By Colin Woodard
The writer of American Nations examines the heritage of and suggestions to the most important American query: how most sensible to reconcile person liberty with the upkeep of a unfastened society
The fight among person rights and the great of the neighborhood as an entire has been the root of approximately each significant confrontation in our historical past, from the debates on the Constitutional conference and within the run as much as the Civil battle to the fights surrounding the agendas of the Federalists, the Progressives, the recent purchasers, the civil rights move, and the Tea occasion. In American Character, Colin Woodard lines those key strands in American politics in the course of the 4 centuries of the nation’s lifestyles, from the 1st colonies throughout the Gilded Age, nice melancholy and the current day, and he explores how assorted areas of the rustic have effectively or disastrously accommodated them. The self sufficient streak stumbled on its so much pernicious shape within the antebellum South yet was once balanced within the Gilded Age through communitarian reform efforts; the recent Deal was once an instance of a profitable coalition among communitarian-minded jap elites and Southerners.
Woodard argues that protecting a liberal democracy, a society the place mass human freedom is feasible, calls for discovering a stability among holding individual liberty and nurturing a loose society. Going to both libertarian or collectivist extremes ends up in tyranny. yet the place does the “sweet spot” lie within the usa, a federation of disparate local cultures that experience constantly strongly disagreed on those matters? Woodard leads readers on a riveting and revealing trip via 4 centuries of fight, experimentation, successes and screw ups to supply a solution. His traditionally trained and pragmatic feedback on the best way to accomplish that stability and holiday the nation’s political impasse can be of curiosity to an individual who cares in regards to the present American predicament—political, ideological, and sociological.
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Extra resources for American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good
The young town of Chicago’s ﬁrst small step in constructing a water supply ignored both the river and the lake. It was at this time that Chicago’s population began to climb very rapidly, from a few hundred people in 1833 to 4,170 by 1837, when the town was incorporated as a city. The numbers kept rising, approaching 30,000 by 1850, 110,000 a decade later, and 300,000 only ten years after that. Water needs grew even faster, making Lake Michigan—rather than the small, sluggish, and, by this point, ﬁlthy Chicago River—the obvious choice for meeting them.
The other was to entrust Boston’s needs to a private company whose main source would be Spot Pond, about ten miles north in Stoneham. Both sources were at a higher elevation than Boston, so no pumping would be necessary, though each would require the construction of an aqueduct to carry its water to the city. Near the close of 1844, the City Council, backed by yet another report, determined that a city-owned system drawing on Long Pond was the only acceptable choice, mainly because of its larger capacity (the consultants judged the purity of Long and Spot Ponds to be of comparably high quality).
Well aware of the worsening situation, the Chicago water commissioners passed a resolution in March 1860 asking Chesbrough to propose how the city might secure clean water. He submitted ﬁve alternatives: extending the intake pipe a full mile out into the lake and presumably beyond the reach of contamination, building an intake tunnel of the same distance under the lake’s clay bottom, moving the intake about twenty miles north to a point near the lakefront suburb of Winnetka, constructing a system of ﬁltering beds, and erecting a subsiding reservoir to allow the water to clear before it was pumped to users.
American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good by Colin Woodard