Jefferson’s moral agrarianism: poetic fiction or normative vision?
AbstractScholars today are divided on the motivation behind what is often called Jefferson’s “moral agrarianism”. On the one hand, some scholars take Jefferson at his word when he mentions that agrarianism is a moral vision. For these individuals, Jefferson’s agrarianism is a moral vision and an indispensible part of the good life. On the other hand, other scholars maintain that Jefferson’s moral agrarianism is merely a bit of propaganda that insidiously sheaths a political or economic ideal. For them, Jefferson is through and throughout a politician, and expressions of agrarianism as a moral ideal amount to mere cant. In this paper, I examine arguments for and against Jefferson’s moral agrarianism. I defend the position that Jefferson was an aboveboard moral agrarianist and that the ideal of agrarianism was not just one that was suited for Americans, given their surfeit of land and want of laborers, but an ideal that also applied universally. I end with thoughts on Jefferson’s recognition of the rise of manufacturing in American cities throughout his life. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Springer in its journal Agriculture and Human Values.
Volume (Year): 28 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/10460
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gene Wunderlich, 2000. "Hues of American agrarianism," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 191-197, June.
- Paul Thompson, 1990. "Agrarianism and the American philosophical tradition," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 3-8, December.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn) or (Christopher F Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.