"The best explanation that I have seen for our distinctive combination of faith, hope and naiveté concerning the governmental process." —Michael Kamman, Washington Post This book makes the provocative case here that America has remained politically stable because the Founding Fathers invented the idea of the American people and used it to impose a government on the new nation. His landmark analysis shows how the notion of popular sovereignty—the unexpected offspring of an older, equally fictional notion, the "divine right of kings"—has worked in our history and remains a political force today.
Author: Edmund S. Morgan
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Category: Political Science
The framers of the Constitution chose their words carefully when they wrote of a more perfect union--not absolutely perfect, but with room for improvement. Indeed, we no longer operate under the same Constitution as that ratified in 1788, or even the one completed by the Bill of Rights in 1791--because we are no longer the same nation. In The Revolutionary Constitution, David J. Bodenhamer provides a comprehensive new look at America's basic law, integrating the latest legal scholarship with historical context to highlight how it has evolved over time. The Constitution, he notes, was the product of the first modern revolution, and revolutions are, by definition, moments when the past shifts toward an unfamiliar future, one radically different from what was foreseen only a brief time earlier. In seeking to balance power and liberty, the framers established a structure that would allow future generations to continually readjust the scale. Bodenhamer explores this dynamic through seven major constitutional themes: federalism, balance of powers, property, representation, equality, rights, and security. With each, he takes a historical approach, following their changes over time. For example, the framers wrote multiple protections for property rights into the Constitution in response to actions by state governments after the Revolution. But twentieth-century courts--and Congress--redefined property rights through measures such as zoning and the designation of historical landmarks (diminishing their commercial value) in response to the needs of a modern economy. The framers anticipated just such a future reworking of their own compromises between liberty and power. With up-to-the-minute legal expertise and a broad grasp of the social and political context, this book is a tour de force of Constitutional history and analysis.
Author: David J. Bodenhamer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
This work unearths the origins of popular minority-rights politics in American history. Focusing on controversies spurred by grassroots moral reform in the early 19th century, it shows how a motley array of self-understood minorities reshaped American democracy as they battled laws regulating Sabbath observance, alcohol, and interracial contact.
Author: Kyle G. Volk
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
In his ground-breaking book, the leading political philosopher Russell Hardin develops a new theory of liberal constitutional democracy. Arguing against the standard consensus theories, the author shows how social co-ordination on limited, sociological mutual advantage lies at the heart of liberal constitutionalism when it works to produce stable government. The book argues that liberalism, constitutionalism, and democracy are co-ordination theories. They work only in societies in which co-ordination of the important power groups for mutual advantage is feasible. It then goes on to examine and interpret the US constitution as motivated centrally by the concern with creating a government to enable commerce. In addition, the book addresses the nature of the problems that the newly democratic, newly market-oriented states face. The analysis of constitutionalism is based on its workability, not on its intrinsic, normative, or universal appeals. Hardin argues, similarly, there are harsh limits on the possibilities of democracy. In general, democracy works only on the margins of great issues. Indeed, it is inherently a device for regulating marginal political conflicts.
Author: Russell Hardin
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Category: Political Science
This book creates a new framework for the political and intellectual relations between Britain and America in a momentous period that witnessed the formation of modern states on both sides of the Atlantic and the extinction of an Anglican, aristocratic and monarchical order. It stands as part of a project aimed at revising the map of early modern English-speaking societies, which includes Dr. Clark's previous books English Society, 1688SH1832 (1985) and Revolution and Rebellion (1986). This important revisionary study will be essential reading for historians, social scientists and students of literature of the period.
