Part IV: John Adams and Political Economy

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John Adams

Chapter 11 – Old Societies and Old Balances


  • Ancient Society and Class Struggles
  • The Ancient Form of Social Group Alignment
  • The Principles of the Ancient Form
  • Further Defining the Principles
  • Problems with the Ancient Form
  • America’s Rejection of the Ancient Form
  • Monarchy and the Ancient Form
  • Democracy and the Ancient Form
  • Aristocracy and the Ancient Form

Chapter 12 – The Great American Experiment


  • The Origin of the Separation of Powers Doctrine
  • The Origin of Checks and Balances
  • Parliament, the Embodiment of British Society
  • Parties, the Embodiment of American Society
  • Parties Are an Unavoidable Evil
  • The Best Laid Schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
  • Deceiving the Public for the Public’s Good

Chapter 13 – A New Society and a New Balance


  • Three-way Divisions of Power
  • Contrasting the Three-way Divisions of Power
  • The Founders’ Desire for the Ideal of Equality
  • Three Social Divisions in a Two-Class Society
  • The Founders Looked for a Natural Aristocracy
  • The Natural Aristocracy Never Materialized

Chapter 14 – A Second Proposal from John Adams


  • A Natural Aristocracy or a Natural Monarchy?
  • The Rise of Monarchy, Capitalists, and Nations
  • The Wilting of the American Rose
  • What Went Wrong?
  • Standing on the Knife-edge of History
  • The Trappings of Wealth
  • Geniuses, but not Prophets
  • The American Oligarchy
  • Are We a Democracy or Just a Bureaucracy?
  • Where Can We Go from Here?

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