By Nancy Cohen
Tracing the transformation of liberal political ideology from the top of the Civil struggle to the early 20th century, Nancy Cohen deals a brand new interpretation of the origins and personality of recent liberalism. She argues that the values and courses linked to glossy liberalism have been formulated no longer through the revolutionary period, as so much bills hold, yet prior, within the very diverse social context of the Gilded Age.
Integrating highbrow, social, cultural, and monetary historical past, Cohen argues that the reconstruction of liberalism hinged at the response of postbellum liberals to social and hard work unrest. As new social routine of employees and farmers arose and phrased their protests within the rhetoric of democratic producerism, liberals retreated from previous commitments to an expansive imaginative and prescient of democracy. Redefining liberal principles approximately citizenship and the nation, says Cohen, they performed a serious position in legitimating emergent company capitalism and politically insulating it from democratic challenge.
As the social price of financial globalization comes less than overseas serious scrutiny, this e-book revisits the sour struggles over the connection among capitalism and democracy in post-Civil struggle the United States. The answer of this challenge provided by means of the recent liberalism deeply inspired the progressives and has left a permanent legacy for twentieth-century American politics, Cohen argues.
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Extra resources for The Reconstruction of American Liberalism, 1865-1914
By profession and the social mission assigned to them, liberal reform intellectuals stood above the fray of class interests—or so they imagined they did. But they were also profoundly enmeshed—ﬁnancially, personally, and emotionally— with the capitalist elite. They were, in a double sense, the conscience of the capitalist class. Conversely, new opportunities to pursue intellectual work and earn a decent salary undoubtedly created the circumstances in which the younger social scientists believed they could chart a more critical and autonomous course.
The history of the struggle for academic freedom in the United States is a case study in the social power of capital over nineteenth-century American intellectual life. I would venture to suggest that the ambiguous social position of American intellectuals was an important element in their ability to keep at half an arm’s length the promptings of particularistic self-interest and play the role of avantgarde theorists of new social and political relationships. ≤∑ A ﬁnal explanation of the place and role of the intellectuals on whom I focus is necessary.
But they were also profoundly enmeshed—ﬁnancially, personally, and emotionally— with the capitalist elite. They were, in a double sense, the conscience of the capitalist class. Conversely, new opportunities to pursue intellectual work and earn a decent salary undoubtedly created the circumstances in which the younger social scientists believed they could chart a more critical and autonomous course. They discovered that they were wrong when wealthy trustees of their universities pushed to remove them, and several found themselves on trial.