The Revolutionary Constitution

Author: David J. Bodenhamer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019991303X
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
The framers of the Constitution chose their words carefully when they wrote of a more perfect union--not absolutely perfect, but with room for improvement. Indeed, we no longer operate under the same Constitution as that ratified in 1788, or even the one completed by the Bill of Rights in 1791--because we are no longer the same nation. In The Revolutionary Constitution, David J. Bodenhamer provides a comprehensive new look at America's basic law, integrating the latest legal scholarship with historical context to highlight how it has evolved over time. The Constitution, he notes, was the product of the first modern revolution, and revolutions are, by definition, moments when the past shifts toward an unfamiliar future, one radically different from what was foreseen only a brief time earlier. In seeking to balance power and liberty, the framers established a structure that would allow future generations to continually readjust the scale. Bodenhamer explores this dynamic through seven major constitutional themes: federalism, balance of powers, property, representation, equality, rights, and security. With each, he takes a historical approach, following their changes over time. For example, the framers wrote multiple protections for property rights into the Constitution in response to actions by state governments after the Revolution. But twentieth-century courts--and Congress--redefined property rights through measures such as zoning and the designation of historical landmarks (diminishing their commercial value) in response to the needs of a modern economy. The framers anticipated just such a future reworking of their own compromises between liberty and power. With up-to-the-minute legal expertise and a broad grasp of the social and political context, this book is a tour de force of Constitutional history and analysis.

Gentleman Revolutionary

Author: Richard Brookhiser
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781439104088
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
Since 1996, Richard Brookhiser has devoted himself to recovering the Founding for modern Americans. The creators of our democracy had both the temptations and the shortcomings of all men, combined with the talents and idealism of the truly great. Among them, no Founding Father demonstrates the combination of temptations and talents quite so vividly as the least known of the greats, Gouverneur Morris. His story is one that should be known by every American -- after all, he drafted the Constitution, and his hand lies behind many of its most important phrases. Yet he has been lost in the shadows of the Founders who became presidents and faces on our currency. As Brookhiser shows in this sparkling narrative, Morris's story is not only crucial to the Founding, it is also one of the most entertaining and instructive of all. Gouverneur Morris, more than Washington, Jefferson, or even Franklin, is the Founding Father whose story can most readily touch our hearts, and whose character is most sorely needed today. He was a witty, peg-legged ladies' man. He was an eyewitness to two revolutions (American and French) who joked with George Washington, shared a mistress with Talleyrand, and lost friends to the guillotine. In his spare time he gave New York City its street grid and New York State the Erie Canal. His keen mind and his light, sure touch helped make our Constitution the most enduring fundamental set of laws in the world. In his private life, he suited himself; pleased the ladies until, at age fifty-seven, he settled down with one lady (and pleased her); and lived the life of a gentleman, for whom grace and humanity were as important as birth. He kept his good humor through war, mobs, arson, death, and two accidents that burned the flesh from one of his arms and cut off one of his legs below the knee. Above all, he had the gift of a sunny disposition that allowed him to keep his head in any troubles. We have much to learn from him, and much pleasure to take in his company.

Between Authority and Liberty

Author: Marc W. Kruman
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 9780807847978
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
In a major reinterpretation of American political thought in the revolutionary era, Marc Kruman explores the process of constitution making in each of the thirteen original states and shows that the framers created a distinctively American science of poli

James Madison

Author: Brent P. Kelley
Publisher: Infobase Learning
ISBN: 1438143958
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download Now
A biography of the "Father of the Constitution" and fourth president of the United States.

