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The Concept Of Representation In The Age Of The American Revolution

Author: John Phillip Reid
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226708980
Size: 74.99 MB
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"Americans did not rebel from Great Britain because they wanted a different government. They rebelled because they believed that Parliament was violating constitutional precepts. Colonial Whigs did not fight for American rights. They fought for English rights."—from the Preface John Phillip Reid goes on to argue that it was generally the application, not the definition, of these rights that was disputed. The sole—and critical—exception concerned the right of representation. American perceptions of the responsibility of representatives to their constituents, the necessity of equal representation, and the constitutional function of consent had diverged gradually, but significantly, from British tradition. Drawing on his mastery of eighteenth-century legal thought, Reid explores the origins and shifting meanings of representation, consent, arbitrary rule, and constitution. He demonstrates that the controversy which led to the American Revolution had more to do with jurisprudential and constitutional principles than with democracy and equality. This book will interest legal historians, Constitutional scholars, and political theorists.

Constitutional History Of The American Revolution

Author: John Phillip Reid
Publisher: Univ of Wisconsin Press
ISBN: 9780299146641
Size: 11.52 MB
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Designed for use in courses, this abridged edition of the four-volume Constitutional History of the American Revolution demonstrates how significant constitutional disputes were in instigating the American Revolution. John Phillip Reid addresses the central constitutional issues that divided the American colonists from their English legislators: the authority to tax, the authority to legislate, the security of rights, the nature of law, the foundation of constitutional government in custom and contractarian theory, and the search for a constitutional settlement. Reid's distinctive analysis discusses the irreconcilable nature of this conflict—irreconcilable not because leaders in politics on both sides did not desire a solution, but because the dynamics of constitutional law impeded a solution that permitted the colonies to remain part of the dominions of George III.

The Constitutional Origins Of The American Revolution

Author: Jack P. Greene
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139492934
Size: 28.17 MB
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Using the British Empire as a case study, this succinct study argues that the establishment of overseas settlements in America created a problem of constitutional organization. The failure to resolve the resulting tensions led to the thirteen continental colonies seceding from the empire in 1776. Challenging those historians who have assumed that the British had the law on their side during the debates that led to the American Revolution, this volume argues that the empire had long exhibited a high degree of constitutional multiplicity, with each colony having its own discrete constitution. Contending that these constitutions cannot be conflated with the metropolitan British constitution, it argues that British refusal to accept the legitimacy of colonial understandings of the sanctity of the many colonial constitutions and the imperial constitution was the critical element leading to the American Revolution.

The Concept Of Liberty In The Age Of The American Revolution

Author: John Phillip Reid
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226708966
Size: 26.37 MB
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"Liberty was the most cherished right possessed by English-speaking people in the eighteenth century. It was both an ideal for the guidance of governors and a standard with which to measure the constitutionality of government; both a cause of the American Revolution and a purpose for drafting the United States Constitution; both an inheritance from Great Britain and a reason republican common lawyers continued to study the law of England." As John Philip Reid goes on to make clear, "liberty" did not mean to the eighteenth-century mind what it means today. In the twentieth century, we take for granted certain rights—such as freedom of speech and freedom of the press—with which the state is forbidden to interfere. To the revolutionary generation, liberty was preserved by curbing its excesses. The concept of liberty taught not what the individual was free to do but what the rule of law permitted. Ultimately, liberty was law—the rule of law and the legalism of custom. The British constitution was the charter of liberty because it provided for the rule of law. Drawing on an impressive command of the original materials, Reid traces the eighteenth-century notion of liberty to its source in the English common law. He goes on to show how previously problematic arguments involving the related concepts of licentiousness, slavery, arbitrary power, and property can also be fit into the common-law tradition. Throughout, he focuses on what liberty meant to the people who commented on and attempted to influence public affairs on both sides of the Atlantic. He shows the depth of pride in liberty—English liberty—that pervaded the age, and he also shows the extent—unmatched in any other era or among any other people—to which liberty both guided and motivated political and constitutional action.

