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Political Moderation in America's First Two Centuries corrects the popular misconception that moderates are timid and cautious. Robert M. Calhoon examines the structure of political moderation; he characterizes moderation as a compound of principle and prudence; he defines it as humility in the face of the past; and he classifies it as historically grounded political ethics. From its origins in the Peloponnesian War and its early modern recovery during the French Wars of Religion, this book recounts the popularization of political moderation in American history from John Locke in the 1680s to the Mugwumps in the 1880s. The first comprehensive history of this subject, this book draws on more than a hundred books published over the past half-century and extensive research on religion and politics in America to demonstrate that moderates were creatures of circumstance - made, not born.