First Advisor

Craig Carr

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Political Science


Political Science




Virtue, Rousseau, Cicero, Patriotism -- Social aspects -- United States, Citizenship -- Social aspects -- United States, Thomas Jefferson -- 1743-1826 -- Political and social views



Physical Description

1 online resource (ii, 97 p.)


In contemporary American political life, concepts such as duty to country and society often play a role in political discourse, but are often forgotten in the lives of average Americans. The life of the average citizen is focused on issues of economic survival, familial matters, and the diversions that occupy persons. Devotion to country is made an at best secondary concern for Americans. The purpose of this work is to examine the concepts of civic virtue that historically have dominated American political thought, using the writings of Thomas Jefferson and his influences as the primary source material for this effort, as well as the writings of modern western political theorists. Through this work, a conflict emerges between the values of western liberal thought and classic republicanism; to this end, a secondary purpose of this work is to reconcile those differences in an American context. Finally, a third purpose of this work is to offer a theoretical plan for re-connecting the average citizen with concepts of civic virtue through a proposal for public service.


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Hatfield School of Government. Division of Political Science

Persistent Identifier