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Taming Passion for the Public GoodPolicing Sex in the Early Republic$
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Mark E. Kann

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814770191

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814770191.001.0001

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The Patriarchal Core of Liberalism

The Patriarchal Core of Liberalism

(p.161) 7 The Patriarchal Core of Liberalism
Taming Passion for the Public Good

Mark E. Kann

NYU Press

This chapter explores the relationship between the patriarchal authority to police sex and newly emergent liberalism in the early Republic. More specifically, it considers the importance of perpetuating patriarchal authority to ensure the perpetuation of liberalism. It argues that patriarchal authority is the core of liberalism, and in the nation's early years gave governing elites discretionary decision-making that enabled them to limit people's liberty, to restrain public passion, and to ensure social order. Despite early America's transition to liberalism, as historians assert, patriarchal authority persisted. This chapter discusses some of the factors that helped early elites wield the patriarchal authority necessary to police sexual behavior without serious public opposition, such as exercising caring paternalism. It concludes by analyzing changes in the relationship beween patriarchal authority and liberalism in America over the past 200 years.

Keywords:   patriarchal authority, sex, liberalism, liberty, passion, social order, sexual behavior, paternalism

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