צּ America's Constitution: A Biography eBook: Akhil Reed Amar: Amazon.fr: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l. free download America's Constitution: A Biography eBook: Akhil Reed Amar: Amazon.fr: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l. ᐸ Book By Akhil Reed Amar ᕟ Chapter 1 In the Beginning The Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser September 19, 1787 When, after a summer of closed meetings in Philadelphia, Americas leading statesmen went public with their proposed Constitution on September 17, 1787, newspapers rushed to print the proposal in its entirety In several printings, the dramatic words of the Preamble appeared in particularly large type It started with a bang Ordinary citizens would govern themselves across a continent and over the centuries, under rules that the populace would ratify and could revise By uniting previously independent states into a vast and indivisible nation, New World republicans would keep Old World monarchs at a distance and thus make democracy work on a scale never before dreamed possible We do With simple words placed in the documents most prominent location, the Preamble laid the foundation for all that followed We the People of the United States, do ordain and establish this Constitution These words did than promise popular self government They also embodied and enacted it Like the phrases I do in an exchange of wedding vows and I accept in a contract, the Preambles words actually performed the very thing they described Thus the Founders Constitution was not merely a text but a deeda constituting We the People do ordain In the late 1780s, this was the most democratic deed the world had ever seen Behind this act of ordainment and establishment stood countless ordinary American voters who gave their consent to the Constitution via specially elected ratifying conventions held in the thirteen states beginning in late 1787 Until these ratifications took place, the Constitutions words were a mere proposalthe text of a contract yet to be accepted, the script of a wedding still to be performed The proposal itself had emerged from a special conclave held in Philadelphia during the summer of 1787 Twelve state governmentsall except Rhode Islandshad tapped several dozen leading public servants and private citizens to meet in Philadelphia and ponder possible revisions of the Articles of Confederation, the interstate compact that Americans had formed during the Revolutionary War After deliberating behind closed doors for months, the Philadelphia conferees unveiled their joint proposal in mid September in a document signed by thirty nine of the continents most eminent men, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, James Wilson, Roger Sherman, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Gouverneur Morris, John Rutledge, and Nathaniel Gorham When these notables put their names on the page, they put their reputations on the line An enormous task of political persuasion lay ahead Several of the leaders who had come to Philadelphia had quit the conclave in disgust, and others who had stayed to the end had refused to endorse the final script Such menJohn Lansing, Robert Yates, Luther Martin, John Francis Mercer, Edmund Randolph, George Mason, and Elbridge Gerrycould be expected to oppose ratification and to urge their political allies to do the same No one could be certain how the American people would ultimately respond to the competing appeals Prior to 1787, only two states, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, had ever brought proposed state constitutions before the people to be voted up or down in some special way The combined track record from this pair of states was sobering two successful popular ratifications out of six total attempts In the end, the federal Constitution proposed by Washington and company would barely squeak through By its own terms, the document would go into effect only if ratified by specially elected conventions in at least nine states, and even then only states that said yes would be bound In late 1787 and early 1788, supporters of the Constitution won relatively easy ratifications in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut Massachusetts joined their ranks in February 1788, saying we do only after weeks of debate and by a close vote, 187 to 168 Then came lopsided yes votes in Maryland and South Carolina, bringing the total to eight ratifications, one shy of the mark Even so, in mid June 1788, a full nine months after the publication of the Philadelphia proposal, the Constitution was still struggling to be born, and its fate remained uncertain Organized opposition ran strong in all the places that had yet to say yes, which included three of Americas largest and most influential states At last, on June 21, tiny New Hampshire became the decisive ninth state by the margin of 57 to 47 A few days later, before news from the North had arrived, Virginia voted her approval, 89 to 79 All eyes then turned to New York, where Anti Federalists initially held a commanding lead inside the convention Without the acquiescence of this key state, could the new Constitution really work as planned On the other hand, was New York truly willing to say no and go it alone now