Political Discourse and Social Dynamics in the Anglo-American World, 1660-1832
Author: J. C. D. Clark
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
The Oxford Handbook of the American Revolution draws on a wealth of new scholarship to create a vibrant dialogue among varied approaches to the revolution that made the United States. In thirty-three essays written by authorities on the period, the Handbook brings to life the diverse multitudes of colonial North America and their extraordinary struggles before, during, and after the eight-year-long civil war that secured the independence of thirteen rebel colonies from their erstwhile colonial parent. The chapters explore battles and diplomacy, economics and finance, law and culture, politics and society, gender, race, and religion. Its diverse cast of characters includes ordinary farmers and artisans, free and enslaved African Americans, Indians, and British and American statesmen and military leaders. In addition to expanding the Revolution's who, the Handbook broadens its where, portraying an event that far transcended the boundaries of what was to become the United States. It offers readers an American Revolution whose impact ranged far beyond the thirteen colonies. The Handbook's range of interpretive and methodological approaches captures the full scope of current revolutionary-era scholarship. Its authors, British and American scholars spanning several generations, include social, cultural, military, and imperial historians, as well as those who study politics, diplomacy, literature, gender, and sexuality. Together and separately, these essays demonstrate that the American Revolution remains a vibrant and inviting a subject of inquiry. Nothing comparable has been published in decades.
Author: Edward G. Gray,Jane Kamensky
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Over the long eighteenth century English governance was transformed by large adjustments to the legal instruments and processes of power. This book documents and analyzes these shifts and focuses upon the changing relations between legal authority and the English people.
From Consent to Command
Author: D. Lemmings
Category: Political Science
The Marketplace of Revolution offers a boldly innovative interpretation of the mobilization of ordinary Americans on the eve of independence. Breen explores how colonists who came from very different ethnic and religious backgrounds managed to overcome difference and create a common cause capable of galvanizing resistance. In a richly interdisciplinary narrative that weaves insights into a changing material culture with analysis of popular political protests, Breen shows how virtual strangers managed to communicate a sense of trust that effectively united men and women long before they had established a nation of their own. The Marketplace of Revolution argues that the colonists' shared experience as consumers in a new imperial economy afforded them the cultural resources that they needed to develop a radical strategy of political protest--the consumer boycott. Never before had a mass political movement organized itself around disruption of the marketplace. As Breen demonstrates, often through anecdotes about obscure Americans, communal rituals of shared sacrifice provided an effective means to educate and energize a dispersed populace. The boycott movement--the signature of American resistance--invited colonists traditionally excluded from formal political processes to voice their opinions about liberty and rights within a revolutionary marketplace, an open, raucous public forum that defined itself around subscription lists passed door-to-door, voluntary associations, street protests, destruction of imported British goods, and incendiary newspaper exchanges. Within these exchanges was born a new form of politics in which ordinary man and women--precisely the people most often overlooked in traditional accounts of revolution--experienced an exhilarating surge of empowerment. Breen recreates an "empire of goods" that transformed everyday life during the mid-eighteenth century. Imported manufactured items flooded into the homes of colonists from New Hampshire to Georgia. The Marketplace of Revolution explains how at a moment of political crisis Americans gave political meaning to the pursuit of happiness and learned how to make goods speak to power.
How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence
Author: T. H. Breen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Law and Evil opens, expands and deepens our understanding of the phenomenon of evil by addressing the theoretical relationship between this phenomenon and law. Hannah Arendt said 'the problem of evil will be the fundamental question of post-war intellectual life in Europe'. This statement is, unfortunately, more than valid in the contemporary world: not only in the events of war, crimes against humanity, terror, repression, criminality, violence, torture, human trafficking, and so on; but also as evil is used rhetorically to condemn these acts, to categorise their perpetrators, and to justify forcible measures, both in international and domestic politics and law. But what is evil? Evil as a concept is too often taken as something that is self-evident, something that is always already defined. Taking Kant’s concept of radical evil as a starting point, this volume counters such a tendency. Bringing together philosophical, political, and psychoanalytical perspectives, in analysing both the concept and the phenomenon of evil, the contributors to this volume offer a rich and thoroughgoing analysis of the multifaceted phenomenon of evil and its relationship to law.
