The Concept of Representation in the Age of the American Revolution
"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.
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The Concept of Consent
Mechanics of Consent
Concept of Representation
Theories of Representation
Responsibility of Representation
Accountableness of Representation
Authority of Consultation
Practice of Instructions
Reformation of Consent
Dilemmas of Consent
Address American Revolution American whigs Anon Anonymous Answer argument Assembly authority boroughs Boston News-Letter Britain British constitutional British nonelectors Burke Cartwright Carysfort Cato's Letters century colonial whigs colonists Commons Debates concept of consent concept of representation consti constitutional law constitutional theory constitutionalism consultation Council crown Defence Dickinson doctrine Edited Edmund Burke eighteenth Election Sermon electors England English equal representation Essay Excise Freeholders Galloway Gazette Gentleman's Magazine George George Grenville Grand Jury Great-Britain Hibernian Magazine House of Commons independent instructions interests James Joseph Galloway King Kramnick legislation legislature Letter London Magazine Lord Massachusetts Member of Parliament ment Middlesex mother country nation Observations Pamphlet Parlia Parliamentary History Petition Present Pulteney Putney Debates quoting reform repre Reprinted Scots Magazine shared burdens sovereign sovereignty Stamp Act statutes taxation Thomas thought tion tional town Tracts virtual representation virtually represented vote whigs William Wyvill York