Fragment Theory

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  • An interpretation of the ideological development of colonial societies based on what fragment of evolving European society the founders identified (also known as the Hartzian model). The theory was conceived by the Harvard political scientist Louis Hartz (1919–1986) in The Liberal Tradition of America (1955), a study tracing America's ideological foundation. Fragment theory claims that the ideology underpinning a nation can be traced back to the mother country at the time when the founders of the nation departed from it; therefore, developments that occurred in the mother country after the founders left would not be reflected. Hartz went so far as to argue that the Old World experiences of the founders were even more formative for the new nation than those gained in the New ...

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