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Old February 11th, 2016, 06:41 AM   #11

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I think the left/right political paradigm is so subjective that you could make an argument for any political figure or party in the 18th and 19th centuries to be both left and right... It's just too hard to objectively debate. What is objectively left and what is objectively right?
Probably no such thing as an "objective" judgment in this case, unless you're talking about the parties in the French Revolution. The issues and groupings around issues change a lot from time to time.
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Old February 11th, 2016, 06:55 AM   #12
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I think the left/right political paradigm is so subjective that you could make an argument for any political figure or party in the 18th and 19th centuries to be both left and right... It's just too hard to objectively debate. What is objectively left and what is objectively right?
Monarchy and Feudalism is objectively right wing and Republicanism and Egalitarianism is objectively left wing. But, beyond that, it is difficult to nail down.
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Old February 11th, 2016, 07:21 AM   #13

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Monarchy and Feudalism is objectively right wing and Republicanism and Egalitarianism is objectively left wing. But, beyond that, it is difficult to nail down.
What set of criteria did you use to come to that conclusion? Could you not also make the argument that feudalism is more left wing due to centralization of power and republicanism more right wing due to less central power? See, I fell into the subjective trap just now.
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Old February 11th, 2016, 07:33 AM   #14
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What set of criteria did you use to come to that conclusion? Could you not also make the argument that feudalism is more left wing due to centralization of power and republicanism more right wing due to less central power? See, I fell into the subjective trap just now.
Based upon the divisions in the French Assembly that gave birth to these terms.
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Old February 12th, 2016, 03:20 PM   #15

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Monarchy and Feudalism is objectively right wing and Republicanism and Egalitarianism is objectively left wing. But, beyond that, it is difficult to nail down.
I believe this is what I mean by "left" and "right" in this case. Obviously, these labels are much better defined post-French-Revolution. Now obviously, neither the Federalists nor the Democratic-Republicans were for monarchy and feudalism, but can we pin one side down as being less egalitarian or less republican?
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Old February 12th, 2016, 04:57 PM   #16
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Now obviously, neither the Federalists nor the Democratic-Republicans were for monarchy and feudalism, but can we pin one side down as being less egalitarian or less republican?
Were the F's around long enough to be pinned down?

I am still stuck at square one: the F's like the English, the DR's liked the French.
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Old February 12th, 2016, 08:37 PM   #17

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I am still stuck at square one: the F's like the English, the DR's liked the French.
Good idea, hadn't even thought about starting there; I was beginning with federalism's relationship with other political ideologies.

My first impression is that with the Federalists favoring the British perhaps they were the "Tory-ish" party, making the Democratic-Republicans the "Whig-ish" party. But does wanting cordial relations with the country you just seceded from make you a loyalist or monarchist? I'm not sure about that, but my thinking as of now is that the Federalists wanting a strong and solid federal government might be more authoritarian (read "right-wing") than the Democratic-Republican's wishes.

And the Democratic-Republican's admiration for a country that had just aided the colonists in creating a revolution (and that would soon employ that same revolutionary fervor to begin a rebellion of its own) implies a more liberal or left-wing stance in my mind initially. Furthermore, it might be argued that the Democratic-Republicans, presumably in devotion to left-wing ideals, wanted to take the American Revolution farther in its liberation of the people from "big bad" government. Isn't government closer to the people a left-wing ideal? My thinking is that the Democratic-Republicans wanted republican representatives to represent their constituents by having governments geographically close to those constituents.

That said, I live in very conservative Texas, and down here people still speak fondly of secession. The Deep South loves its states' rights yet is undoubtedly right-wing in political leaning, so I might be wrong in my above analysis! Even before slavery started becoming an issue and the Civil War erupted, the political party dominant in the southern United States was the "defender of states' rights," but as conservative as the region is today makes me reconsider the Democratic-Republican position as right-wing. Also slavery, which isn't very egalitarian at all, is it?

Those are my thoughts thus far, yet I'm still conflicted.
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Old February 14th, 2016, 07:21 AM   #18
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Good idea, hadn't even thought about starting there; I was beginning with federalism's relationship with other political ideologies.
That's my main point, that there were not two theories of government.

I have read a bit of the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers, Madison's Notes, Ferrand's, newspapers - there was no right-left dichotomy between the original Federalists and Anti-Federalists. For example, at the so-called "Constitutional" Convention, Delegate Gunning Bedford (DE) proposed broad powers to Congress, where state laws were "incompetent" or "disruptive." Delegate Edmund Randolph (MA) argued state law would then have no consequence under the Bedford proposal. The proposal received no votes.

The two basic divisions between the F's and AF's during ratification is that the AF's favored confederated government, and didn't trust that any constitution would restrain the central government; and later enough AF's were picked off by the idea of a Bill of Rights to "guarantee" that the central government would not do what Article 1 did not grant the government power to do in the first place. But F's and AFs were in agreement about what the role of government was, and the relation between the government and the citizens - and in disagreement about whether a constitution would work.

To my way of thinking, there was simply too much cultural and philosophical consistency among the founders and framers to think that anything resembling a left-right dichotomy existed. Later, when it became the Federalists and Democratic-Republicans, I don't think much changed philosophically.

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That said, I live in very conservative Texas, and down here people still speak fondly of secession.
Texas was an independent country.

Last edited by Code Blue; February 14th, 2016 at 07:26 AM.
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Old July 6th, 2018, 01:06 PM   #19
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From the perspective of leaders like Thomas Jefferson, he and his fellow Republicans, as Democrats were then called, were considered, or considered themselves "Whigs," "liberals," "radicals," "Jacobins," "democrats," and, most interestingly of all, "cote gauche," which loosely translates to "left-wing" from French.

The Federalists were inversely called "Tories," "serviles," "ultras," "aristocrats," and, unsurprisingly, "cote droite," which is "right-wing."

Based on the politics of the day, it's clear that for at least 225 years, Democrats and Federalists/Whigs/Republicans have been considered, at least nominally, left and right, respectively.

Last edited by The Democrat; July 6th, 2018 at 01:33 PM.
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Old July 6th, 2018, 01:23 PM   #20
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(Sorry, second thread started today but was curious to see what you all thought!)

Between the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans, which was politically left which was politically right? My gut says Democratic-Republicans were to the left of the Federalists, but the electoral maps say differently. Kind of like revolutionary France, I imagine both parties were left-wing parties, but surely in retrospect we can find fitting left/right labels for them, right?

Just curious what you all think!
Well based on Liberal and conservative being tied to the times not the present(for example many liberals would prefer the Federalists and vice e versa that should not be considered), Federalists are the right, Republicans the left. Federalists wanted to keep things largely the same from Washington's administration and believed in a strong central government closer relations with the UK than France while the Republicans wanted more radical change(Jefferson wanted an agrarian utopia) with Jefferson kind of sort of supporting the French Revolution. Federalists were more aristocratic than the Republicans and in that era the big fault line of right and left was republicanism versus aristocracy.

At the end of the day the Republicans win but that's because they end up adopting most of the Federalist economic policies removing any reason for former Federalist's to oppose them. Hence the First Party System ends with a brief one party system.
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