Colonial Origins of the American Constitution

Colonial Origins of the American Constitution

by Donald S. Lutz
     
 

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"Local government in colonial America was the seedbed of American constitutionalism." So begins the introductory essay to this landmark collection of eighty documents created by the American colonists—and not English officials—that are the genesis of American fundamental law and constitutionalism. Most of these documents, commencing with the Agreement

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Overview

"Local government in colonial America was the seedbed of American constitutionalism." So begins the introductory essay to this landmark collection of eighty documents created by the American colonists—and not English officials—that are the genesis of American fundamental law and constitutionalism. Most of these documents, commencing with the Agreement of the Settlers at Exeter in New Hampshire, July 5, 1639, and concluding with Joseph Galloway's Plan of Union, 1774—"the immediate precursor to the Articles of Confederation"—have never before been accessible to the general reader or available in a single volume. As Professor Lutz points out, the documents are chosen to make possible "a careful examination of [the American] people's attempt at self-interpretation." All of the principal colonial documents are included, as are all documents attempting to unite the colonies, beginning with the New England Confederation of 1643. Bicameralism, popular sovereignty, the separation of powers, checks and balances, limited government, and religious freedom—in sum, the hallmarks of American constitutionalism—were first presented to the world in these writings.


Donald S. Lutz is Professor of Political Science at the University of Houston.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Presents 80 documents selected to reflect Eric Voegelin's theory that in Western civilization basic political symbolizations tend to be variants of the original symbolization of Judeo-Christian religious tradition. These documents demonstrate the continuity of symbols preceding the writing of the Constitution and all contain a number of basic symbols such as: a constitution as higher law, popular sovereignty, legislative supremacy, the deliberative process, and a virtuous people. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781614871316
Publisher:
Liberty Fund Inc.
Publication date:
04/30/2012
Series:
NONE Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
436
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

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