Liberalism Constitutionalism And Democracy

Author: Russell Hardin
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191037400
Size: 44.13 MB
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In his ground-breaking book, the leading political philosopher Russell Hardin develops a new theory of liberal constitutional democracy. Arguing against the standard consensus theories, the author shows how social co-ordination on limited, sociological mutual advantage lies at the heart of liberal constitutionalism when it works to produce stable government. The book argues that liberalism, constitutionalism, and democracy are co-ordination theories. They work only in societies in which co-ordination of the important power groups for mutual advantage is feasible. It then goes on to examine and interpret the US constitution as motivated centrally by the concern with creating a government to enable commerce. In addition, the book addresses the nature of the problems that the newly democratic, newly market-oriented states face. The analysis of constitutionalism is based on its workability, not on its intrinsic, normative, or universal appeals. Hardin argues, similarly, there are harsh limits on the possibilities of democracy. In general, democracy works only on the margins of great issues. Indeed, it is inherently a device for regulating marginal political conflicts.

Attention Deficit Democracy

Author: James Bovard
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1466892757
Size: 41.58 MB
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Does the people's need to believe in the president trump their duty to understand, to think critically, and demand truth? Have Americans been conditioned to ignore political frauds and believe the lies perpetuated by campaign ads? James Bovard diagnoses a national malady called "Attention Deficit Democracy," characterized by a citizenry that seems to be paying less attention to facts, and is less capable of judging when their rights and liberties are under attack. Bovard's careful research combined with his characteristically caustic style will give "ADD" a whole new meaning that pundits, politicians, and we the people will find hard to ignore.

Constitutional Cultures

Author: Ulrike Bock
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN: 1443845485
Size: 38.37 MB
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Written constitutions are an important attribute of nation states and have become a global phenomenon over the past 200 years. The process began with the revolutions in the Atlantic World, from where it spread to other regions. The present volume looks into the complex of constitutions, the fundamental values conveyed by the constitutional texts, the building and functioning of new constitutional bodies and their symbolic representation. All the authors work on the assumption that in order to fully understand the constitutional order and its history, it is necessary, in addition to studying the legal text, to analyse its special forms of implementation and legitimisation. Therefore, culture is seen as an important component of constitutional history. The volume brings together historians from Argentina, France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain and the United States; all are specialised in constitutional history and political culture in the 19th century. Their contributions include case studies on the colonial European powers as well as their colonies or ex-colonies in the Americas. A special aim of the volume is to show the connectedness of the constitutional processes that took place in these regions during the late 18th and the 19th centuries. By connecting two vibrant research areas, this volume makes an important contribution to studies on political culture and the history of the Atlantic World. The book targets a broad academic readership, especially in the fields of cultural studies, history, and political science, and contributes to an internationalisation of the academic debate on the concept of constitutional culture.

Irish Politics And Social Conflict In The Age Of The American Revolution

Author: Maurice R. O'Connell
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812200977
Size: 66.86 MB
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In the midst of great expansion and economic growth in the eighteenth century, Ireland was deeply divided along racial, religious, and economic lines. More than two thirds of the population were Catholic, but nearly all the landowners were Anglican. The minority also comprised practically the entire body of lawyers, officers in the army and navy, and holders of political positions. At the same time, a growing middle class of merchants and manufacturers sought to reform Parliament to gain a real share in the political power monopolized by the aristocracy and landed gentry. Irish Politics and Social Conflict in the Age of the American Revolution remains one of the few in-depth studies of the effects of the Revolution on Ireland. Focusing on nine important years of Irish history, 1775 to 1783, from the outbreak of war in colonial America to the year following its conclusion, the book details the social and political conditions of a period crucial to the development of Irish nationalism. Drawing extensively on the Dublin press of the time, Maurice R. O'Connell chronicles such important developments as the economic depression in Britain and the Irish movement for free trade, the Catholic Relief Act of 1778, the rise of the Volunteers, the formation of the Patriot group in the Irish Parliament, and the Revolution of 1782.