that her neighbors had agreed to form a new, perfect union among themselves In late July, the state ultimately said yes by a vote of 30 to 27 A switch of only a couple of votes would have reversed the outcome Meanwhile, the last two states, North Carolina and Rhode Island, refused to ratify in 1788 They would ultimately join the new union in late 1789 and mid 1790, respectivelywell after George Washington took office as president of the new eleven United States Although the ratification votes in the several states did not occur by direct statewide referenda, the various ratifying conventions did aim to represent the People in a particularly emphatic way directly than ordinary legislatures Taking their cue from the Preambles bold We the People language, several states waived standard voting restrictions and allowed a uniquely broad class of citizens to vote for ratification convention delegates For instance, New York temporarily set aside its usual property qualifications and, for the first time in its history, invited all free adult male citizens to vote.1 Also, states generally allowed an especially broad group of Americans to serve as ratifying convention delegates Among the many states that ordinarily required upper house lawmakers to meet higher property qualifications than lower house members, none held convention delegates to the higher standard, and most exempted delegates even from the lower All told, eight states elected convention delegates under special rules that were populist and less property focused than normal, and two others followed standing rules that let virtually all taxpaying adult male citizens vote No state employed spe cial election rules that were property based or less populist than normal In the extraordinarily extended and inclusive ratification process envisioned by the Preamble, Americans regularly found themselves discussing the Preamble itself At Philadelphia, the earliest draft of the Preamble had come from the quill of Pennsylvanias James Wilson,3 and it was Wilson who took the lead in explaining the Preambles principles in a series of early and influential ratification speeches Pennsylvania Anti Federalists complained that the Philadelphia notables had overreached in proposing an entirely new Constitution rather than a mere modification of the existing Articles of Confederation In response, WilsonAmericas leading lawyer and one of only six men to have signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutionstressed the significance of popular ratification This Constitution, proposed by the Philadelphia draftsmen , claims no than a production of the same nature would claim, flowing from a private pen It is laid before the citizens of the United States, unfettered by restraint By their fiat, it will become of value and authority without it, it will never receive the character of authenticity and power.4 James Madison agreed, as he made clear in a mid January 1788 New York newspaper essay today known as The Federalist No 40one of a long series of columns that he wrote in partnership with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay under the shared pen name Publius According to Madison Publius, the Philadelphia draftsmen had merely proposed a Constitution which is to be of no consequence than the paper on which it is written, unless it be stamped with the approbation of those to whom it is addressed The proposal was to be submitted to the people themselves, and the disapprobation of this supreme authority would destroy it forever its approbation blot out antecedent errors and irregu larities Leading Federalists across the continent reiterated the point in similar language With the word fiat, Wilson gently called to mind the opening lines of Genesis In the beginning, God said, fiat lux, andbehold there was light So, too, when the American people Publiuss supreme authority said, We do ordain and establish, that very statement would do the deed Let there be a Constitutionand there would be one As the ulti mate sovereign of all had once made man in his own image, so now the temporal sovereign of America, the people themselves, would make a constitution in their own image All this was breathtakingly novel In 1787, democratic self government existed almost nowhere on earth Kings, emperors, czars, princes, sultans, moguls, feudal lords, and tribal chiefs held sway across the globe Even England featured a limited monarchy and an entrenched aristocracy alongside a House of Commons that rested on a restricted and uneven electoral base The vaunted English Constitution that American colonists had grown up admiring prior to the struggle for independence was an imprecise hodgepodge of institutions, enactments, cases, usages, maxims, procedures, and principles that had accreted and evolved over many centuries This Constitution had never been reduced to a single composite writing and voted on by the British people or even by Parliament The ancient world had seen small scale democracies in various Greek city states and pre imperial Rome, but none of these had been founded in fully democratic fashion In the most famous cases, one mana celebrated lawgiver such as Athenss Solon or Spartas Lycurgushad unilaterally ordained his countrymens constitution Before the