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Peter Riesenberg's Citizenship in the Western Tradition: Plato to Rousseau PDF

By Peter Riesenberg

ISBN-10: 0807844594

ISBN-13: 9780807844595

Meant for either common readers and scholars, Peter Riesenberg's instructive e-book surveys Western rules of citizenship from Greek antiquity to the French Revolution. it truly is awesome to watch the endurance of significant civic beliefs and associations over a interval of 2,500 years and to benefit how these beliefs and associations traveled over area and time, from the traditional Mediterranean to early sleek France, England, and the United States.

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Example text

Her citizenship developed against the backdrop of war and fear of rebellion. Whatever actuality and authenticity we accord the figure of the law-giver, Lycurgus, it is probable that quite early in its history Sparta was organized as a community of privileged landowners, a quasifeudal society in which each warrior received a portion of land to maintain himself and his equipment. Eventually, military events forced modification of the original system. First, military tactics changed. The mounted warrior was replaced by the trained infantryman; the hoplite now fought as a member of the phalanx.

Plato and others made him a transplanted Athenian, but what immigrant into that suspicious Spartan society would have had the temerity to compose a poem on citizen duties for his new people, not to mention five books of war songs and an exhortation to old and young in battle? His origins are of less importance than his historic accomplishment. Tyrtaeus's is the literary formulation of the warrior-citizen ideal that figures so strongly in Roman history and that of every medieval commune and is taken up again with passion by Machiavelli.

The active citizenship of early Greece and republican Rome turned into the passive citizenship Page xxiv of the Empire; the true exercise of citizenship during the Italian communal period was followed by that of the princely despotisms of the Renaissance, which maintained the fiction and rhetoric of the earlier age; and the exciting days of revolutionary America eventually matured into the slack nonparticipatory democracy of a later time. Page 1 PART I ANCIENT CITIZENSHIP: VIRTUE IN THE SERVICE OF COMMUNITY Page 3 1 Greece Beginnings It is clear why the Greek city-state world created the peculiar Western institution of citizenship.

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Citizenship in the Western Tradition: Plato to Rousseau by Peter Riesenberg


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