Date of Award

Fall 2000

Document Type

Legacy Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

Political Science

College

College of Humanities and Fine Arts

First Advisor

Jack V. Riley, Jr.

Abstract/Description

During the 19th century, and continuing on into the 20th century, a radical shift in the views of American political conservatism took place, leading to the acceptance of the trends toward historicism and positivism. These changes have moved the center of conservative thought away from the principles upon which the United States was founded, those being the principles set forth in the Declaration oflndependence, and into a realm where values are defended by nothing more than tradition. This trend in American conservatism has greatly worried men like Harry V. Jaffa, a contemporary political philosopher. Jaffa has dedicated his life's work to the study of American political theory. It is through careful examination of his works that the insufficiency of historicism and positivism will be revealed.

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