The American Counter-Revolution in Favor of Liberty

How Americans Resisted Modern State, 1765–1850

  • Ivan Jankovic

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. America and Traditional British Liberties

  3. On a Collision Course with Modern State

  4. States’ Rights Philosophy as a Synthesis and Reconciliation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 165-165
    2. Ivan Jankovic
      Pages 249-272
    3. Ivan Jankovic
      Pages 273-279

About this book


This book presents the case that the origins of American liberty should not be sought in the constitutional-reformist feats of its “statesmen” during the 1780s, but rather in the political and social resistance to their efforts. There were two revolutions occurring in the late 18th century America: the modern European revolution “in favour of government,” pursuing national unity, “energetic” government and centralization of power (what scholars usually dub “American founding”); and a conservative, reactionary counter-revolution “in favour of liberty,” defending local rights and liberal individualism against the encroaching political authority. This is a book about this liberal counter-revolution and its ideological, political and cultural sources and central protagonists. The central analytical argument of the book is that America before the Revolution was a stateless, spontaneous political order that evolved culturally, politically and economically in isolation from the modern European trends of state-building and centralization of power. The book argues, then, that a better model for understanding America is a “decoupled modernization” hypothesis, in which social modernity is divested from the politics of modern state and tied with the pre-modern social institutions.


American revolution modern European revolution American founding modern American state state-building Liberty versus government anti-statist resistance

Authors and affiliations

  • Ivan Jankovic
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Mary BismarckUSA

Bibliographic information