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The Making of Tocqueville'S AmericaLaw and Association in the Early United States$
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Kevin Butterfield

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226297088

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226297118.001.0001

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Friendship, Formalities, and Membership in Post-Revolutionary America

Friendship, Formalities, and Membership in Post-Revolutionary America

(p.13) One Friendship, Formalities, and Membership in Post-Revolutionary America
The Making of Tocqueville'S America

Kevin Butterfield

University of Chicago Press

In this chapter, three important cultural developments will be examined. First, by looking at the travails of the embattled Society of the Cincinnati the chapter will examine the growing belief that effective voluntary association requires formalities and procedural regularity. No group can rely on mere affection or friendship. Second, we will begin a theme that will be continued in part II: the increasingly sophisticated ways in which Americans embraced these kinds of formal practices within their own associations, by means of constitutions, bylaws, and resolute attention to procedure and predictability. Third, we will show just how pervasive these cultural practices were becoming by tracing the ways that they came to characterize practices in what was, for many American men and women, the most important of all associational connections: their own churches.

Keywords:   Society of the Cincinnati, voluntary association, constitutionalism, procedural fairness, civil society, church government

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