When The New Democracy first appeared in 1912, it was widely regarded as one of the most influential works of the Progressive Era. Yet, despite continuing interest in the political thought of the Progressive Era, both Weyl and The New Democracy slipped into undeserved obscurity shortly after the author's death from cancer in 1919. Despite this, Weyl's book remains one of the most important links in the development of a liberal-progressive theory of democracy.

Weyl describes the efforts of a plutocracy seeking to control, often by corrupt means, the federal government. He attacks the Founding Fathers' motives, and reads the Constitution as an anti-democratic document produced by aristocrats attempting to protect their own economic interests in troubled times. In contrast to many of his predecessors, Weyl rejects Natural Law and sees the distribution of wealth as the fundamental issue in political life. For Weyl, rights are not defined by Nature, but by human institutions that distribute wealth. He supported a stronger federal government, one that provides more rights and economic equality for the common citizen.

In his opening essay for this new edition of The New Democracy, Sidney A. Pearson, Jr. painstakingly explores Weyl's life, influence, political philosophy, the origins of the book, and the author's subsequent descent into obscurity. This classic work will be of interest to students of political science, government, and American political theory.

chapter II|16 pages

The Shadow-Democracy Of 1776

chapter III|13 pages

The Conquest Of The Continent

chapter IV|15 pages

The Individualistic Spirit Of America

chapter V|13 pages

The Sovereign American And His State

chapter VI|14 pages

The Plutocratic Reorganization

chapter VII|18 pages

Our Resplendent Plutocracy

chapter VIII|25 pages

The Plutocracy In Politics

chapter IX|18 pages

The Plutocracy And Public Opinion

chapter X|17 pages

Plutocracy And Efficiency

chapter XI|13 pages

The New Social Spirit

chapter XII|22 pages

Democracy And The Class War

chapter XIII|18 pages

Democracy And The Social Surplus

chapter XIV|26 pages

The Levels Of Democratic Striving

chapter XV|20 pages

The Gathering Forces Of The Democracy

chapter XVI|21 pages

The Tactics Of The Democracy

chapter XVII|22 pages

The Industrial Program Op The Democracy

chapter XVIII|22 pages

The Political Program Of The Democracy

chapter XIX|28 pages

The Social Program Of The Democracy

chapter XX|11 pages

Can A Democracy Endure?