Politics and the Constitution in the History of the United States, Volume 1
University of Chicago Press, Nov 1, 1980 - History - 2025 pages
When the first two volumes of William Crosskey's monumental study of the Constitution appeared in 1953, Arthur M. Schlesinger called it "perhaps the most fertile commentary on that document since The Federalist papers." It was highly controversial as well. The work was a comprehensive reassessment of the meaning of the Constitution, based on examination of eighteenth-century usages of key political and legal concepts and terms. Crosskey's basic thesis was that the Founding Fathers truly intended a government with plenary, nationwide powers, and not, as in the received views, a limited federalism.
This third volume of Politics and the Constitution, which Crosskey began and William Jeffrey has finished, treats political activity in the period 1776-87, and is in many ways the heart of the work as Crosskey conceived it. In support of the lexicographic analysis of volumes 1 and 2, volume 3 shows that nationalist ideas and sentiments were a powerful force in American public opinion from the Revolution to the eve of the Constitutional Convention. The creation of a generally empowered national government in Philadelphia, it is argued, was the fruition of a long-active political movement, not the unintended or accidental result of a temporary conservative coalition.
This view of the political background of the Constitutional Convention directly challenges the Madisonian-Jeffersonian orthodoxy on the subject. In support of his interpretation, Crosskey amassed a wealth of primary source materials, including heretofore unexplored pamphlets and newspapers. This exhaustive research makes this unique work invaluable for scholars of the period, both for the primary sources collected as well as for the provocative interpretation offered.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Our Unknown Constitution
The Supreme Court as a Board of Legislative Review and
25 other sections not shown
Other editions - View all
acts of Parliament amendment American appears argument authority Bank bill Blackstone British chapter character Chief Justice colonies Commerce Clause commercial regulation Common Defence Common Law conflict of laws Constitution Continental Congress decision declared Dickinson doubt Duane Duane's duties Edmund Randolph eighteenth century England English English law enumerated evidence ex post facto executive Exports fact Federal Convention Federalist foregoing foreign gainful sense George Tucker gress ha[d Hamilton important internal interpretation interstate James Madison Jefferson John Dickinson jurisdiction law of nations lawyer legislature m[ight Madison matter meaning meant ment merce national commerce power national courts national power nature opinion pamphlet particular phrase police political post facto laws power of Congress power over commerce power to regulate Preamble provision question Randolph reason regulate Commerce regulate trade respect rules seems sh[ould standing law statute Supreme Court Tenth Amendment tion understood United usage Virginia w[ould whole words