The U S Constitution a Very Short Introduction

Author: David J. Bodenhamer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195378326
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
"Though the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1788, its impact on our lives is as recent as today's news. Claims and counterclaims about the constitutionality of governmental actions are a habit of American politics. This document, which its framers designed to limit power, often has made political conflict inevitable. It also has accommodated and legitimized the political and social changes of a vibrant, powerful democratic nation. A product of history's first modern revolution, the Constitution embraced a new formula for government: it restrained power on behalf of liberty, but it also granted power to promote and protect liberty. The U.S. Constitution: A Very Short Introduction explores the major themes that have shaped American constitutional history-- federalism, the balance of powers, property, representation, equality, rights, and security. Informed by the latest scholarship, this book places constitutional history within the context of American political and social history. We do not operate today under the same Constitution created by our founding fathers or the Constitution as completed by the Bill of Rights in 1791 or even the one revised by the Reconstruction amendments. Nor are we the same nation. As our circumstances have changed, so has our Constitution.Today we face serious challenges to the nation's constitutional legacy. Endless wars, a sharply divided electorate and deadlocked government, economic inequality, immigration, cybersecurity and privacy, and foreign interference in the nation's democratic processes, among a host of other issues, have placed demands on government and on society that test our constitutional values. Understanding how the Constitution has evolved will help us adapt its principles to the challenges of our age"--

Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution

Author: Woody Holton
Publisher: Hill and Wang
ISBN: 9781429923668
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
Average Americans Were the True Framers of the Constitution Woody Holton upends what we think we know of the Constitution's origins by telling the history of the average Americans who challenged the framers of the Constitution and forced on them the revisions that produced the document we now venerate. The framers who gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 were determined to reverse America's post–Revolutionary War slide into democracy. They believed too many middling Americans exercised too much influence over state and national policies. That the framers were only partially successful in curtailing citizen rights is due to the reaction, sometimes violent, of unruly average Americans. If not to protect civil liberties and the freedom of the people, what motivated the framers? In Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution, Holton provides the startling discovery that the primary purpose of the Constitution was, simply put, to make America more attractive to investment. And the linchpin to that endeavor was taking power away from the states and ultimately away from the people. In an eye-opening interpretation of the Constitution, Holton captures how the same class of Americans that produced Shays's Rebellion in Massachusetts (and rebellions in damn near every other state) produced the Constitution we now revere. Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution is a 2007 National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction.

The Massachusetts State Constitution

Author: Lawrence Friedman
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 019977868X
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
In The Massachusetts State Constitution, Lawrence Friedman and Lynnea Thody present a comprehensive and accessible survey of Massachusetts constitutional history and constitutional law. The Massachusetts Constitution is the oldest state constitution and has remained essentially unchanged since it was drafted in 1780. It served as a model for the United States Constitution and many of the state constitutions that followed. The Massachusetts State Constitution provides an outstanding constitutional and historical account of the state's governing charter. It begins with an overview of Massachusetts's constitutional history, and then provides an in-depth, section-by-section analysis of the entire constitution, detailing important changes that have been made since its drafting. This treatment, which includes a list of cases, index, and bibliography, makes this guide indispensable for students, scholars, and practitioners of the Massachusetts constitution. The Oxford Commentaries on the State Constitutions of the United States is an important series that reflects a renewed international interest in constitutional history and provides expert insight into each of the 50 state constitutions. Each volume in this innovative series contains a historical overview of the state's constitutional development, a section-by-section analysis of its current constitution, and a comprehensive guide to further research. Under the expert editorship of Professor G. Alan Tarr, Director of the Center on State Constitutional Studies at Rutgers University, this series provides essential reference tools for understanding state constitutional law. Books in the series can be purchased individually or as part of a complete set, giving readers unmatched access to these important political documents.

The United States Constitution Revisited

Author: J. Jackson Owensby
Publisher: a-argus books
ISBN: 0984619569
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
The United States Constitution, or as it was properly named "The Constitution for the United States of America" became the guiding light for a number of confused, misguided and misled North American colonies. That light led the way to those colonies uniting into a vibrant nation, replete with personal liberty, freedom and god-given individual rights. A close look at how the country was founded, how it grew into greatness that has never been matched and what steps need to be taken to get the United States back onto the path that destiny intended, a path to remain the beacon of freedom for the rest of the world, a bastion of strength in a time of turmoil.