This is a reconstruction of John H. Schaar’s first introductory lecture for his course on American political thought taught often at University of California, Berkeley, and University of California, Santa Cruz. Schaar argues that America had two foundings: the communitarian experiment of the New England Puritans and that of the American Revolution and Constitution of 1789, which were rooted in liberal political theory. While the first founding has been forgotten, even reviled, the second founding led to corruption, violence, individualism, and privatism. Schaar calls for the restoration of participatory community while recognizing the formidable obstacles to accomplishing that.
"Two Foundings": An Unpublished Lecture by John H. Schaar