Laboratory for Liberty: The South Carolina Legislative Committee System 1719--1776

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University Press of Kentucky, Jan 13, 2015 - Political Science - 218 pages

This comprehensive study highlights the importance of legislative and extralegal committees in the political and institutional development of early American history, showing how the colonial experience modified a basic British institution, using it in the cause of legislative supremacy and, eventually, independence. The book illuminates the role played by committees in the growth of colonial self-government, tracing the committee system to its origins in the parliamentary committees of medieval England, then following the permutations of the committee system through the decades in which self-government emerged in South Carolina. Solid, penetrating, the book offers new depths of insight into an important process that had vital importance to the growth of representative government in America.


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CHAPTER I The Background of the Legislative Committee System
CHAPTER II The Development of Legislative Committees in the Commons House of Assembly
CHAPTER III The Legislative Committee System in the Early Royal Period 17191725
CHAPTER IV The Legislative Committee System in a Period of Western Expansion 17271737
CHAPTER V The Legislative Committee System in Peace and Frontier Conflict 17371748
CHAPTER VI Committees and Legislative Supremacy in a Second Era of Frontier Conflict 17491764
CHAPTER VII Legislative Committees and the Road to Revolution 17641774
CHAPTER VIII Revolutionary Committee Activity 17741776
APPENDIX I Committee Assignments and Memberships in the South Carolina Commons House of Assembly under the Revolutionary Government 1...
APPENDIX II Committee Assignments and Memberships in the South Carolina Commons House of Assembly during Selected Segments of the Royal...
APPENDIX III Geographic Distribution of Assignments to and Membership of Selected Important Legislative Committees of the South Carolina Co...

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About the author (2015)

George E. Frakes is chairman of the Department of History at Santa Barbara City College.

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