualized in terms of four stages - contacts, competition, accommodation and assimilation. In its original usage, assimilation was seen as a unidimensional, one-way process by which outsiders relinquished their own culture in favour of that of the dominant society. Recent research regards assimilation as reciprocal, involving mutual adjustments between host and migrant communities. Furthermore, the particular character of the ethnic group in question may enhance, retard or preclude intermarriage, participation in citizenship and social acceptance. Assimilation is often used interchangeably with acculturation. É xrefer)

Integration ­ assimilation

 [There] is [a] difference between assimilation, which is a one-way drive that attaches no value to what is left behind and marked for extinction, and integration, which is a two-way circuit, where the [recent iimmigrantÕsÀ] new national consciousness adds a new dimension to the older ethnic tradition, and the older tradition adds emotional depth and rootedness to the new cultural product. SOURCE: Max Lerner, America As A Civilization: Life and Thought in the United States Today (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1957) 93-94.

A modification and mutual adjustment of diverse groups or elements into a relatively coordinated and harmonious society or culture with a consistent body of normative standards (most urban communities possess some degree of integration round primary group norms. (Webster's Third New International Dictionary)

E pluribus unum

E Pluribus Unum - Out of Many, One - Origin of the Motto Carried by the Eagle on the U.S. Great Seal

"E pluribus unum" was chosen by the first Great Seal committee in 1776. Consultant and artist Pierre Du Simitire recommended this Latin motto, and his design is essentially an expression of this theme.

The phrase's English translation Ð Out of many, one Ð is a clear reference to the thirteen colonies united into one nation, and symbolized by the shield on the eagle's breast.


This definition may be enlarged to mean that out of millions of individual Americans there emerges one American people.

Indian policy

T. Jefferson's favorite Indian policy, assimilation* of Indians could be achieved through education* and conversion* especially in the mission schools on reservations.

Jackson's favored separation* if Indians from WASPs. The consequence of an Indian policy based on separation was removal.* Tribes were removed farther west across the Mississippi, to the Indian Territory* between the Mississippi and the Rockies. Mostly prairie lands, these areas were not thought to be suitable for agriculture because few trees grew in the prairie. This removal policy was made possible because these areas were in the wilderness and under federal jurisdiction*, like the new territories being settled by white pioneers. The latter demanded ever more and more land so that Indians wee cheated into treaties to cede their lands and ended up upon reservations. Land spoliation* in a prevailing feature of westward expansion. One way to force Indians onto reservations was the extermination of the bison, the staple diet of Plains Indians, which led to food depravation* so that Indians traded federal food and aids for land and ended up upon reservations. If they resisted, their resistance could lead to mere extermination* or genocide.* If they accepted the white man's deals, a form of cultural genocide* followed as Indians were to be assimilated and become farmers and Christians. A  noted example of this cultural genocide was the Dawes Act which put an end to tribal occupation of lands and replaced it with individual landownership,* a concept alien to Indian culture which worships Mother Earth.