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The American Constitution

Author: Alfred Hinsey Kelly
Publisher: W. W. Norton
ISBN: 9780393961195
Size: 65.41 MB
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In this new edition of the standard text in the field of American constitutional history, Herman Belz has brought the most up-to-date scholarship to bear on discussions from the adoption of the Constitution through the retirement of justice Brennan and the confirmation of David Scouter to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Public Debt And The Common Good

Author: James Odom
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0429866399
Size: 12.70 MB
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The American national debt stands at $20.49 trillion as of January 2018, or roughly $63,000 for every person in the United States. The national debt has grown six-fold in the past 25 years, and borrowing only has accelerated in recent administrations. What are the factors driving such unrestrained borrowing? Is American fiscal policy different now than in an earlier era? Is there a moral dimension to public debt and, if so, how can that dimension be measured? Public Debt and the Common Good addresses these and other questions by looking to the fiscal policy of the American states. Drawing on classical themes and the longest quantitative review of state debt in the literature, James Odom expertly integrates institutional analysis with dimensions of culture to define the parameters of political freedom in a theoretically coherent way. In doing so, Odom argues that centralization and injustice, or the incapacity for the common good, can help explain state indebtedness. Contributing to ongoing scholarly debates on public debt theory, this book will be of interest to students, scholars, and practitioners who work at the intersection of political philosophy and economics, as well as those who specialize in state public policy, state politics, and federalism more generally.

The American Constitutional Tradition

Author: H. Lowell Brown
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1683930487
Size: 49.91 MB
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Closer examination of foundational, revolutionary documents, and of the colonial legislation enacted on the basis of those foundational documents, reveals an American tradition of constitutionalism that the Revolutionaries were able to draw upon when fashioning their constitutions for the newly independent states and for the federal government.

Between Authority And Liberty

Author: Marc W. Kruman
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469620383
Size: 58.95 MB
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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 politics well before the end of the Confederation era. Suspicious of all government power, state constitution makers greatly feared arbitrary power and mistrusted legislators' ability to represent the people's interests. For these reasons, they broadened the suffrage and introduced frequent elections as a check against legislative self-interest. This analysis challenges Gordon Wood's now-classic argument that, at the beginning of the Revolution, the founders placed great faith in legislators as representatives of the people. According to Kruman, revolutionaries entrusted state constitution making only to members of temporary provincial congresses or constitutional conventions whose task it was to restrict legislative power. At the same time, Americans maintained a belief in the existence of a public good that legislators and magistrates, when properly curbed by one another and by a politically active citizenry, might pursue.

Frederick Douglass And The Fourth Of July

Author: James A. Colaiaco
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1466892781
Size: 49.94 MB
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On July 5th, 1852, Frederick Douglass, one of the greatest orators of all time, delivered what was arguably the century's most powerful abolition speech. At a time of year where American freedom is celebrated across the nation, Douglass eloquently summoned the country to resolve the contradiction between slavery and the founding principles of our country. In this book, James A. Colaiaco vividly recreates the turbulent historical context of Douglass' speech and delivers a colorful portrait of the country in the turbulent years leading to the civil war. This book provides a fascinating new perspective on a critical time in American history.

Crucible Of Liberty

Author: Raymond Arsenault
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781439119723
Size: 56.25 MB
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The adoption of the Bill of Rights in 1791 marked the creation of a uniquely innovative mechanism for constitutional change by which Americans have continued to renew and redefine their governance over a two-hundred-year period. Now, in time for the bicentennial celebration of this great document, seven distinguished scholars combine their expertise to explore the history and contemporary meaning of these first ten amendments to the Constitution.