American Revolution, no people had ever explicitly voted on their own written constitution Nor did the Revolution itself immediately inaugurate popular ordainments and establishments True, the 1776 Declaration of Independence proclaimed the self evident truth that Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed The document went on to assert that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of its legitimate Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter and abolish it, and to institute new Government Yet the Declaration only imperfectly acted out its bold script Its fifty six acclaimed signers never put the document to any sort of popular vote Between April and July 1776, countless similar declarations issued from assorted towns, counties, parishes, informal assemblies, grand juries, militia units, and legislatures across America.8 By then, however, the colonies were already under military attack, and conditions often made it impossible to achieve inclusive deliberation or scrupulous tabulation Many patriots saw Crown loyalists in their midst not as fellow citizens free to vote their honest judgment with impunity, but rather as traitors deserving tar and feathers, or worse Virtually no arch loyalist went on to become a particularly noteworthy political leader in independent America By contrast, many who would vigorously oppose the Constitution in 178788such as Marylands Samuel Chase and Luther Martin, Virginias Patrick Henry and James Monroe, and New Yorks George Clinton and John Lansingmoved on to illustrious post ratification careers Shortly before and after the Declaration of Independence, new state governments began to take shape, filling the void created by the ouster of George III None of the state constitutions ordained in the first months of the Revolution was voted on by the electorate or by a specially elected ratifying convention of the people In many states, sitting legislatures or closely analogous Revolutionary entities declared themselves solons and promulgated or revised constitutions on their own authority, sometimes without even waiting for new elections that might have given their constituents say in the matter, or at least advance notice of their specific constitutional intentions In late 1777, patriot leaders in the Continental Congress proposed a set of Articles of Confederation to govern relations among the thirteen states This document was then sent out to be ratified by the thirteen state legislatures, none of which asked the citizens themselves to vote in any special way on the matter Things began to change as the Revolution wore on In 1780, Massachusetts enacted a new state constitution that had come directly before the voters assembled in their respective townships and won their approval In 1784, New Hampshire did the same These local dress rehearsals for so they seem in retrospect set the stage for the Preambles great act of continental popular sovereignty in the late 1780s As Benjamin Franklin and other Americans had achieved famous advances in the natural sciencesin Franklins case, the invention of bifocals, the lightning rod, and the Franklin stoveso with the Constitution America could boast a breakthrough in political science Never be fore had so many ordinary people been invited to deliberate and vote on the supreme law under which they and their posterity would be governed James Wilson fairly burst with pride in an oration delivered in Philadelphia to some twenty thousand merrymakers gathered for a grand parade on July 4, 1788 By that date, enough Americans had said We do so as to guarantee that the Constitution would go into effect at least in ten statesthe document was still pending in the other three The spectacle, which we are assembled to celebrate, Wilson declared, was the most dignified one that has yet appeared on our globe, namely, a people free and enlightened, establishing and ratifying a system of government, which they have previously considered, examined, and approved You have heard of Sparta, of Athens, and of Rome you have heard of their admired constitutions, and of their high prized free dom But did they, in all their pomp and pride of liberty, ever furnish, to the astonished world, an exhibition similar to that which we now contemplate Were their constitutions framed by those, who were appointed for that purpose, by the people After they were framed, were they submitted to the consideration of the people Had the people an opportunity of expressing their sentiments concerning them Were they to stand or fall by the peoples approving or rejecting vote The great deed was done The people had taken center stage and enacted their own supreme law From the Hardcover edition.In Americas Constitution, one of this eras most accomplished constitutional law scholars, Akhil Reed Amar, gives the first comprehensive account of one of the worlds great political texts Incisive, entertaining, and occasionally controversial, this biography of Americas framing document explains not only what the Constitution says but also why the Constitution says it We all know this much the Constitution is neither immutable nor perfect Amar shows us how the story of this one relatively compact document reflects the story of America generally For