The Story of the Constitutional Convention May - September 1787
Author: Catherine Drinker Bowen
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Category: Political Science
A classic history of the Federal Convention at Philadelphia in 1787, the stormy, dramatic session that produced the most enduring of political documents: the Constitution of the United States. From Catherine Drinker Bowen, noted American biographer and National Book Award winner, comes the canonical account of the Constitutional Convention recommended as "required reading for every American." Looked at straight from the records, the Federal Convention is startlingly fresh and new, and Mrs. Bowen evokes it as if the reader were actually there, mingling with the delegates, hearing their arguments, witnessing a dramatic moment in history. Here is the fascinating record of the hot, sultry summer months of debate and decision when ideas clashed and tempers flared. Here is the country as it was then, described by contemporaries, by Berkshire farmers in Massachusetts, by Patrick Henry's Kentucky allies, by French and English travelers. Here, too, are the offstage voices--Thomas Jefferson and Tom Paine and John Adams from Europe. In all, fifty-five men attended; and in spite of the heat, in spite of clashing interests--the big states against the little, the slave states against the anti-slave states--in tension and anxiety that mounted week after week, they wrote out a working plan of government and put their signatures to it.
Offers insight into the issues and virtues that shaped the Constitution's framers, and situates the development of the document in its historical context while summarizing the debates on each issue that occurred at the Constitutional Convention.
In James Madison and the Making of America, historian Kevin Gutzman looks beyond the way James Madison is traditionally seen -- as "The Father of the Constitution" -- to find a more complex and sometimes contradictory portrait of this influential Founding Father and the ways in which he influenced the spirit of today's United States. Instead of an idealized portrait of Madison, Gutzman treats readers to the flesh-and-blood story of a man who often performed his founding deeds in spite of himself: Madison's fame rests on his participation in the writing of The Federalist Papers and his role in drafting the Bill of Rights and Constitution. Today, his contribution to those documents is largely misunderstood. He thought that the Bill of Rights was unnecessary and insisted that it not be included in the Constitution, a document he found entirely inadequate and predicted would soon fail. Madison helped to create the first American political party, the first party to call itself "Republican", but only after he had argued that political parties, in general, were harmful. Madison served as Secretary of State and then as President during the early years of the United States and the War of 1812; however, the American foreign policy he implemented in 1801-1817 ultimately resulted in the British burning down the Capitol and the White House. In so many ways, the contradictions both in Madison's thinking and in the way he governed foreshadowed the conflicted state of our Union now. His greatest legacy—the disestablishment of Virginia's state church and adoption of the libertarian Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom—is often omitted from discussion of his career. Yet, understanding the way in which Madison saw the relationship between the church and state is key to understanding the real man. Kevin Gutzman's James Madison and the Making of America promises to become the standard biography of our fourth President.
This Election Update edition of Bessette/Pitney’s AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: DELIBERATION, DEMOCRACY AND CITIZENSHIP, is complete with 2010 election information. Like its previous edition, the text has three underlying principles: Citizenship, History and Democracy. Via two unique chapters -- Chapter 4: American Citizenship and Chapter 5: Civic Culture -- authors Joseph Bessette and John Pitney, Jr. examine the way that civic culture shapes the country and take a close look at civic responsibility. Deliberative democracy -- the concept that political systems work best when informed citizens and public officials deliberate to identify and promote the common good -- is considered throughout the text. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.
The Dramatic Events that Shaped a Nation's Character
Author: Tony Williams
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
At a time when surveys reveal that Americans know less and less about our past, Tony Williams provides entertaining and informative descriptions of 50 key events-some known and some forgotten that shaped colonial and revolutionary America, from the Mayflower Compact to the Annapolis Convention."
This comparative study examines the emancipation process in the British Caribbean, particularly Jamaica, during the 1830s and in the United States, particularly South Carolina, during the 1860s. Analyzing the intellectual and ideological foundations of postslavery Anglo-America, Demetrius Eudell explores how former slaves, former slaveholders, and their societies' central governments understood and discussed slavery, emancipation, and the transition between the two. Eudell investigates the public policies--which addressed issues of labor control, access to land, and the general social behaviors of former slaves--used to execute emancipation. In both regions, government-appointed officials (special magistrates in Jamaica and agents of the Freedmen's Bureau in South Carolina) were crucial in implementing these policies. While many former slaves were fighting for the right to be paid for their labor and to own land, many officials came to view their role as part of a new civilizing mission whose goal was to eradicate the psychic damage supposedly caused by slavery. Eudell concludes by examining the 1865 Morant Bay rebellion in Jamaica and the retreat from Reconstruction in South Carolina, part of the larger movement of Redemption that occurred in 1877. Both of these occurrences represented the incomplete victory of emancipation, Eudell argues, and should provoke scholarly questions regarding the persistent thesis of U.S. exceptionalism.
Why Are You Here?: A Primer for State Legislators and Citizens is a challenge to America’s 7,382 state legislators and their constituents to critically examine their state legislature and take appropriate action to improve it.