Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The American Dream: Caused by Tea? Migration? Education?

Tea - midwife and nurse to capitalism

A. Kemasang, Race & Class, July 2009, Pages 69-83

Abstract: Tea is and has for long been so ubiquitous a part of daily life, in the UK
particularly, that its true significance remains almost invisible. Yet, as this article shows, it has nonetheless been of unprecedented importance in the historical, social and economic development of Britain, from the eighteenth century onwards, and not only as a major plantation-grown commodity of colonial trade. Indeed, its knock-on health benefits, as a counter to alcoholic alternatives and insanitary water supplies, were of primary importance to the growth and maintenance of the early industrial working class - and hence to the very development of Britain's early industrial and colonial supremacy.


The American Century? Migration and the Voluntary Social Contract

Jonathon Moses, Politics & Society, forthcoming

Abstract: This piece argues that free migration was a central if implicit part of the
liberal social contract and that America's founders were both aware of this and exploited it to legitimate their new state. The piece begins by describing this uniquely American contribution to liberal political thought. It then juxtaposes this contribution against the nature of our own international order, to show just how foreign the American Century has become. The piece closes with a short depiction of what an American Century would look like today - were it true to this early ideal - and comments on its feasibility.


Our Forgotten Founders: Reconstruction, Public Education, and Constitutional

Tom Donnelly Yale Working Paper, March 2009

Abstract: In this Article, I will consider a question that has been largely ignored by legal scholars: What role has public education played in constructing (or reinforcing) a constitutional culture that celebrates our Founding Fathers, but gives short shrift to their Reconstruction counterparts? To that end, I will look at the constitutional stories we tell our schoolchildren about the Founding generation and their Reconstruction counterparts. In particular, I will focus on the construction of constitutional heroes within these two key periods. First, I will use the Founding narrative as my baseline. From there, I will compare that account to our textbooks' treatment of Reconstruction. In the end, today's high school textbooks tend to praise the Founding generation and canonize certain key Founding Fathers, while, at the same time, largely ignoring Reconstruction's key players and
underemphasizing the constitutional revolution our Forgotten Founders envisioned (and began to wage). Our Reconstruction Founders deserve a more prominent place in the public's consciousness - and in the constitutional stories we tell our schoolchildren. If today's schools teach our children to revere the Founding generation by emphasizing their achievements and largely ignoring their shortcomings, our schools should (at the very least) stress the ambition of our Reconstruction Founders - even if they did not fully succeed in their efforts - and connect their incompletely - realized vision to the expansion of individual freedom and equality in the twentieth century.

1 comment:

Tom said...

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