example, much of the Constitution, including the glorious sounding We the People, was lifted from existing American legal texts, including early state constitutions In short, the Constitution was as much a product of its environment as it was a product of its individual creators inspired genius.Despite the Constitutions flaws, its role in guiding our republic has been nothing short of amazing Skillfully placing the document in the context of late eighteenth century American politics, Americas Constitution explains, for instance, whether there is anything in the Constitution that is unamendable the reason America adopted an electoral college why a president must be at least thirty five years old and whyfor now, at leastonly those citizens who were born under the American flag can become president From his unique perspective, Amar also gives us unconventional wisdom about the Constitution and its significance throughout the nations history For one thing, we see that the Constitution has been far democratic than is conventionally understood Even though the document was drafted by white landholders, a remarkably large number of citizens by the standards of 1787 were allowed to vote up or down on it, and the documents later amendments eventually extended the vote to virtually all Americans We also learn that the Founders Constitution was far slavocratic than many would acknowledge the three fifths clause gave the South extra political clout for every slave it owned or acquired As a result, slaveholding Virginians held the presidency all but four of the Republics first thirty six years, and proslavery forces eventually came to dominate much of the federal government prior to Lincolns election.Ambitious, even handed, eminently accessible, and often surprising, Americas Constitution is an indispensable work, bound to become a standard reference for any student of history and all citizens of the United States. BBC America BBCAmerica provides an easy way for fans to get caught up in BBC America shows Full episode viewing offers instant access like Top Gear Olympus Corporation of the Americas Headline News Olympus D FlexDex Minimal Access Surgery Simplifies Suturing, Redefines Robotics Named List Best Adoption Friendly Workplaces America s Story from Library Explore US history using primary sources Library Congress Kids can discover Story, meet amazing Americans, explore states Includes NIS America, IncKILA Disgaea Complete has a new patch v that went live today all PlayStation users If your curious on what changed, you take look into notes below Miss KILA Shop Miss Finally, day have been waiting is here We are incredibly excited unveil sneak peek Los grandes desafos que Trump enfrenta en las El gobierno de varias investigaciones y un estancamiento partidista Se trata una advertencia antes decida si buscar la reeleccin Vogue Fashion, Beauty, Celebrity, Fashion Shows The latest fashion news, beauty coverage, celebrity style, week updates, culture reviews, and videos Vogue Home Evangelical Lutheran Church ELCA one largest Christian denominations United States, with about million members nearly , congregations across PwC Audit assurance, consulting tax PwC focuses audit tax services help resolve complex issues identify opportunities Gemological Institute Of All About Established GIA independent nonprofit protects gem jewelry buying public through research, education laboratory Receives Capstone Health Alliance Innovative Partner Award Nmero muertos sube por incendios en Las autoridades evalan los daos del incendio ms mortal California han dado conocer nombres unas personas siguen desaparecidas ⇔ Paperback Insiders' Guide to South Dakota's Black Hills & Badlands store ⦞ E-Pub Author Barbara Tomovick ⧙Akhil Amar Wikipedia Akhil Reed born September American legal scholar, expert constitutional law criminal procedure Formerly Southmayd Professor Law Constitution A Biography Reed FREE shipping qualifying In this era most Slate Magazine Sterling professor at Yale author Today, which contains sustained meditation Opinion Liberal Case Brett Kavanaugh Judge Kavanaugh, shown President nominee Supreme CourtCreditCreditScott J Ferrell Congressional Quarterly, via Hillary Clinton Is Like Alexander Questions Amar, Today The Troubling Reason Electoral College Exists As Americans await quadrennial running presidential obstacle course now known as College, it worth remembering why we Yale School On Whether Political Science joined me morning Audio hhs amar Transcript HH Alabama Senate Reconstruction Acts role Reconstruction States Justice Kennedy reminds he not above his concurrence Court travel ban ruling, felt need remind us that, even though court position West Wing Weekly Weekly podcast by discussion television beloved shows, co hosted its stars, Joshua Malina, along Nixon Shadow Research Amart old generals, lawyers judges spent last quarter century fighting big war America's Constitution: A Biography eBook: Akhil Reed Amar: Amazon.fr: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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- America's Constitution: A Biography eBook: Akhil Reed Amar: Amazon.fr: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Akhil Reed Amar
- 27 November 2016 Akhil Reed Amar
- 670 pages