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Commons Democracy – Reading the Politics of Participation in the Early United States - Fordham Scholarship Online
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Commons Democracy: Reading the Politics of Participation in the Early United States

Dana D. Nelson


Commons Democracy presents an overlooked history of democracy in the United States. Like the familiar one, its story begins in the Revolutionary era. But instead of the tale of the Founders’ high-minded ideals and their careful crafting of the safe framework for democracy—a representative republican government—this book uncovers the democratic spirit, ideals, and practices created by ordinary folk in the early nation: “commons democracy.”Commons customs and practices (by no means simply agricultural) across the colonies in the Revolutionary era offered non-elite actors a tangible and durable r ... More

Keywords: commons, communal self-determination, democracy, participation, self-government, sovereignty

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780823268382
Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2016 DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823268382.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Dana D. Nelson, author
Vanderbilt University