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The Never Realized Republic: An Analysis of Capitalism's Impact Upon Republican Virtue and the Federal Constitution [Paperback]

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Item description for The Never Realized Republic: An Analysis of Capitalism's Impact Upon Republican Virtue and the Federal Constitution by Peter Joseph O'Lalor...

The founding fathers in general believed, America in the 1790's was going to be a harmonizing influence. The vision of social progress for the Revolutionary generation was forever altered, with the rise of Federalist aristocracy.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   250
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.58"
Weight:   0.73 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 25, 2004
Publisher   Washington House
ISBN  1932581030  
ISBN13  9781932581034  

Availability  0 units.

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American Virtue and American Power  Aug 8, 2008
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. Colonial Americans therefore considered themselves the heirs of a magnificent heritage of ever-expanding freedom and liberty, in which the duty of the Sovereign was to protect their way of life and promote the pursuit of happiness - not to `utilize' English citizens for its own aggrandizement. Thus, O'Lalor argues that the Revolutionary generation was not trying to break away from their heritage and create something altogether new: rather, they were simply protecting their sacred heritage. As the Declaration of Independence points out, the English king had failed in his duty to that heritage, and it was their responsibility to re-invigorate and protect their historic rights and liberties.

Later on, when the Articles of Confederation failed as well, the Founders gathered once again to try and correct the weaknesses of the Articles - but not to change their original principles. Therefore, as James Madison pointed out, the new Constitution did not create new principles, and for the most part it gave the government no new powers. Its intent was simply to improve the efficiency of the government's ability to enforce the original principles and powers.

There was, however, one `new' federal power: the power to regulate commerce. For this, notes O'Lalor, there was no precedent, and the Founders could not anticipate, from the past, how this new factor might play out. It was this power that Hamilton used "as leverage to finance his vision of an industrial-commercial and military regime, predicated on Roman virtue...." However, as O'Lalor reminds the reader, this new power "was never intended to finance the vision of any one particular person, or an ideology...." It was intended to further the goals of "the Revolutionary generation, whose vision was social, political, and economic equal opportunity." Because of the intercession of Treasury Secretary Hamilton (i.e., his slanted scheme for assuming and paying off the revolutionary War debt, the creation of a national bank, his coziness with wealthy factions, his one-sided encouragement of industry), this vision - the intended American Republic - was never truly realized.

O'Lalor's very good (and exceptionally well-documented) book tells this story from pre-Magna Carta days to the time when Hamilton's efforts came to an abrupt halt following his Report on Manufactures (which projected the future of the United States in the world economy, and which brought charges of corruption along with strong opposition to Hamilton's suggestion of supporting industry through subsidies). He nicely weaves together elements of ancient and modern history, economics, philosophy, religion and education. He grieves over the loss of what might-have-been, deploring the empty consumer society that seems to be the final end of our great American experiment. But he concludes on a hopeful note: "The government has a moral duty to serve people. If that is a given, society will progress toward peace and harmony. Then will America realize the republic of the Revolutionary generation."

This is a very pertinent and timely book, which all Americans should read.
This man knows what he is writing about!!!!  Nov 9, 2007
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?
Good History  Nov 3, 2005
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.

As stated by the author: "Who knows what hybrid republic would have been realized if it were not for Hamilton's intercessions. (Sic) Who knows what might have happened, as with the Civil War, if sectional and political lines had not developed, so as to benefit one group over another. (Sic)"

Certainly, virtue as the first principle has been lost. The answer of educating the young, as suggested by the author, is weak. Only, another revolution will solve the problems we have in my humble opinion, and that "ain't gonna" happen.

On the downside, the book, although it is a second edition, needs more editing. The language is somewhat contorted and the printing is bad. There are many quotes that are not begun or closed and it is difficult to determine whether it is the author or someone else speaking.

Much better than what we learn in school  Sep 16, 2005
I've bought a few because this book is unlike typical history books. It just explains history and isn't an opinion being forced on the reader. If I haven't given copies I've shared them. It takes a while to read it! It's not for the beach!
Second edition much more concise and 5 stars  Jul 30, 2005
This edition is not as easily followed as the second edition, subtitled Political Economy and Republican virtue, which was released in March 2005. I had the opportunity to read both and the second edition was much more concise and easy to follow. It begins with the colonization of North America and ends with Federalism and its impact in the 1790's. Its conclusions however, deal with the twenty first-century and the relevancies of eighteenth-century political thought and its impact (or lack of it) on contemporary foreign and domestic policy. This book conveys an exceptional explanation of what American colonists and ultimately, what 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 thoroughly explains the meaning of words and concepts that contributed to why America's society organized itself into a governing body - its polity. The second edition, Political Economy and Republican Virtue makes these concepts clearer and has obviously been reworked, rewritten and professionally edited.

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