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The Never Realized Republic: Political Economy and Republican Virtue

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The Never Realized Republic begins with the what the colonists' brought with them to the thirteen colonies; vis a vis, English jurisprudence, the Age of Enlightenment in Europe, and the fact that the colonists were not isolated from this larger world. The Revolutionary generation was not isolated in their education, (sharing the same curriculum as their European contemporaries). Neither were their ideas of political science isolated, since they shared the same histories as their European contemporaries.

The injustices of seventeenth-century English mercantilism and privilege, were giving way in late eighteenth-century America; to a nascent capitalism of unprecedented growth and production. The consequence of which produced a politically charged platform of merit over privilege. In other words political power for the few in the new representative republic.

Subsequently an old idea was reborn; expansion and domination of trade backed by an elite military. For those who contemplated empire and those who sought only to govern; a great conflict ensued. A conflict felt in America today; from the school rooms; to the bar rooms; to the court rooms - and across the globe.

During the 1790's, soon after the inception of the federal representative Republic, it soon became clear that the vision of the Revolutionary generation was soon to be challenged by the very forces that motivated them. to establish laws most wholesome and necessary for the public good; social, political, and economic justice.

From the Author

Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury under President Washington, led the politically charged Federalist "party" - the (GOP) - and had successfully replaced the ancient and English heritage of the Duty of the Sovereign, with the Right of the Sovereign. By the early 1790's. This ultimately created a central authority - which was contrary to the Revolutionary ideal of a central government.

The Federalists, in the 1790's, seized control of the economy soon after the republic's inception by interpreting the federal Constitution as an economic document (only) and ultimately a means to power. This was motivated by the Federalist agenda whose movement was based on merit rather than privilege. However, the many events of the 1790's were not seen as fulfilling the promise of the Constitution's preamble.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 358 pages
  • Publisher: Booksurge Publishing; 1st edition (March 7, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615121144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615121147
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,609,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In "The Never Realized Republic", Peter O'Lalor describes the great heritage of freedom and liberty that informed America's Revolutionary generation, the fundamental intentions of the Founders when they gathered in Philadelphia to write the Constitution, and the way these intentions were in many ways thwarted by the single-minded efforts of one man - the extraordinary Alexander Hamilton, the driving force of Washington's administration. (It is noteworthy, and praiseworthy, that O'Lalor never questions Hamilton's loyalty or good intentions; only his principles). As a result, the Founders' prevalent vision of a government with a duty to promote political, social, and economic justice for all its citizens, was transformed into Hamilton's personal vision of a government striving to aggrandize itself - through the accumulation of national wealth and global commercial dominance backed up by military might.

O'Lalor shows how these two visions, in many ways, reflect two classical ideals: the Greek and the Roman. (Colonial Americans were well-versed in ancient history, as well as English and European history. They understood that the age-old tension between virtue and corruption, and the historic struggles between freedom and tyranny, had much to teach them if they wished to create a future of liberty that would avoid the problems and failures of the past.) The Greeks had developed the ideal of government based on Duty: the duty to do good for the public good. The Romans, after the fall of their Republic and the initiation of the Empire, had developed the ideal of government based on sovereign Right: the right to dominate and expand.

England itself had a long tradition of pursuing the Greek vision, beginning even before the signing of the Magna Carta.
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Format: Paperback
Peter Joseph O'Lalor
Booksurge Publishing
ISBN 1-932581-03-0
The Never Realized Republic-Political Economy and Republican Virtue

The title tells it all. This pithy book confirms that Alexander Hamilton led a Counter-Revolution in his role as Secretary of The Treasury, as part of Washington's administration. It takes a while for him to get to the point but when he does, the book takes off. The author states that he does not believe Hamilton subverted the Revolution out of malice but because his economic philosophy was flawed.

I don't believe it. Hamilton represented New York (read Tory) banking interests and I believe he did what he did for strictly personal reasons. With this difference out in the open, I liked this scholarly venture into the past. It is footnoted extensively-probably overly done, as there are many repeats. And we get to see both sides of the Federalist/Anti-Federalist debates.

What struck me, however, was how Hamilton contorted the truth and turned our Nation into a Mercantile (albeit now called Capitalism) Roman type of governmental system. The author quite rightly points to the inevitable fall of such a governmental system-one that is for the civic good, as against what the Revolutionaries believed as the common good. Jefferson stated that Hamilton had corrupted the Constitution and turned "the Revolution upside down"-meaning turning it from a republican form to the centralized behemoth it has become today. Jefferson couldn't stop it. By the time Jackson got to attempting to change it, the moneyed class had taken over. As a conclusion, the author pines for the return of the Revolutionary spirit to save us from our inevitable fall as an Empire.
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Format: Paperback
This book conveys an exceptional explanation of what American colonists and ultimately, Americans were most familiar with - religion, classical education, European heritage, liberty and the duty and obligation of government. This book does not offer opinion as much as it explains the meaning of words and concepts that contributed to how America's society organized itself into a governing body, its polity.

The books details with exceptional scholarship and historiography, why the founding fathers expected capitalism to be a harmonizing influence. Then with even greater details The Never Realized Republic demonstrates how the vision of social progress, for the Revolutionary generation was forever altered with the rise of Federalist aristocracy.

The conclusion brings to the forefront troubling questions about the role of America's federal government and foreign diplomacy - or the lack of it. I think anyone who wants an unbiased view of American history, from colonization to the twenty-first century would benefit greatly by this book. I'd hope every college student could avail themselves of this work.
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This book is a fascinating look into our nation's true history! O'Lalor goes back in time with examples such as the Magna Carta to explain how our nation's fathers got their ideas on how to organize this nation's government. This is not a History for Dummies book! This is a true work of someone who has done incredible research to bring the reader the true meaning of a "republic". Do YOU know what a REPUBLIC is?
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