Bonds of Affection: Civic Charity and the Making of America--Winthrop, Jefferson, and Lincoln

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Georgetown University Press, 2007 M10 4 - 336 páginas

Notions of Christian love, or charity, strongly shaped the political thought of John Winthrop, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln as each presided over a foundational moment in the development of American democracy. Matthew Holland examines how each figure interpreted and appropriated charity, revealing both the problems and possibilities of making it a political ideal.

Holland first looks at early American literature and seminal speeches by Winthrop to show how the Puritan theology of this famed 17th century governor of the Massachusetts Colony (he who first envisioned America as a "City upon a Hill") galvanized an impressive sense of self-rule and a community of care in the early republic, even as its harsher aspects made something like Jefferson's Enlightenment faith in liberal democracy a welcome development . Holland then shows that between Jefferson's early rough draft of the Declaration of Independence and his First Inaugural Jefferson came to see some notion of charity as a necessary complement to modern political liberty.

However, Holland argues, it was Lincoln and his ingenious blend of Puritan and democratic insights who best fulfilled the promise of this nation's "bonds of affection." With his recognition of the imperfections of both North and South, his humility in the face of God's judgment on the Civil War, and his insistence on "charity for all," including the defeated Confederacy, Lincoln personified the possibilities of religious love turned civic virtue.

Weaving a rich tapestry of insights from political science and literature and American religious history and political theory, Bonds of Affection is a major contribution to the study of American political identity. Matthew Holland makes plain that civic charity, while commonly rejected as irrelevant or even harmful to political engagement, has been integral to our national character.

The book includes the full texts of Winthrop's speech "A Model of Christian Charity"; Jefferson's rough draft of the Declaration and his First Inaugural; and Lincoln's Second Inaugural.

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Bonds of affection: civic charity and the making of America--Winthrop, Jefferson, and Lincoln

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In a thoughtful and carefully crafted book, Holland (political science, Brigham Young Univ.) argues that civic charity is an important, if unappreciated, component of America's political culture. He ... Leer comentario completo

Contenido

Hail Fall of Fury Reign of Reason All Hail
169
This Nation Under God
200
A Model of Civic Charity
219
Bonds of Freedom
241
John Winthrops A Model of Christian Charity Speech
261
Thomas Jeffersons original Rough draught of the Declaration of Independence
277
Thomas Jeffersons First Inaugural
283
Abraham Lincolns Second Inaugural
289

To Close the Circle of Our Felicities
128
Lincoln and the Refounding of America
159
From Tom to Abe
161
BIBLIOGRAPHY
291
INDEX
309
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Página 290 - If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offences which, in the Providence of God, must needs come, but which having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offence came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope — fervently do we pray — that this mighty scourge...
Página 278 - He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
Página 289 - Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war ; seeking to dissolve the Union and divide the effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.
Página 94 - That religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence ; and, therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience ; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love and charity towards each other.
Página 269 - Besides those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak ? who is offended, and I burn not?
Página 144 - ... with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens — a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.
Página 286 - ... a well-disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace, and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them...
Página 202 - My Friends, No one not in my situation can appreciate my feeling of sadness at this parting. To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything. Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young to an old man. Here my children have been born, and one is buried. I now leave, not knowing when or whether ever I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington.
Página 169 - I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend it." I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

Acerca del autor (2007)

Matthew S. Holland is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Brigham Young University.

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