Federalism is regarded as one of the signal American contributions to modern politics. Its origins are typically traced to the drafting of the Constitution, but the story began decades before the delegates met in Philadelphia. In this groundbreaking book, Alison LaCroix traces the history of American federal thought from its colonial beginnings in scattered provincial responses to British assertions of authority, to its emergence in the late eighteenth century as a normative theory of multilayered government. The core of this new federal ideology was a belief that multiple independent levels of government could legitimately exist within a single polity, and that such an arrangement was not a defect but a virtue. This belief became a foundational principle and aspiration of the American political enterprise. LaCroix thus challenges the traditional account of republican ideology as the single dominant framework for eighteenth-century American political thought. Understanding the emerging federal ideology returns constitutional thought to the central place that it occupied for the founders. Federalism was not a necessary adaptation to make an already designed system work; it was the system. Connecting the colonial, revolutionary, founding, and early national periods in one story reveals the fundamental reconfigurations of legal and political power that accompanied the formation of the United States. The emergence of American federalism should be understood as a critical ideological development of the period, and this book is essential reading for everyone interested in the American story.
To the original text of what has become a classic of American historical literature, Bernard Bailyn adds a substantial essay, "Fulfillment," as a Postscript. Here he discusses the intense, nation-wide debate on the ratification of the Constitution, stressing the continuities between that struggle over the foundations of the national government and the original principles of the Revolution. This detailed study of the persistence of the nation's ideological origins adds a new dimension to the book and projects its meaning forward into vital current concerns.
The Economic Consequences of Freedom in the Atlantic World
Author: J. Chu
Jonathan Chu explores individual economic and legal behaviors, connecting them to adjustments in trade relations with Europe and Asia, the rise in debt litigation in Western Massachusetts, deflation and monetary illiquidity, and the Bank of North America.
The Politics of Violence in the American Revolutionary Era
Author: Patrick Griffin
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
Between Sovereignty and Anarchy considers the conceptual and political problem of violence in the early modern Anglo-Atlantic, charting an innovative approach to the history of the American Revolution. Its editors and contributors contend that existing scholarship on the Revolution largely ignores questions of power and downplays the Revolution as a contest over sovereignty. Contributors employ a variety of methodologies to examine diverse themes, ranging from how Atlantic perspectives can redefine our understanding of revolutionary origins, to the ways in which political culture, mobilization, and civil-war-like violence were part of the revolutionary process, to the fundamental importance of state formation for the history of the early republic. The editors skillfully meld these emerging currents to produce a new perspective on the American Revolution, revealing how America—first as colonies, then as united states—reeled between poles of anarchy and sovereignty. This interpretation—gleaned from essays on frontier bloodshed, religion, civility, slavery, loyalism, mobilization, early national political culture, and war making—provides a needed stimulus to a field that has not strayed beyond the bounds of "rhetoric versus reality" for more than a generation. Between Sovereignty and Anarchy raises foundational questions about how we are to view the American Revolution and the experimental democracy that emerged in its wake. Contributors: Chris Beneke, Bentley University · Andrew Cayton, Miami University · Matthew Rainbow Hale, Goucher College · David C. Hendrickson, Colorado College · John C. Kotruch, University of New Hampshire · Peter C. Messer, Mississippi State University · Kenneth Owen, University of Illinois at Springfield · Jeffrey L. Pasley, University of Missouri, Columbia · Jessica Choppin Roney, Temple University · Peter Thompson, University of Oxford
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.
The chapters of this book have diverse origins. They were written over the period 1954-1984. Several (i.e., three, four, seven, and ten) were originally published in scholarly journals. Several (i.e., one, eight, nine, and eleven) are excerpts from my previous books: Soldiers of the States and Federalism: Origin, Operation and Significance. And several (i.e., two, five, and six) were written for conferences and are now published here for the first time. Despite the fact that this history suggests they are quite unrelated, these chapters do indeed center on one theme: the continuity of American federalism. In order to emphasize that theme, I have written an introduction and an initial commentary for each chapter. These commen taries, taken together, with the introduction, constitute the exposition of the theme. Some of these chapters (four, six, and ten) were written with my students, Ronald Schaps, John Lemco, and William Bast. They did much of the research and analysis so the credit for these chapters belongs to them as much as to me. Chapter five is based quite closely on William Paul Alexander's dissertation for the Ph. D. degree at the University of Rochester, 1973.
History matters. America’s past is present in all aspects of the contemporary political system. Cal Jillson uses political development and the dynamics of change as a tool to help students understand how politics works now—and how institutions, participation, and policies have evolved over time to produce this political environment. Going one step further, Jillson helps students think critically about how American democracy might evolve further, focusing in every chapter on reform and further change. These revisions make the Seventh Edition better than ever: The latest details on all aspects of American politics, including the 2012 elections, keep students current Coverage of Obama’s full first term and heightened polarization in Congress help students see the importance of institutional development A renewed emphasis throughout on the importance of race, ethnicity, and gender in the development of American politics helps students understand the full picture of political participation. In a streamlined presentation, Jillson delivers a concise and engaging narrative to help students understand the complexities and importance of American politics. Along the way, several pedagogical features foster critical thinking and analysis: New! "Struggling towards Democracy" discussion questions to provoke both critical thinking and class discussion on the most relevant issues "The Constitution Today" chapter opening vignettes illustrate the importance of conflicting views on constitutional principles Key terms defined in the margins on the page where they appear help students study important concepts Focus questions at the beginning of every chapter highlight the central learning objectives for students to look for, and marginal notes throughout the chapter indicate the relevant discussions for addressing these questions Colorful figures and charts help students visualize important information "Let’s Compare" boxes analyze how functions of government and political participation work in other countries. "Pro & Con" boxes bring to life a central debate in each chapter, from questions over campaign finance, bias in the media, and the balance between the president and Congress in war making, to judicial activism and restraint, gay marriage, and equitable taxes. Timelines in every chapter gives students an at-a-glance reference to important stages in historical development. End-of-chapter summaries, suggested readings, and web resources help students master the material and guide them to further critical investigation of important concepts and topics.
Utilizing multiple perspectives of related academic disciplines, this three-volume set of contributed essays enables readers to understand the complexity of immigration to the United States and grasp how our history of immigration has made this nation what it is today.
Originally the constitution was expected to express and channel popular sovereignty. It was the work of freedom, springing from and facilitating collective self-determination. After the Second World War this perspective changed: the modern constitution owes its authority not only to collective authorship, it also must commit itself credibly to human rights. Thus people recede into the background, and the national constitution becomes embedded into one or other system of 'peer review' among nations. This is what Alexander Somek argues is the creation of the cosmopolitan constitution. Reconstructing what he considers to be the three stages in the development of constitutionalism, he argues that the cosmopolitan constitution is not a blueprint for the constitution beyond the nation state, let alone a constitution of the international community; rather, it stands for constitutional law reaching out beyond its national bounds. This cosmopolitan constitution has two faces: the first, political, face reflects the changed circumstances of constitutional authority. It conceives itself as constrained by international human rights protection, firmly committed to combating discrimination on the grounds of nationality, and to embracing strategies for managing its interaction with other sites of authority, such as the United Nations. The second, administrative, face of the cosmopolitan constitution reveals the demise of political authority, which has been traditionally vested in representative bodies. Political processes yield to various, and often informal, strategies of policy co-ordination so long as there are no reasons to fear that the elementary civil rights might be severely interfered with. It represents constitutional authority for an administered world.