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The First American Constitutions

Author: Willi Paul Adams
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780742520691
Size: 23.35 MB
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For the last twenty years this book has been cited by every serious writer on early American constitutional development. Any constitutional history of the independent United States must begin with this comprehensive study. This volume contains two new chapters: one demonstrating precedents in the state constitutions for the U.S. Constitution, and another chapter critically testing the 'republicanism over liberalism' thesis against political ideas and institutional arrangements that constitute the first state constitutions.

The Law Of American State Constitutions

Author: Robert Williams
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199711305
Size: 60.49 MB
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The Law of American State Constitutions provides complete coverage of the legal doctrines surrounding, applying to, and arising from American state constitutions and their judicial interpretation. Using specific examples, Professor Williams provides legal analysis of the nature and function of state constitutions by contrast to the federal Constitution, including rights, separation of powers, policy-based provisions, the judicial interpretation issues that arise under state constitutions and the processes for their amendment and revision. Reference is made to history and political theory, but legal analysis is the primary focus. The Law of American State Constitutions provides an important analytical tool that explains the unique character and the range of judicial interpretation of these constitutions, together with the specialized techniques of argument and interpretation surrounding state constitutions. This is the first book to present a complete picture of the current body of state constitutional law and its judicial interpretation.

Understanding State Constitutions

Author: G. Alan Tarr
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691070667
Size: 51.99 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.

The Massachusetts State Constitution

Author: Lawrence Friedman
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 019977868X
Size: 54.15 MB
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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 Revolutionary Constitution

Author: David J. Bodenhamer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019991303X
Size: 62.85 MB
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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 New York State Constitution

Author: Peter J. Galie
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199778973
Size: 22.80 MB
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The New York State Constitution provides an outstanding constitutional and historical account of the state's governing charter. In addition to an overview of New York's constitutional history, it provides an in-depth, section-by-section analysis of the entire constitution, detailing the many significant changes that have been made since its initial drafting. This treatment, along with a table of cases, index, and bibliography provides an unsurpassed reference guide for students, scholars, and practitioners of New York's constitution. Previously published by Greenwood, this title has been brought back in to circulation by Oxford University Press with new verve. Re-printed with standardization of content organization in order to facilitate research across the series, this title, as with all titles in the series, is set to join the dynamic revision cycle of The Oxford Commentaries on the State Constitutions of the United States. 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 Oxford Handbook Of State And Local Government

Author: Donald P. Haider-Markel
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191611964
Size: 65.42 MB
Format: PDF
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The Oxford Handbook of State and Local Government is an historic undertaking. It contains a wide range of essays that define the important questions in the field, evaluate where we are in answering them, and set the direction and terms of discourse for future work. The Handbook will have a substantial influence in defining the field for years to come. The chapters critically assess both the key works of state and local politics literature and the ways in which the sub-field has developed. It covers the main areas of study in subnational politics by exploring the central contributions to the comparative study of institutions, behavior, and policy in the American context. Each chapter outlines an agenda for future research.

Separate Peoples One Land

Author: Cynthia Cumfer
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469606593
Size: 77.59 MB
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Exploring the mental worlds of the major groups interacting in a borderland setting, Cynthia Cumfer offers a broad, multiracial intellectual and cultural history of the Tennessee frontier in the Revolutionary and early national periods, leading up to the era of rapid westward expansion and Cherokee removal. Attentive to the complexities of race, gender, class, and spirituality, Cumfer offers a rare glimpse into the cultural logic of Native American, African American, and Euro-American men and women as contact with one another powerfully transformed their ideas about themselves and the territory they came to share. The Tennessee frontier shaped both Cherokee and white assumptions about diplomacy and nationhood. After contact, both groups moved away from local and personal notions about polity to embrace nationhood. Excluded from the nationalization process, slaves revived and modified African and American premises about patronage and community, while free blacks fashioned an African American doctrine of freedom that was both communal and individual. Paying particular attention to the influence of older European concepts of civilization, Cumfer shows how Tennesseans, along with other Americans and Europeans, modified European assumptions to contribute to a discourse about civilization, one both dynamic and destructive, which has profoundly shaped world history.

American Sovereigns

Author: Christian G. Fritz
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139467179
Size: 65.36 MB
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American Sovereigns: The People and America's Constitutional Tradition Before the Civil War challenges traditional American constitutional history, theory and jurisprudence that sees today's constitutionalism as linked by an unbroken chain to the 1787 Federal constitutional convention. American Sovereigns examines the idea that after the American Revolution, a collectivity - the people - would rule as the sovereign. Heated political controversies within the states and at the national level over what it meant that the people were the sovereign and how that collective sovereign could express its will were not resolved in 1776, in 1787, or prior to the Civil War. The idea of the people as the sovereign both unified and divided Americans in thinking about government and the basis of the Union. Today's constitutionalism is not a natural inheritance, but the product of choices Americans made between shifting understandings about themselves as a collective sovereign.

What Should Constitutions Do

Author: Ellen Frankel Paul
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139495941
Size: 59.68 MB
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The essays in this volume - written by prominent philosophers, political scientists and legal scholars - address the basic purposes of constitutions and their status as fundamental law. Some deal with specific constitutional provisions: they ask, for example, which branches of government should have the authority to conduct foreign policy, or how the judiciary should be organized, or what role a preamble should play in a nation's founding document. Other essays explore questions of constitutional design: they consider the advantages of a federal system of government, or the challenges of designing a constitution for a pluralistic society - or they ask what form of constitution best promotes personal liberty and economic prosperity.