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Commons DemocracyReading the Politics of Participation in the Early United States$
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Dana D. Nelson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823268382

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823268382.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2019

Telling Stories

Telling Stories

Vernacular versus Formal Democracy

Chapter:
(p.24) 1 Telling Stories
Source:
Commons Democracy
Author(s):

Dana D. Nelson

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823268382.003.0002

Chapter 1 contrasts the consensus story of the Framers’ Founding of U.S. democracy with a historical account of the vernacular democratic practices that undergirded early state constitutions and vernacular theories that informed dissent and regulations, like Shays’ Rebellion, in the early nation. It outlines the Framers’ concerted efforts to “tame” vernacular understandings of democracy and links those theories and practices to the extension of European communing practices in the British colonies. Finally it shows how we can see those communing practices in the literature of the early nation.

Keywords:   citizen sovereignty, formal democracy, popular power, public happiness, vernacular democracy

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