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Andrew Jackson And The Constitution

Author: Gerard N. Magliocca
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780700617869
Size: 53.96 MB
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Focuses on key Supreme Court battles during Jackson's tenure--states' rights, the status of Native Americans and slaves, and many others--to demonstrate how the fights between Jacksonian Democrats and Federalists, and later Republicans, is simply the inevitable--and cyclical--shift in constitutional interpretation that happens from one generation to the next.

The Tragedy Of William Jennings Bryan

Author: Gerard N. Magliocca
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300153155
Size: 34.59 MB
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Although Populist candidate William Jennings Bryan lost the presidential elections of 1896, 1900, and 1908, he was the most influential political figure of his era. In this astutely argued book, Gerard N. Magliocca explores how Bryan's effort to reach the White House energized conservatives across the nation and caused a transformation in constitutional law. Responding negatively to the Populist agenda, the Supreme Court established a host of new constitutional principles during the 1890s. Many of them proved long-lasting and highly consequential, including the "separate but equal" doctrine supporting racial segregation, the authorization of the use of force against striking workers, and the creation of the liberty of contract. The judicial backlash of the 1890s--the most powerful the United States has ever experienced--illustrates vividly the risks of seeking fundamental social change. Magliocca concludes by examining the lessons of the Populist experience for advocates of change in our own divisive times.

Rethinking Presidential Constructions Of Constitutional Regimes

Author:
Publisher: Stanford University
ISBN:
Size: 41.40 MB
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ABSTRACT This dissertation assesses the design and incentive structures that link the presidency to constitutional maintenance and renewal when extraordinary times occur, and posits that institutional power and historical context were priced into the presidency since its creation. This finding has robust implications for understanding the presidency's role in constitutional change, and in particular, the construction of constitutional regimes. Presidents are naturally drawn to the lure of constructing a constitutional regime by the nature of the office, as presidents want to constitutionalize their priorities from rival political interests in order to secure their legacy. Some fortunate presidents—aided by historical context—actually get the opportunity to do so. After providing a theory of the presidency's role within the constitutional order and its incentive structures, the study then builds upon these insights to construct a coherent model that assesses the dynamics between presidential leadership and historical context in the construction of constitutional regimes. The research finds that there exits an inverse relationship between the degree of constitutional change and the president's role in initiating it. The reason for this inverse dynamic is that extraordinary historical events crowd out the space typically reserved for executive leadership whenever they come to the fore. Conversely, the less extensive the degree of constitutional change, the greater that presidential leadership plays a role in the process. Reconstructive presidents are actually reactive at the level of constitutional politics despite the high praise political commentators offer to this most select group of presidents. Their presidencies' collective effects on constitutional change have been greatly aided—perhaps overwhelmingly destined for success at the constitutional level—due to exogenous factors beyond their control. The coalitional political shifts in electoral support seen during these transformative periods are just a by-product of massive historical events. Presidential leadership is important, but not in the actual initiation of the constitutional construction despite the institutional inclination of presidents to chart new paths. A reconstructive president chooses a set of principles, ideology, or commitments with which to define the content of the new regime in place, but his autonomy here is limited to providing a substantive constitutional vision, not the sort of initial decisive action typically associated with leadership efforts. If the analysis of presidents was confined to nameless, faceless institutional actors engaged in the quest for constitutional regime construction, the greatest difference between the efforts of similarly-situated presidents would be in the substantive content that each provided to his historic opportunity. Presidential greatness at the constitutional level would not be determined by unusual skill in turning a normal opportunity into a transformative one or in providing a constitutional opening where none was to be found. While the constitutional space opened by historical events crowds out the space for autonomous action by reconstructive presidents, the reverse is true for presidents with a more limited constitutional opening. Presidents constrained by contextual factors must exercise more extensive leadership skills in attempting any efforts to influence constitutional meaning. Since non-reconstructive presidents' openings are smaller, their efforts have to be much more exacting and tactical—even though their payoffs are irredeemably smaller than those of reconstructive presidents. Therefore, non-reconstructive presidents provide the elegance to the model of constitutional construction in that they show how presidential forays into constitutional politics exist within a continuum. Presidential leadership is more institutionally creative and, by necessity, more entrepreneurial, at the narrowest

The Madisonian Constitution

Author: George Thomas
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9781421403267
Size: 30.12 MB
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Engagingly written and soundly argued, this study clarifies and highlights the political origins of the nation's foundational document and argues that American constitutionalism is primarily about countervailing power not legal limits enforced by courts.

American Founding Son

Author: Gerard N. Magliocca
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1479819913
Size: 36.43 MB
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John Bingham was the architect of the rebirth of the United States following the Civil War. A leading antislavery lawyer and congressman from Ohio, Bingham wrote the most important part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees fundamental rights and equality to all Americans. He was also at the center of two of the greatest trials in history, giving the closing argument in the military prosecution of John Wilkes Booth’s co-conspirators for the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and in the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson. And more than any other man, Bingham played the key role in shaping the Union’s policy towards the occupied ex-Confederate States, with consequences that still haunt our politics. American Founding Son provides the most complete portrait yet of this remarkable statesman. Drawing on his personal letters and speeches, the book traces Bingham’s life from his humble roots in Pennsylvania through his career as a leader of the Republican Party. Gerard N. Magliocca argues that Bingham and his congressional colleagues transformed the Constitution that the Founding Fathers created, and did so with the same ingenuity that their forbears used to create a more perfect union in the 1780s. In this book, Magliocca restores Bingham to his rightful place as one of our great leaders.

