Democracy, Liberty, and Property: The State Constitutional Conventions of the 1820s

Democracy, Liberty, and Property: The State Constitutional Conventions of the 1820s

by Merrill D. Peterson
     
 

Constitutional conventions are one of the great inventions of American political practice. They provide a means for the populace to debate fundamental issues of government and to craft-or recraft-a political structure that advances the people's ideals of democracy and liberty. The federal constitution left many key points of governance to the states, including the

Overview

Constitutional conventions are one of the great inventions of American political practice. They provide a means for the populace to debate fundamental issues of government and to craft-or recraft-a political structure that advances the people's ideals of democracy and liberty. The federal constitution left many key points of governance to the states, including the structure of their own governments, as long as they were republican in nature. Experimentation continued in the early nineteenth century by means of constitutional conventions both in states newly admitted to the union and in existing states that wished to correct constitutional flaws that had become apparent in the years following the Revolution.

Democracy, Liberty, and Property covers the constitutional conventions convened in New York, Massachusetts, and Virginia in the 1820s to address fundamental policy issues, such as suffrage, legislative apportionment and representation, governmental structures, and freedom of religion. The clash between democracy, liberty, and property is conspicuous in the debates reprinted here. These particular state conventions are significant for their influence over neighboring states' constitutions and for their forceful debates among such leading statesmen as John Adams, James Madison, James Monroe, and John Marshall, and among less celebrated founders of state constitutions.

The debates focus on enduring issues of liberty and are in many respects as relevant today as they were during the establishment of these states' constitutions. Modern students and scholars of U.S. history, as well as those interested in the connection between federalism and liberty, will benefit from this collection of original documents and the editor's introductory essays that provide context for each convention.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780865977884
Publisher:
Liberty Fund, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/30/2010
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
444
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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