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Modern Republicanism in the Atlantic World

Modern Republicanism in the Atlantic World

(p.41) Two Modern Republicanism in the Atlantic World
Imagining Deliberative Democracy in the Early American Republic
Sandra M. Gustafson
University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on modern Atlantic World republicanism. The leaders of the American and French Revolutions are said to have introduced republicanism on a grand scale in Atlantic world politics, and shortly after the peaceable era arrived during which it became possible to evaluate the improvements in human liberty and happiness. The chapter states that three decades after the fall of the Bastille and the drafting of the United States Constitution, these two experiments in modern republicanism reached very different outcomes. The contours of modern Atlantic world republicanism as it existed in 1820 can be glimpsed in three orations delivered by Simón Bolívar, Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette, and Daniel Webster between February 1819 and December 1820. Oratory is the pre-eminent genre of republicanism, and major formulations of modern republican thought were initially presented in orations such as these, which were later circulated in letters, newspaper accounts, and pamphlets reaching national and international audiences.

Keywords:   republicanism, Atlantic World, American Revolution, French Revolution, Simón Bolívar, Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette, Daniel Webster, orations

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