Philosophy, Politics, Psychoanalysis
Author: Ari Hirvonen,Janne Porttikivi
In this volume, an eminent political scientist questions the extent to which the American Constitution furthers democratic goals. Robert Dahl reveals the Constitution's potentially antidemocratic elements and explains why they are there, compares the American constitutional system to other democratic systems, and explores how Americans might alter their political system to achieve greater equality among citizens. In a new chapter for this second edition, he shows how increasing differences in state populations revealed by the Census of 2000 have further increased the veto power over constitutional amendments held by a tiny minority of Americans. He then explores the prospects for changing some important political practices that are not prescribed by the written Constitution, though most Americans may assume them to be so.
Author: Robert Alan Dahl
Publisher: Yale University Press
In this highly original study, Gregory Downs argues that the most American of wars, the Civil War, created a seemingly un-American popular politics, rooted not in independence but in voluntary claims of dependence. Through an examination of the pleas and petitions of ordinary North Carolinians, Declarations of Dependence contends that the Civil War redirected, not destroyed, claims of dependence by exposing North Carolinians to the expansive but unsystematic power of Union and Confederate governments, and by loosening the legal ties that bound them to husbands, fathers, and masters. Faced with anarchy during the long reconstruction of government authority, people turned fervently to the government for protection and sustenance, pleading in fantastic, intimate ways for attention. This personalistic, or what Downs calls patronal, politics allowed for appeals from subordinate groups like freed blacks and poor whites, and also bound people emotionally to newly expanding postwar states. Downs's argument rewrites the history of the relationship between Americans and their governments, showing the deep roots of dependence, the complex impact of the Civil War upon popular politics, and the powerful role of Progressivism and segregation in submerging a politics of dependence that--in new form--rose again in the New Deal and persists today.
The Long Reconstruction of Popular Politics in the South, 1861-1908
Author: Gregory Downs
Publisher: UNC Press Books
Tom Wren s book is a masterpiece of intellectual history. It explores the philosophical and historical foundations of democracy in a compelling way. Wren is a sparkling and graceful writer. He makes a potentially dry subject come alive with wit and insight. The issues Wren addresses are extremely timely, as the United States endeavors to advance democracy in the Middle East. George Goethals, University of Richmond, US In this important analysis of democratic thought and treatise on leadership, historian Tom Wren drills down to the essential intellectual paradox: that leadership and democracy are inherently hostile concepts. Wren brilliantly strips down our fictions concerning these domains in his extensive deconstruction of both classical and modern thought. What emerges is a dialectical awakening and a practical new vision of citizen participation and enlightened leadership. Georgia Sorenson, James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, University of Maryland, College Park and US Army An excellent scholarly work that is well written and highly relevant within the context of contemporary politics. Although essential reading for teachers and students of political theory, it will also interest the general reader and armchair politician. First Trust Bank Economic Outlook and Business Review Wren is to be commended for attempting to lay bare the underlying assumptions and premises that inform any approach to politics. . . an important contribution to an ongoing conversation about what contemporary leadership should look like. Undergraduates will benefit from his review of important theorists, and practitioners should be challenged by Wren s own theses about leadership. Highly recommended. All readership levels. M.J. Watson, Choice The tension between ruler and ruled in democratic societies has never been satisfactorily resolved, and the competing interpretations of this relationship lie at the bottom of much modern political discourse. In this fascinating book, Thomas Wren clarifies and elevates the debates over leadership by identifying the fundamental premises and assumptions that underlie past and present understandings. The author traces the intellectual history of the central constructs: the leader, the people, and, ultimately, the relationship between them as they seek to accomplish societal objectives. He begins with a discussion of the invented notion of the classical paragon of a ruler. Next he pursues the invention of the countervailing concept of a sovereign people, and finally, the need for the invention of a new construct leadership which embodies a new relation between ruler and ruled in regimes dedicated to power in the people. In doing so, he draws upon the giants of the Western intellectual tradition as well as the insights of modern historians, political scientists, sociologists and leadership scholars. The book concludes with a proposed model of leadership for a modern democratic world. Elegantly written and masterfully argued, this comprehensive study will be essential reading for students and scholars of leadership and democracy.
