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Article
Developing Freedom: Thomas Jefferson, the State, and Human Capability
Studies in American Political Development
  • Johann N. Neem, Western Washington University
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
4-1-2013
Disciplines
Abstract

Thomas Jefferson is often invoked as an advocate of limited government and a defender of individual rights. This article argues that rights were Jefferson’s starting place. Jefferson also believed that American citizens should have opportunities to develop the capabilities necessary to enjoy the full use of their rights. Rather than thinking about Jefferson as progovernment or antigovernment, this article concludes that we must understand the particular kind of government Jefferson desired, the ends he had in mind, and why and how those ends differed from his Federalist predecessors. A better understanding of Jefferson’s statecraft not only offers a new perspective on the relationship between government and rights in Jefferson’s thought but also how and why Jeffersonians in power used the state to promote individual freedom.

Subjects - Topical (LCSH)
Civil rights--Unites States--History; Social values--United States--History
Subjects - Names (LCNAF)
Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826--Political and social views; Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826--Philosophy
Geographic Coverage
United States--Politics and government--1775-1783
Genre/Form
articles
Type
Text
Language
English
Format
application/pdf
Citation Information
Johann N. Neem. "Developing Freedom: Thomas Jefferson, the State, and Human Capability" Studies in American Political Development Vol. 27 Iss. 1 (2013) p. 36 - 50
Available at: http://0-works.bepress.com.library.simmons.edu/johann_neem/11/