Download e-book for kindle: American Sovereigns: The People and America’s Constitutional by Christian G. Fritz

By Christian G. Fritz

ISBN-10: 0511480385

ISBN-13: 9780511480386

ISBN-10: 052112560X

ISBN-13: 9780521125604

ISBN-10: 0521881889

ISBN-13: 9780521881883

American Sovereigns is a path-breaking interpretation of America's political heritage and constitutionalism that explores how americans struggled over the concept that the folk might rule because the sovereign after the yankee Revolution. nationwide and kingdom debates approximately govt motion, legislations, and the people's political powers demonstrate how american citizens sought to appreciate how a collective sovereign-the people-could either play the position because the ruler and but be governed via governments in their personal settling on.

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Additional resources for American Sovereigns: The People and America’s Constitutional Tradition Before the Civil War

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66 All in all, Adams was amazed at the populist nature displayed as Americans proceeded to craft their constitutions. The American process of creating America’s first constitutions has been questioned by scholars. Some suggest that Americans made no real constitutions during this period. This analysis finds that virtually all of these constitutions lacked the process of special constitutional conventions followed by popular ratification that seems so crucial to constitution-making today. 67 They assume that it took Americans until the 1780s to develop a “correct” understanding of constitutionalism.

Only a virtuous people actively scrutinizing their government and rulers could ensure that government promoted the public welfare. In contrast to Pennsylvania’s approach, other states, such as Massachusetts, designed constitutions featuring checks and balances between government branches, rather than between the people and government. Such constitutional systems could be more self-regulating. They did not necessarily depend upon the people to take the initiative in scrutinizing government’s operation.

82 During the Revolution, America’s leadership learned that the will of the people could be expressed as often through direct action reflecting dire necessity as through expressions of will by formal votes. This lesson was a painful one because the expression of will through action, while powerful, was 9:41 P1: IBE 9780521881883c02 36 CUNY1095/Fritz 978 0 521 88188 3 October 2, 2007 The People’s Sovereignty unavoidably ambiguous. George Washington’s command of the American troops demonstrated this.

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American Sovereigns: The People and America’s Constitutional Tradition Before the Civil War by Christian G. Fritz

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