The First American Constitutions: Republican Ideology and the Making of the State Constitutions in the Revolutionary Era
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. Professor Adams combines a European perspective and a thorough knowledge of the antecedents of 1787 to create an insightful analysis of the replacement by the revolutionary generation of one government by another by--they thought--"constitutional" means. Acting for "the people" in 11 of the 13 rebelling states, various kinds of self-empowered committees, "congresses," or "conventions" created new constitutions and a system in which the states dominated over the weaker Confederation government. 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 bibliography has been updated to include the rich body of work written during the last two decades, much of it indebted to this pioneering study.
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American Archives American Revolution appointed argued argument Articles of Confederation assembly authority bill of rights Boston British chap chapter claim colonies colonists committee common concept Confederation conflict Connecticut constitutional convention constitutionalism Continental Congress crown debate Declaration of Independence declaration of rights Delaware delegates democracy democratic electors candidates England English constitution ernment established European executive council form of government governmental governor Hampshire Handlin and Handlin History house of representatives Ibid idea instructions interests James John Adams Journal June king legislative liberty majority Maryland Massachusetts ment monarchical pamphlet Parliament Pennsylvania Philadelphia political Popular Sources popular sovereignty principle property qualifications provincial congress radical rejected representation republic republican republican government Revolutionary Richard Henry Lee Samuel Adams senators social contract society South Carolina Stourzh Suffrage taxes theory thirteen colonies Thomas Thomas Paine Thorpe tion town meeting Virginia vote voters Whig York
Page 18 - Britain. Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the Charter; let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the Word of God; let a Crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America THE LAW 1s KING. For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to BE king, and there ought to be no other.