Dustin Gish & Andrew Bibby: Rival Visions – How Jefferson and His Contemporaries Defined the Early American Republic

Writing the Declaration of Independence 1776

Rival Visions: How Jefferson and His Contemporaries Defined the Early American Republic

Edited by Dustin Gish and Andrew Bibby


JMC fellows Dustin Gish and Andrew Bibby have co-edited a volume of essays examining Jefferson’s vision of the early republic versus that of his contemporaries. Several JMC academics served as contributors:

The emergence of the early American republic as a new nation on the world stage conjured rival visions in the eyes of leading statesmen at home and attentive observers abroad. Thomas Jefferson envisioned the newly independent states as a federation of republics united by common experience, mutual interest, and an adherence to principles of natural rights. His views on popular government and the American experiment in republicanism, and later the expansion of its empire of liberty, offered an influential account of the new nation. While persuasive in crucial respects, his vision of early America did not stand alone as an unrivaled model.

The contributors to Rival Visions examine how Jefferson’s contemporaries―including Washington, Adams, Hamilton, Madison, and Marshall―articulated their visions for the early American republic. Even beyond America, in this age of successive revolutions and crises, foreign statesmen began to formulate their own accounts of the new nation, its character, and its future prospects. This volume reveals how these vigorous debates and competing rival visions defined the early American republic in the formative epoch after the revolution.

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Dustin Gish is Faculty and Associate Director of the Minor in Politics and Ethics in the Honors College at the University of Houston. He is also the associate director of Phronêsis, an Honors minor and program in politics and ethics. Aside from Rival Visions, he is also the contributing co-editor of five volumes: The Quest for Excellence (2016); Resistance to Tyrants, Obedience to God: Reason, Religion, and Republicanism at the American Founding (2013); Shakespeare and the Body Politic (2013); Souls with Longing: Representations of Honor and Love in Shakespeare (2011); and, The Political Thought of Xenophon (2009). Dr. Gish’s most recent book is Thomas Jefferson and the Science of Republican Government: A Political Biography of ‘Notes on the State of Virginia’ (published by Cambridge University Press, 2017).  His research on Homer, Xenophon, Plato, Shakespeare, Jefferson, and the history of political thought has been published in numerous journal articles, book chapters, and review essays.

Professor Gish is a JMC fellow.

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Andrew Bibby is Associate Director of the Center for Constitutional Studies at Utah Valley University, where he teaches introductory classes in Political Science, Political Theory, and American Heritage. He is the recipient of major research awards, including a SSHRC Masters scholarship and the Postdoctoral Fellowship in the James Madison Program for American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton. Professor Bibby is also the author of Montesquieu’s Political Economy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). His writing on American Political Thought has appeared in various news and media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal. His next book, Reading Montesquieu in America explores Montesquieu’s legacy and impact on the evolution of constitutional thought in the early American republic.

Professor Bibby is a JMC fellow.

Learn more about Andrew Bibby >>



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