Pufendorf, Grotius, and Locke: Who Is the Real Father of America’s Founding Political Ideas?
By Hans Eicholz
This article appeared in the Winter 2009 issue of The Independent Review


In The Social Contract in America: From the Revolution to the Present Order (2007), Mark Hulliung attempts to compare the influence of political theorists Samuel Pufendorf, Hugo Grotius, and John Locke on the republic’s founders, a narrower project than the title of his book suggests. Unfortunately, Hulliung’s aim is off target because American patriots appealed to both radical and conservative ideas and because both reformers and reactionaries invoked his three principal theorists at various times.

Other Independent Review articles by Hans Eicholz
    Summer 2003   Alexander Hamilton and the Persistence of Myth
    Summer 2001   American Compact: James Madison and the Problem of Founding

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