Liberty and American Experience in the Eighteenth Century presents ten new essays on central themes of the American Founding period by some of today’s preeminent scholars of American history. The writers explore various aspects of the zeitgeist, among them Burke’s theories on property rights and government, the relations between religious and legal understandings of liberty, the significance of Protestant beliefs on the founding, the economic background to the Founders’ thought on governance, moral sense theory contrasted with natural rights, and divisions of thought on the nature of liberty and how it was to be preserved.
The articles provide a rich basis for discussion of the American Founding, its background, and its development over the first few decades of the United States’ existence.
David Womersley is Thomas Warton Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford. His most recent book is Divinity and State.