George Ticknor Curtis (November 28, 1812 – March 28, 1894) was an American author, writer, historian and lawyer.
History of the Origin, Formation, and Adoption of the Constitution of the United States, Vol. 2 With Notices of its Principle Framersby George Ticknor Curtis
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After long wanderings through the struggles, the errors, and the disappointments of the earlier years of our constitutional history, I now come to consider that memorable assembly to which they ultimately led, in order to describe the character of an era that offered the promise of a more vigorous nationality, and presented the alternative of final dissolution. How the people of the United States were enabled to seize the happy choice of one of these results, and to escape the disasters of the other, is to be learned by examining the mode in which the Constitution of the United States was framed.
In approaching this interesting topic, I am naturally anxious to place myself at once on a right understanding with the reader,--to apprise him of the purpose of the discussions to which he is invited, and to guard against expectations which might be entertained, but which will not be fulfilled.
In a work designed for general and--as I venture to hope it may prove--for popular use, it would be out of place, as it certainly would be impracticable within the limits of a single volume, to undertake the explanation and discussion of all those particular questions of construction that must constantly arise under almost every clause and feature of such an instrument as the Constitution of the United States, and which, as our whole experience has taught us, are fruitful both of extensive debate and of wide as well as honest diversities of opinion. I shall consider questions of construction only so far as may be necessary to elucidate my subject; for I propose, in writing the history of the formation of the Constitution, to describe rather those great modifications in the principles and structure of the Union that took place in the period at which we have now arrived in the course of this work; to state the essential features of the new government; and to trace the process by which they were evolved from the elements to which the framers of that government resorted.
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- History of the Origin, Formation, and Adoption of the Constitution of the United States , #2
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