Roger Sherman and the Creation of the American Republic

Roger Sherman and the Creation of the American Republic

by Mark David Hall
     
 

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Roger Sherman was the only founder to sign the Declaration and Resolves (1774), Articles of Association (1774), Declaration of Independence (1776), Articles of Confederation (1777, 1778), and Constitution (1787). He served on the five-man committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence, and he was among the most influential delegates at the Constitutional…  See more details below

Overview


Roger Sherman was the only founder to sign the Declaration and Resolves (1774), Articles of Association (1774), Declaration of Independence (1776), Articles of Confederation (1777, 1778), and Constitution (1787). He served on the five-man committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence, and he was among the most influential delegates at the Constitutional Convention. As a Representative and Senator in the new republic, he played important roles in determining the proper scope of the national government's power and in drafting the Bill of Rights. Even as he was helping to build a new nation, Sherman was a member of the Connecticut General Assembly and a Superior Court judge. In 1783, he and a colleague revised all of the state's laws.

Roger Sherman and the Creation of the American Republic explores Sherman's political theory and shows how it informed his many contributions to America's founding. A central thesis of the work is that Sherman, like many founders, was heavily influenced by Calvinist political thought. This tradition had a significant impact on the founding generation's opposition to Great Britain, and it led them to develop political institutions designed to prevent corruption, promote virtue, and protect rights. Contrary to oft-repeated assertions by jurists and scholars that the founders advocated a strictly secular polity, Mark David Hall argues persuasively that most founders believed Christianity should play an important role in the new American republic.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It is one of the many virtues of Mark David Hall s succinct, lucid monograph that he makes a convincing case for Sherman s significance without falling prey to the whining tone of special pleading that so often taints books examining neglected Founding Fathers...Hall has written an admirable introduction to Roger Sherman's life, political career, and role as a thinking politician...[An] excellent book."—Church History and Religious Culture

"Dr. Mark Hall offers a compelling Calvinist narrative to the formation of the American order in his recent political biography, Roger Sherman and the Creation of the American Republic... Hall's political biography of Roger Sherman is an excellent and heartily welcomed addition to this woefully neglected field of research." —Alan R. Crippen II, John Jay Institute

"As is, we have a book on Roger Sherman that religious and revolutionary historians should find useful." —Journal of Church and State

"A great book about a great but little known American. Professor Hall gracefully explains how one of the Founding Era's best politicians fully integrated his religious faith into a life of pragmatic and effective public service. Why can't more histories be this enjoyable to read?"—William R. Casto, Paul Whitfield Horn University Professor of Law, Texas Tech University

"Hardly the 'simple cobbler from Connecticut' portrayed on Broadway in 1776, Roger Sherman emerges from Professor Hall's excellent volume as deeply immersed in both Reformed theology and the practical politics of nation-building. Sherman's contributions to the American founding have been overlooked for too long, and Professor Hall has done a great service to remind us not only of the importance of Sherman himself but also of the Protestant Reformed tradition that he represented."—Donald L. Drakeman, author of Church, State, and Original Intent

"While most debates about the constitutional intent of our Founding Fathers focus on Madison, Franklin, Washington, and Jefferson, Mark David Hall expands our intellectual horizons with this detailed examination of the life and thought of Roger Sherman, the most important of the 'forgotten founders.' But Hall's research is more than just a biography of one man; he uses the person of Roger Sherman to reveal the deep-seated culture of Calvinism that influenced the original structure of our nation's government. This book is a must-read for anyone engaged in legal debates about the nature of the U.S. Constitution."—Anthony Gill, author of The Political Origins of Religious Liberty

"The best life of Connecticut's foremost Founding Father ever written." —The American Conservative

"In this thoughtful, compelling book, Mark David Hall not only demonstrates that Roger Sherman was one of the most influential Founding Fathers, but he also convincingly locates Sherman's politics in the Reformed Christian tradition. Sherman deserves recognition as an indispensable leader of the new American nation, and every student and scholar of the Revolutionary period would profit greatly from reading Hall's treatment of this distinguished Connecticut Patriot."—Thomas S. Kidd, author of Patrick Henry: First Among Patriots

"Elegantly written, carefully researched, and downright persuasive...Hall so brilliantly and strenuously challenges the consensus view that we should look forward to this book being banned from public schools across the country...it is a book worth reading."—Library of Law and Liberty

"This slim volume should find its way onto many syllabi. Clearly and engagingly written, itis perfect for undergraduates, who also respond enthusastically to the 'forgotten founder' trope. This fine study is recommended not only for students but also for scholars who believe they can understand the founding as a purely secular event." —The Journal of American History

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199929849
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
11/06/2012
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
815,514
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 6.40(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Herbert Hoover Distinguished Professor of Political Science, George Fox University.

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