The Presidents And The Constitution

Author: Ken Gormley
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1479872075
Size: 47.50 MB
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In this sweepingly ambitious volume, the nation’s foremost experts on the American presidency and the U.S. Constitution join together to tell the intertwined stories of how each American president has confronted and shaped the Constitution. Each occupant of the office—the first president to the forty-fourth—has contributed to the story of the Constitution through the decisions he made and the actions he took as the nation’s chief executive. By examining presidential history through the lens of constitutional conflicts and challenges, The Presidents and the Constitution offers a fresh perspective on how the Constitution has evolved in the hands of individual presidents. It delves into key moments in American history, from Washington’s early battles with Congress to the advent of the national security presidency under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, to reveal the dramatic historical forces that drove these presidents to action. Historians and legal experts, including Richard Ellis, Gary Hart, Stanley Kutler and Kenneth Starr, bring the Constitution to life, and show how the awesome powers of the American presidency have been shapes by the men who were granted them. The book brings to the fore the overarching constitutional themes that span this country’s history and ties together presidencies in a way never before accomplished. Exhaustively researched and compellingly presented, The Presidents and the Constitution shines new light on America’s brilliant constitutional and presidential history. Instructor's Guide

America S Constitution

Author: Akhil Reed Amar
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1588364879
Size: 59.37 MB
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In America’s Constitution, one of this era’s most accomplished constitutional law scholars, Akhil Reed Amar, gives the first comprehensive account of one of the world’s great political texts. Incisive, entertaining, and occasionally controversial, this “biography” of America’s framing document explains not only what the Constitution says but also why the Constitution says it. We all know this much: the Constitution is neither immutable nor perfect. Amar shows us how the story of this one relatively compact document reflects the story of America more generally. (For example, much of the Constitution, including the glorious-sounding “We the People,” was lifted from existing American legal texts, including early state constitutions.) In short, the Constitution was as much a product of its environment as it was a product of its individual creators’ inspired genius. Despite the Constitution’s flaws, its role in guiding our republic has been nothing short of amazing. Skillfully placing the document in the context of late-eighteenth-century American politics, America’s Constitution explains, for instance, whether there is anything in the Constitution that is unamendable; the reason America adopted an electoral college; why a president must be at least thirty-five years old; and why–for now, at least–only those citizens who were born under the American flag can become president. From his unique perspective, Amar also gives us unconventional wisdom about the Constitution and its significance throughout the nation’s history. For one thing, we see that the Constitution has been far more democratic than is conventionally understood. Even though the document was drafted by white landholders, a remarkably large number of citizens (by the standards of 1787) were allowed to vote up or down on it, and the document’s later amendments eventually extended the vote to virtually all Americans. We also learn that the Founders’ Constitution was far more slavocratic than many would acknowledge: the “three fifths” clause gave the South extra political clout for every slave it owned or acquired. As a result, slaveholding Virginians held the presidency all but four of the Republic’s first thirty-six years, and proslavery forces eventually came to dominate much of the federal government prior to Lincoln’s election. Ambitious, even-handed, eminently accessible, and often surprising, America’s Constitution is an indispensable work, bound to become a standard reference for any student of history and all citizens of the United States.

The Oxford Handbook Of The U S Constitution

Author: Mark Tushnet
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190245778
Size: 36.16 MB
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The Oxford Handbook of the U.S. Constitution offers a comprehensive overview and introduction to the U.S. Constitution from the perspectives of history, political science, law, rights, and constitutional themes, while focusing on its development, structures, rights, and role in the U.S. political system and culture. This Handbook enables readers within and beyond the U.S. to develop a critical comprehension of the literature on the Constitution, along with accessible and up-to-date analysis. The historical essays included in this Handbook cover the Constitution from 1620 right through the Reagan Revolution to the present. Essays on political science detail how contemporary citizens in the United States rely extensively on political parties, interest groups, and bureaucrats to operate a constitution designed to prevent the rise of parties, interest-group politics and an entrenched bureaucracy. The essays on law explore how contemporary citizens appear to expect and accept the exertions of power by a Supreme Court, whose members are increasingly disconnected from the world of practical politics. Essays on rights discuss how contemporary citizens living in a diverse multi-racial society seek guidance on the meaning of liberty and equality, from a Constitution designed for a society in which all politically relevant persons shared the same race, gender, religion and ethnicity. Lastly, the essays on themes explain how in a "globalized" world, people living in the United States can continue to be governed by a constitution originally meant for a society geographically separated from the rest of the "civilized world." Whether a return to the pristine constitutional institutions of the founding or a translation of these constitutional norms in the present is possible remains the central challenge of U.S. constitutionalism today.

Driven Out

Author: Jean Pfaelzer
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520256941
Size: 77.48 MB
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This sweeping and groundbreaking work presents the shocking and violent history of ethnic cleansing against Chinese Americans from the Gold Rush era to the turn of the century.