Author: William Rawle
Release Date: 2009-01-01
William Rawle, who died in 1836, was a leading member of the first generation of American lawyers after independence, and his A View of the Constitution was one of the most influential books on constitutional law published before the Civil War. The book's interest is not, however, merely historical: Rawle's approach provides a powerful challenge to contemporary assumptions about the original meaning and ongoing significance of the Constitution. His understanding of the constitutional authority of the president — he saw it as broad yet legally bounded — is especially interesting given our current debates. This book is part of the Carolina Academic Press Historical Reprint Series, edited by H. Jefferson Powell, Duke University School of Law.
Author: William Rawle, Jr.
Publisher: Scholar's Choice
Release Date: 2015-02-08
This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work. This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.
Author: George Bancroft
Publisher: The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd.
Release Date: 2000-05
Bancroft, George. History of the Formation of the Constitution of the United States of America. Second Edition. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1882. Two volumes. xxiv, 520; xiv,501 pp. Reprinted 2000 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. LCCN 99-23946. ISBN 1-58477-002-3. Cloth. $175. * Traces the formation of the federal constitution from its origin to the inauguration of Washington, with an extensive appendix of letters and papers illustrating the formation of the constitution.
Author: William Rawle
Release Date: 2015-02-06
By a constitution we mean the principles on which a government is formed and conducted.On the voluntary association of men in sufficient numbers to form a political community, the first step to be taken for their own security and happiness, is to agree on the terms on which they are to be united and to act. They form a constitution, or plan of government suited to their character, their exigencies, and their future prospects. They agree that it shall be the supreme rule of obligation among them.This is the pure and genuine source of a constitution in the republican form. In other governments the origin of constitutions is not always the same.A successful conqueror establishes such a form of government as he thinks proper. If he deigns to give it the name of a constitution, the people are instructed to consider it as a donation from him; but the danger to his power, generally induces him to withhold an appellation, of which, in his own apprehension, an improper use might be made.In governments purely despotic, we never hear of a constitution. The people are sometimes, however, roused to vindicate their rights, and when their discontents and their power become so great as to prove the necessity of relaxation on the part of the government, or when a favourable juncture happens, of which they prudently avail themselves, a constitution may be exacted, and the government compelled to recognise principles and concede rights in favour of the people.The duration of this relief is wholly dependent upon political events. In some countries the people are able to retain what is thus conceded; in others, the concession is swept away by some abrupt revolution in favour of absolute power, and the country relapses into its former condition. To rectify abuses, without altering the general frame of government, is a task, which though found more difficult, yet is of less dignity and utility, than the formation of a complete constitution.To alter and amend, to introduce new parts into the ancient texture, and particularly new principles of a different and contrary nature, often produces an irregular and discordant composition, which its own confusion renders difficult of execution. The formation of a constitution founded on a single principle, is the more practicable from its greater simplicity.Whether this principle is pure monarchy, aristocracy, or democracy, if it be steadily kept in view, the parts may be all conformable and homogeneous.In a pure monarchy all the power is vested in a single head. He may be authorized to make and expound, and execute the laws. If this be the result of general consent, such countries possess a constitution. The same may be said of an aristocracy if the people agree to deposit all power in the hands of a select number; and of a democracy, in which they retain, in such manner as they hold most conducive to their own safety, all sovereignty within their own control. The difficulty in either case is to regulate the divisions of the authority granted, so that no portion of it, vested in one branch or one body of men, shall bear an undue relation to the others. Each must be sufficient to support itself, yet all must be made to harmonize and co-operate.A constitution may combine two of the foregoing principles, like those of ancient Rome, some of the Grecian Republics, and in modem times, Geneva and some of the small communities of Italy: or, like the present government of England, it may combine the three principles.The high authority which has been often quoted1 in favour of the last mentioned form, may be allowed its full weight, without impugning the obvious position, that the whole power which is conceded to an hereditary monarch, may be vested by a democratic republic in an elective magistrate, and all the benefits derived from it, enjoyed without the dangers attending hereditary succession.If an hereditary monarch abuses his power, the people seldom obtain relief without insurrection...
Author: St. George Tucker
Release Date: 1999
As professor of law at the College of William and Mary, St. George Tucker in 1803 published View of the Constitution—the first extended, systematic commentary on the United States Constitution after its ratification and later its amendment by the Bill of Rights. View was originally part of Tucker's "Americanized" or "republicanized" edition of the multivolume Commentaries on the Laws of England by Sir William Blackstone. Generations of American law students, lawyers, judges, and statesmen learned their Blackstone—and also their understanding of the Constitution—through Tucker. As Clyde N. Wilson notes, "Tucker is the exponent of Jeffersonian republicanism . . . in contrast to the commercial republicanism of New England that has since the Civil War been taken to be the only true form of American philosophy." In addition to the entirety of View, the Liberty Fund volume includes seven other essays from Tucker's renowned edition of Blackstone. These include "On the Study of Law," "Of the Unwritten, or Common Law of England," and "Of the Several Forms of Government." St. George Tucker (1752–1827) was an officer in the American Revolutionary Army, a Professor of Law, justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia, judge of the Federal District Court for Virginia by appointment of President James Madison, progenitor of a long line of jurists and scholars, and stepfather of John Randolph of Roanoke. Clyde N. Wilson is Professor of History and Editor of The Papers of John C. Calhoun at the University of South Carolina.
Author: Woodrow Wilson
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
Release Date: 1961
Genre: Political Science
A classic of American political science, and a subtle criticism of the American founding fathers produced during the Progressive Era. Woodrow Wilson discusses the three branches of government in the USA - the state, federal and party governments - and the relationship between them.
Author: William Blackstone
Publisher: The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd.
Release Date: 1996-01-01
The classic exposition of English Common Law at the time of the founding of the American Republic was Commentaries on the Laws of England, by William Blackstone. This work was used as a standard reference and law book by lawyers, judges, and the founding fathers, who incorporated the applicable provisions of it into the U.S. Constitution, especially for the definitions of its terms. However, Blackstone's Commentaries were written for a monarchical system of government, and needed to be adapted to the needs of the new republic. This was first done by St. George Tucker, who taught law and who had Blackstone's Commentaries republished together with his own lecture notes in 1803 in a five-volume set familiarly known as Tucker's Blackstone.