The Challenge of Democracy
Author: J. Thomas Wren
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
Category: Political Science
The Freedoms We Lost is an ambitious historical analysis of the American revolution that reinterprets the gains and losses experienced by ordinary Americans and challenges the easy narrative that subsumes the growth of “freedom” into the story of the American nation. Esteemed historian Barbara Clark Smith proposes that many ordinary Americans were in fact more free on the eve of Revolution than they were two decades later.
Consent and Resistance in Revolutionary America
Author: Barbara Smith
Publisher: The New Press
The federal Department of Justice was established by John A. Macdonald as part of the Conservative party's program for reform of the parliamentary system following Confederation. Among other things, it was charged with establishing national institutions such as the Supreme Court and the North West Mounted Police and with centralizing the penitentiary system. In the process, the department took on a position of primary importance in post-Confederation politics. This was particularly so up to 1878, when Confederation was "completed." Jonathan Swainger considers the growth and development of the ostensibly apolitical Department of Justice in the eleven years after the union of 1867. Drawing on legal records and other archival documents, he details the complex interactions between law and politics, exploring how expectations both inside and outside the legal system created an environment in which the department acted as an advisor to the government. He concludes by considering the post-1878 legacy of the department's approach to governance, wherein any problem, legal or otherwise, was made amenable to politicized solutions. Unfortunately for the department and the federal government, this left them ill-prepared for the constitutional battles to come. One crucial task was to establish responsibilities within the federal government, rather than just duplicate offices which had existed prior to union. Others were the establishment of national or quasi- national institutions such as the Supreme Court (1875) and the North-West Mounted Police (1873), the redrafting of the Governor-General's instructions (which was done between 1875 and 1877), and centralization of the penitentiary system (completed by 1875). The Department benefited from a deeply rooted expectation that law was both apolitical and necessary. This ideology functioned in a variety of ways: it gave the Department considerable latitude for setting policy and solving problems, but rationalized the appearance of politicized legal decisions. It also legitimized Department officials' claim that it was especially suited to review all legislation, advise on the royal prerogative of mercy, administer national penitentiaries, and appoint judges to the bench. Ultimately, the fictional notion of law as apolitical and necessary placed the Department of Justice squarely in the midst of the completion of Confederation. The Canadian Department of Justice and the Completion of Confederation will be of particular interest to students and scholars of Canadian legal and political history.
Author: Jonathan Swainger
Publisher: UBC Press
In the early decades of the American Republic, American soldiers demonstrated and defined their beliefs about the nature of American republicanism and how they, as citizens and soldiers, were participants in the republican experiment through their service. In For Liberty and the Republic, Ricardo A. Herrera examines the relationship between soldier and citizen from the War of Independence through the first year of the Civil War. The work analyzes an idealized republican ideology as a component of soldiering in both peace and war. Herrera argues that American soldiers’ belief system—the military ethos of republicanism—drew from the larger body of American political thought. This ethos illustrated and informed soldiers’ faith in an inseparable connection between bearing arms on behalf of the republic, and earning and holding citizenship in it. Despite the undeniable existence of customs, organizations, and behaviors that were uniquely military, the officers and enlisted men of the regular army, states’ militias, and wartime volunteers were the products of their society, and they imparted what they understood as important elements of American thought into their service. Drawing from military and personal correspondence, journals, orderly books, militia constitutions, and other documents in over forty archives in twenty-three states, Herrera maps five broad, interrelated, and mutually reinforcing threads of thought constituting soldiers’ beliefs: Virtue; Legitimacy; Self-governance; Glory, Honor, and Fame; and the National Mission. Spanning periods of war and peace, these five themes constituted a coherent and long-lived body of ideas that informed American soldiers’ sense of identity for generations.
