Dr. Carey is Professor of Government at Georgetown University. He is the author and editor of several works including In Defense of the Constitution, Freedom and Virtue, and A Student’s Guide to American Political Thought. In 2003, he was awarded the ISI Regnery Award for Distinguished Institutional Service.
A Conserving Caucus in Action
This essay appears in the Winter 2014 issue of Modern Age. To subscribe now, go here.
There was a time not so long ago when Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America and James Bryce’s American Commonwealth would be mentioned in the same breath as the two most insightful works on the character and operations of American democracy. No longer is this the case. Bryce's work has been almost entirely eclipsed and is no longer a part of the core curricula among any of America's major political science departments. And this has not occurred without significant loss. . . .
Conservatives—American and otherwise—have always held The Federalist in extremely high regard. Virtually all would agree with Clinton Rossiter that it stands with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution among the “sacred writings of American political history.” Some might even agree with the more lavish assessment of Chancellor Kent, who wrote that he knew of no finer work “on the principles of free government.” On the other hand, liberals would scarcely be as unified or laudatory in their appraisals. What accounts for the difference?