In America’s Constitution, one of this era’s most accomplished constitutional law scholars, Akhil Reed Amar, gives the first comprehensive account of one of the world’s great political texts. Incisive, entertaining, and occasionally controversial, this “biography” of America’s framing document explains not only what the Constitution says but also why the Constitution says it. We all know this much: the Constitution is neither immutable nor perfect. Amar shows us how the story of this one relatively compact document reflects the story of America more generally. (For example, much of the Constitution, including the glorious-sounding “We the People,” was lifted from existing American legal texts, including early state constitutions.) In short, the Constitution was as much a product of its environment as it was a product of its individual creators’ inspired genius. Despite the Constitution’s flaws, its role in guiding our republic has been nothing short of amazing. Skillfully placing the document in the context of late-eighteenth-century American politics, America’s Constitution explains, for instance, whether there is anything in the Constitution that is unamendable; the reason America adopted an electoral college; why a president must be at least thirty-five years old; and why–for now, at least–only those citizens who were born under the American flag can become president. From his unique perspective, Amar also gives us unconventional wisdom about the Constitution and its significance throughout the nation’s history. For one thing, we see that the Constitution has been far more democratic than is conventionally understood. Even though the document was drafted by white landholders, a remarkably large number of citizens (by the standards of 1787) were allowed to vote up or down on it, and the document’s later amendments eventually extended the vote to virtually all Americans. We also learn that the Founders’ Constitution was far more slavocratic than many would acknowledge: the “three fifths” clause gave the South extra political clout for every slave it owned or acquired. As a result, slaveholding Virginians held the presidency all but four of the Republic’s first thirty-six years, and proslavery forces eventually came to dominate much of the federal government prior to Lincoln’s election. Ambitious, even-handed, eminently accessible, and often surprising, America’s Constitution is an indispensable work, bound to become a standard reference for any student of history and all citizens of the United States.
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What would Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, the Roosevelts, Truman, and Eisenhower have done about today's federal debt crisis? America's Fiscal Constitution tells the remarkable story of fiscal heroes who imposed clear limits on the use of federal debt, limits that for two centuries were part of an unwritten constitution. Those national leaders borrowed only for extraordinary purposes and relied on well-defined budget practices to balance federal spending and revenues. That traditional fiscal constitution collapsed in 2001. Afterward -- for the first time in history -- federal elected officials cut taxes during war, funded permanent new programs entirely with debt, grew dependent on foreign creditors, and claimed that the economy could not thrive without routine federal borrowing. For most of the nation's history, conservatives fought to restrain the growth of government by insisting that new programs be paid for with taxation, while progressives sought to preserve opportunities for people on the way up by balancing budgets. Virtually all mainstream politicians recognized that excessive debt could jeopardize private investment and national independence. With original scholarship and the benefit of experience in finance and public service, Bill White dispels common budget myths and distills practical lessons from the nation's five previous spikes in debt. America's Fiscal Constitution offers an objective and hopeful guide for people trying to make sense of the nation's current, most severe, debt crisis and its impact on their lives and our future.
Classic Books Library presents this brand new edition of “The Federalist Papers”, a collection of separate essays and articles compiled in 1788 by Alexander Hamilton. Following the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776, the governing doctrines and policies of the States lacked cohesion. “The Federalist”, as it was previously known, was constructed by American statesman Alexander Hamilton, and was intended to catalyse the ratification of the United States Constitution. Hamilton recruited fellow statesmen James Madison Jr., and John Jay to write papers for the compendium, and the three are known as some of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Alexander Hamilton (c. 1755–1804) was an American lawyer, journalist and highly influential government official. He also served as a Senior Officer in the Army between 1799-1800 and founded the Federalist Party, the system that governed the nation’s finances. His contributions to the Constitution and leadership made a significant and lasting impact on the early development of the nation of the United States.
Texas has created more constitutional law than any other state. In any classroom nationwide, any basic constitutional law course can be taught using nothing but Texas cases. That, however, understates the history and politics behind the cases. Beyond representing all doctrinal areas of constitutional law, Texas cases deal with the major issues of the nation. Leading legal scholar and Supreme Court historian Lucas A. Powe, Jr., charts the rich and pervasive development of Texas-inspired constitutional law. From voting rights to railroad regulations, school finance to capital punishment, poverty to civil liberties, this wide-ranging and eminently readable book provides a window into the relationship between constitutional litigation and ordinary politics at the Supreme Court, illuminating how all of the fiercest national divides over what the Constitution means took shape in Texas.
A history of the American Constitution's formative decades from a preeminent legal scholar When the US Constitution won popular approval in 1788, it was the culmination of thirty years of passionate argument over the nature of government. But ratification hardly ended the conversation. For the next half century, ordinary Americans and statesmen alike continued to wrestle with weighty questions in the halls of government and in the pages of newspapers. Should the nation's borders be expanded? Should America allow slavery to spread westward? What rights should Indian nations hold? What was the proper role of the judicial branch? In The Words that Made Us, Akhil Reed Amar unites history and law in a vivid narrative of the biggest constitutional questions early Americans confronted, and he expertly assesses the answers they offered. His account of the document's origins and consolidation is a guide for anyone seeking to properly understand America's Constitution today.
In Designing a Polity, James W. Ceaser, one of our leading scholars of American political development, argues for the continuing central role of the Founding within the study of American government. Drawing on essays published over the past 10 years, extensively updated and revised to reflect current politics, Ceaser engages the Founding Fathers, particularly James Madison, emphasizes Alexis de Tocqueville as a model of political inquiry, critiques current and recent theorists such as Richard Rorty and Jacques Derrida, and explores the varieties of contemporary conservative thought. Designing a Polity offers a rich exploration of the core values of political sciences that will be of special interest to scholars and students of American political development, Constitutional thought, and contemporary political thought.
This highly controversial book is going to change the political and cultural direction and scene of America in the 21st Century. It will do this by providing Americas Compatriots the tools theyve been searching for to stop Americas Government, Supreme Court Judges, and Politicians from continuing to push this great Republic into the Abyss of a Borderless and lawless nation. By analyzing key words and the US Constitution, this book shows Americas Compatriots how to stop their Government from wresting power from the Republic (a Government who continues to misinterpret and misread key parts of the Constitution). And, unfortunately for the Republic, these misinterpretations are allowing Mexicos (and other foreign nations) criminal citizens and colonizers to invade and occupy US sovereign soil, destroy Americas Western Christian Culture via cultural genocide, and allowing their American born (not-legal) children to claim unlawful citizenship. Unfortunately for Mexicos colonizing invaders and these children, this book proves these lawless colonizers invasion, is not, any kind of immigration, so politicians are breaking Federal law to protect them. Chapter 1: This book tells readers why this book was written; Chapters 2 through 4 are this books heart. It introduces readers to key literary facts, definitions, and analysis of the Constitution, and key sections that prove Americas Government and politicians have betrayed the Republics Citizens. Finally, Chapter 5, and the 3 Appendixes sum up and complete the research. We feel, with these facts, Americans should be ready to save the Country that our Constitutions drafters wrote was blessed and ordained by God. We hope they will be ready to fight these rogue politicians and judges, and to stop the cultural genocide of Americas Western Christian culture, English language, and US sovereignty.
This book explains the politics behind the design of the U.S. Constitution. James Madison diagnosed the nation's problems and proposed a much stronger national government to remedy them, which was met with some opposition from state delegates. By systematically analyzing the way the framers negotiated each provision of the Constitution, forging political compromises about who would govern America, what authority these leaders would have, and how they would use that authority, Robertson reveals the enduring effect of those decisions on American politics past and present.