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John Adams and the Fear of American Oligarchy$
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Luke Mayville

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691171531

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691171531.001.0001

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American Oligarchy?

American Oligarchy?

(p.148) Conclusion American Oligarchy?
John Adams and the Fear of American Oligarchy

Luke Mayville

Princeton University Press

This chapter summarizes key themes and presents some final thoughts. This book traced Adams' fear of oligarchy to a more rational source. It argued that Adams was a practical political scientist who concluded through his studies and experiences that republican governments had always been threatened by elite domination and that America would be no different. It suggested that Adams deserves to be remembered not just as a statesman but also as a shrewd critic of oligarchy. In the American intellectual tradition he should be understood as a predecessor to Alexis de Tocqueville, the purveyor of a “new science of politics,” who would arrive in America from France just a few years after Adams' death.

Keywords:   John Adams, wealth, oligarchy, Alexis de Tocqueville

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