The American Citizen as Soldier, 1775-1861
Author: Ricardo A. Herrera
Publisher: NYU Press
Alexis de Tocqueville once wrote that "the people reign over the American political world like God over the universe," unwittingly casting democracy as the political instantiation of the death of God. According to Jeffrey W. Robbins, Tocqueville's assessment remains an apt observation of modern democratic power, which does not rest with a sovereign authority but operates as a diffuse social force. By linking radical democratic theory to a contemporary fascination with political theology, Robbins envisions the modern experience of democracy as a social, cultural, and political force transforming the nature of sovereign power and political authority. Robbins joins his work with Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri's radical conception of "network power," as well as Sheldon Wolin's notion of "fugitive democracy," to fashion a political theology that captures modern democracy's social and cultural torment. This approach has profound implications not only for the nature of contemporary religious belief and practice but also for the reconceptualization of the proper relationship between religion and politics. Challenging the modern, liberal, and secular assumption of a neutral public space, Robbins conceives of a postsecular politics for contemporary society that inextricably links religion to the political. While effectively recasting the tradition of radical theology as a political theology, this book also develops a comprehensive critique of the political theology bequeathed by Carl Schmitt. It marks an original and visionary achievement by the scholar the Journal of the American Academy of Religion hailed "one of the best commentators on religion and postmodernism."
Author: Jeffrey W. Robbins
Publisher: Columbia University Press
In this revelatory account of the people who founded the New England colonies, historian David D. Hall compares the reforms they enacted with those attempted in England during the period of the English Revolution. Bringing with them a deep fear of arbitrary, unlimited authority, these settlers based their churches on the participation of laypeople and insisted on "consent" as a premise of all civil governance. Puritans also transformed civil and criminal law and the workings of courts with the intention of establishing equity. In this political and social history of the five New England colonies, Hall provides a masterful re-evaluation of the earliest moments of New England's history, revealing the colonists to be the most effective and daring reformers of their day.
Puritanism and the Transformation of Public Life in New England
Author: David D. Hall
Publisher: UNC Press Books
More than any other single man, George Washington was responsible for bringing success to the American Revolution. But because of the heroic image in which we have cast him and which already enveloped him in this own lifetime, Washington is and was a hard man to know. In this book Edmund S. Morgan pushes past the image to find the man. He argues that Washington's genius lay in his understanding of both military and political power. This understanding of power was unmatched by that of any of his contemporaries and showed itself at the simplest level in the ability to take command. Drawing on Washington's letters to his colleagues (many of which are included in this book), Morgan explores the particular genius of our first president and clearly demonstrates that Washington's mastery of power allowed America to win the Revolutionary War and placed the new country on the way to achieving the international and domestic power that Washington himself had sought for it.
Author: Edmund S. Morgan
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Category: Biography & Autobiography
One third of humanity is governed by two capitals, New Delhi and Beijing. Increasingly, these two countries are being led not from the top down, but rather from the Inside Out. In 2014, India overwhelmingly elected Narendra Modi minister, a man who rose to national prominence as chief minister of Gujarat, India's fastest growing state. Likewise, in 2013, Xi Jinping took over as president of China, having served as top official in Zhejiang and Shanghai, two of China's most prosperous provinces. Anticipating these trends and leadership transitions, William Antholis spent five months in 2012 traversing twenty Indian states and Chinese provinces, conducting over three hundred interviews, including with Narendra Modi. Antholis's detailed narratives show what both Modi and Xi Jinping learned firsthand: that local successes—and failures—will determine the future of the world's largest two nations. And his new forward, prepared for this edition, lays out key takeaways from the transitions of 2013 and 2014.
Local Politics Go Global
Author: William Antholis
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
Category: Political Science