The Human Tradition In The Atlantic World 1500 1850

Author: Karen Racine
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
ISBN: 1442206993
Size: 13.78 MB
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This collection of compact biographies puts a human face on the sweeping historical processes that shaped contemporary societies throughout the Atlantic world. Focusing on life stories that represented movement across or around the Atlantic Ocean from 1500 to 1850, The Human Tradition in the Atlantic World, 1500–1850 explores transatlantic connections by following individuals whose experience took them far beyond their local communities to new and unfamiliar places. A formidable barrier, the Atlantic Ocean profoundly influenced the lives it touched. For some brave or desperate souls, it offered an escape, a source of adventure or romance. For countless others, it provided a steady source of income. For those who voluntarily undertook the voyage, crossing the Atlantic meant hope for a better, happier life; for the millions of less-fortunate others who relocated because they had been enslaved, tricked, or banished, the Atlantic was a sea of sorrow and loss. Yet, whatever the reason, tremendous creativity and dynamism resulted from contact between people of different cultures, classes, races, ideas, and systems in Africa, Europe, and the Americas. At its most fundamental level, the syncretic nature of Atlantic world societies was created and re-created on a daily basis by myriad choices made by hundreds of thousands of individuals. By emphasizing movement and circulation in its choice of life stories, this readable and engaging volume presents a broad cross-section of people—both famous and everyday—whose lives and livelihoods took them across the Atlantic and brought disparate cultures into contact. Contributions by: Robert D. Aguirre, Troy Bickham, Olwyn M. Blouet, Sarah Cline, Andrew B. Fisher, John Garrigus, Noah L. Gelfand, Mark Hinchman, Charlene Boyer Lewis, Gail Danvers MacLeitch, Beatriz G. Mamigonian, Mark Meuwese, Joan Meznar, John Navin, Jeff Pardue, Magnus Roberto de Mello Pereira, Cassandra Pybus, and Karen Racine.

The Treason Trials Of Aaron Burr

Author: Peter Charles Hoffer
Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas
ISBN:
Size: 21.13 MB
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Aaron Burr was an enigma even in his own day. Founding father and vice president, he engaged in a duel with Alexander Hamilton resulting in a murder indictment that effectively ended his legal career. And when he turned his attention to entrepreneurial activities on the frontier he was suspected of empire building-- and worse. Burr was finally arrested as a threat to national security, under suspicion of fomenting insurrection against the young republic, and then held without bail for months. His trial, witnessing the unfortunate intrusion of partisan politics and personal animosity into the legal process, revolved around a highly contentious debate over the constitutional meaning of treason. In the first book dedicated to this important case, Peter Charles Hoffer unveils a cast of characters ensnared by politics and law at the highest levels of government, including President Thomas Jefferson--one of Burr's bitterest enemies--and Chief Justice John Marshall, no fan of either Burr or Jefferson. Hoffer recounts how Jefferson's prosecutors argued that the mere act of discussing an "overt Act of War"--the constitution's definition of treason--was tantamount to committing the act. Marshall, however, ruled that without the overt act, no treasonable action had occurred and neither discussion nor conspiracy could be prosecuted. Subsequent attempts to convict Burr on violations of the Neutrality Act failed as well. A fascinating excursion into the early American past, Hoffer's narrative makes it clear why the high court's ultimate finding was so foundational that it has been cited as precedent 383 times. Along the way, Hoffer expertly unravels the tale's major themes: attempts to redefinetreason in times of crisis, efforts to bend the law to political goals, the admissibility of evidence, the vulnerability of habeas corpus, and the reach of executive privilege. He also proposes an original and provocative explanation for Burr's bizarre conduct that will provide historians with new food for thought. Deftly linking politics to law, Hoffer's highly readable study resonates with current events and shows us why the issues debated two centuries ago still matter today.

Understanding State Constitutions

Author: G. Alan Tarr
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691070667
Size: 19.99 MB
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For many Americans, the word "constitution" means just one thing: the national Constitution. According to a recent survey, almost half do not know that individual states also have constitutions. Scholars have also paid little attention to state constitutions, favoring the apparently more dynamic and significant federal scene. G. Alan Tarr seeks to change that in this landmark book. A leading authority on state legal issues, he combines history, law, and political science to present a thorough and long-needed account of the distinct and important role of state constitutions in American life. Tarr shows that state constitutional politics are dominated by three crucial issues with little salience at the national level: the distribution of power among groups and regions within states, the scope of state and local governmental authority, and the relation of the state to economic activity. He explains how state constitutions differ from the national Constitution in treating not only matters of high principle but also such mundane subjects as ski trails and motor vehicle revenues. He also explores why state constitutions, unlike their federal counterpart, have been so frequently amended and replaced. Tarr concludes that the United States not only has a system of dual constitutionalism but also has dual constitutional cultures. Powerfully argued and meticulously researched, the book fills an important gap in political and legal studies and finally gives state constitutions the scholarly attention they richly deserve.