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Cultural Production In The Early Republic

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Cultural production in the early republic made the United States what it is today. Early Republicans worked day in and day out to create, produce, and manifest their own mark on the developing land. Some worked in factories; others worked on farms. No matter where these Republicans worked, they were all contributing their own threads to the newly formed fabric of an early North American empire. One thread that is often overlooked is also one of the most important threads of them all - the philosophical thread. The philosophy of these early Republicans shaped both the theological and political spheres of the developing nation. This was some of the most imperative work that took place within the newly forming country. The producers of American…show more content…
A few of these observations of materials and ideological spaces are as follows: minerals, vegetables, maps of Virginia, the Constitution, population, and lastly-- religion. Obviously, these notes vary immensely from subject to subject. These notes all utilizes a carefully crafted selection of rhetorical devices used to capture the ideological terrain of the newly formed nation. Jefferson’s section on religion delves deep into the ideology of supporting religious freedom. He takes his stance on the importance of religious freedom through exploring the atrocities committed in England over religious persecution. He accounts these atrocities by pointing out that, “millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned” and he goes on to say, “yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity”.1 This is undeniably the basis for his logic in spiritual freedom. Without the freedom to believe what early Republicans want to believe, there would have been religious unrest and in effect violence and upheaval, similar to the state of affairs in early Europe. This fear of religious persecution is a fundamental cause for Jefferson’s enlightened view on freedom of religious choice. Jefferson wanted to make the new republic last so because of this he believed the more acceptance -- the…show more content…
A great explanation of this is found in Holowchak’s essay, “Philosophical Vignettes in Jefferson's Notes on Virginia”. In this essay, Holowchak breaks down Jefferson’s logic in support of religious tolerance by observing, “Rulers, Jefferson states, have authority over natural rights only insofar as citizens allow rulers to have such authority. Yet citizens have never allowed rulers authority over rights of conscience, to which religious belief belongs”.2 This unequivocally supports the fact that no one but the citizens themselves have the right to decide their spiritual and conscious preference. Jefferson knew that, regardless of a ruler’s preference, people are entitled to their own religious rights. He knew that religious persecution ensued when intolerance ran rampant; so through this notion of protecting his fellow citizen’s rights, he came to differentiate the rulers sphere of power from the “rights of the conscious”. This philosophical ideology of the “rights of the conscious” lays out the groundwork still used today in support for religious equality and tolerance. This is a pivotal idea. To avoid the religious persecution of citizens of the early Republic, Jefferson encouraged the separation of natural rights from governmental policy. This produced an ideology
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