Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States

Quid Pro Books
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One of the United States' most influential legal scholars and jurists wrote this landmark treatise before the Civil War, describing federalism, states' history, freedoms, and constitutional structure. He abridged it in 1833 into this important work. Adding a substantive, extensive, and new Foreword by constitutional scholar Kermit Roosevelt of University of Pennsylvania Law School, the quality Quid Pro edition features active Contents and embedded pagination from the original. Part of the Legal Legends Series.
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About the author

 Kermit Roosevelt III is a professor of constitutional law at Penn Law School.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Quid Pro Books
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Published on
Mar 21, 2013
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Pages
440
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ISBN
9781610271868
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / Constitutional
Law / Legal History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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A New Introduction to American Constitutionalism is the first text to study the entirety of American constitutionalism, not just the traces that appear in Supreme Court decisions. Mark A. Graber both explores and offers original answers to such central questions as: What is a Constitution,? What are fundamental constitutional purposes? How are constitutions interpreted? How is constitutional authority allocated? How to constitutions change? How is the Constitution of the United States influenced by international and comparative law? and, most important, How does the Constitution work? Relying on an historical/institutional perspective, the book illustrates how American constitutionalism is a distinct form of politics, rather than a means from separating politics from law. Constitutions work far more by constructing and constituting politics than by compelling people to do what they would otherwise do. People debate the proper meaning of the first amendment, but these debates are influenced by the rule that all states are equally represented in the Senate and a political culture that in which political dissenters do not fear for their lives. More than any other work on the market, A New Introduction to American Constitutionalism highlights and expands on what a generation for law professors, political scientists and historians have said about the American constitutionalism regime. As such, this is the first truly interdisciplinary study of constitutional politics in the United States.
In America’s Constitution, one of this era’s most accomplished constitutional law scholars, Akhil Reed Amar, gives the first comprehensive account of one of the world’s great political texts. Incisive, entertaining, and occasionally controversial, this “biography” of America’s 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 more 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 Constitution’s 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, America’s 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 why–for now, at least–only 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 nation’s history. For one thing, we see that the Constitution has been far more 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 document’s later amendments eventually extended the vote to virtually all Americans.

We also learn that the Founders’ Constitution was far more 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 Republic’s first thirty-six years, and proslavery forces eventually came to dominate much of the federal government prior to Lincoln’s election.

Ambitious, even-handed, eminently accessible, and often surprising, America’s Constitution is an indispensable work, bound to become a standard reference for any student of history and all citizens of the United States.
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