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For an extended discussion of the perceived deficiencies of the Articles of Confederation, see Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776–1787, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1969) ch. x, especially pp. 403–13. 14. , The Federalist Papers, pp. 125–6. 15. Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 2 vols (1835 and 1840), ed. Daniel J. Boorstin (New York: Vintage Books, 1990). 16. Alexis de Tocqueville, The Old Regime and the Revolution (1856), ed. Stuart Gilbert (New York: Anchor, 1955).

It was rendered worse still by the fact that any form of poor relief automatically robbed recipients of an important and hard-won symbol of respectability – the parliamentary and municipal vote. The deeply shaming effect of all this is substantiated by much respectable working-class testimony up to 1914 and beyond. Moreover, not merely did the spectre of parochial relief make the state seem hostile; it also took the recipient out of the political loop at his or her point of greatest need. The Poor Law had one other highly relevant effect: for respectable working men, it significantly reinforced the attractions of friendly society and burial society membership and participation.

Philosophy, Politics and Society, (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1967) p. vii. 24 Liberal Democratic Theory 36. Thus I omit any discussion of the critical and stimulating literature to which the publication of John Rawls, A Theory of Justice (Oxford University Press, 1973) gave rise. Rawls periodically responded to this literature, and much of his subsequent thinking is presented in John Rawls, Political Liberalism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993). Also not considered is the vigorous debate between liberals and communitarians, for which Rawls himself was partly responsible.

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