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 american citizens struggled over the concept the folk could rule because the sovereign after the yank Revolution. nationwide and kingdom debates approximately executive motion, legislation, and the people's political powers show how american citizens sought to appreciate how a collective sovereign-the people-could either play the position because the ruler and but be governed through governments in their personal deciding upon.

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

Sample text

Under English law, writings and speech that cast the government in a bad or false light, producing public disaffection with government, could be punished. Such seditious libel laws were not discarded upon the creation of American governments after the Revolution. Both state governments and eventually the national government under the federal Constitution would prosecute seditious libels. Such laws increasingly seemed anachronistic because they conflicted with the central teaching of American constitutions that the collective sovereign had the right and duty to scrutinize government.

52 The people’s participation in ongoing revision and formal constitutional adjustment was important. ”53 Nonetheless, for some revolutionary leaders a frequency of constitutional revision seemed more likely to undermine governmental stability than to shore up the country’s commitment to republican principles. 54 However, it was unclear whether amendments could occur without specific revision procedures in the constitution to be changed. Many Americans considered a specific procedure unnecessary.

The constitutional logic of recognizing the people, not a king, as the sovereign implied the irrelevance of a right of revolution in America. This did not develop instantly or uniformly after the establishment of American governments. Some of the first state constitutions included “alter or abolish” provisions that mirrored the traditional right of revolution. 38 Other state constitutions adopted different versions of this right to “alter or abolish” government that did not sound like the traditional right of revolution.

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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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