Social contract, civic organicism, and Antebellum Southern political thought
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Though of a river of ink has been expended describing the long, multifaceted road to the Souths secession from the American Union, the political philosophy informing Southern understandings of the Union and legitimating secession has yet to be thoroughly and perfectly understood. This study endeavors to demonstrate that antebellum Southern thought is categorically modern. Exploration of variations on themes of social contract and civic organicism theory are foundational to this work. Through surveying the writings of St. George Tucker, Nathaniel Beverley Tucker, and John C. Calhoun a shift from social contract toward civic organicism is clearly discernible. A thorough commitment to principles of popular sovereignty are also shown to be present in each thinker, and their understanding of the nature of the American federal government is explicated. By demonstrating the modern characteristics of Southern political philosophy, this work fits well within the current of historiography working to portray the thoroughly modern nature of the Old South.