Traditional theories of American political development depict the American state as a thoroughly liberal state from its very inception. In this book, first published in 1992, Karen Orren challenges that account by arguing that a remnant of ancient feudalism was, in fact, embedded in the American governmental system, in the form of the law of master and servant, and persisted until well into the twentieth century. The law of master and servant was, she reveals, incorporated in the US Constitution and administered from democratic politics. The fully legislative polity that defines the modern liberal state was achieved in America, Orren argues, only through the initiatives of the labor movement in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and was finally ushered in as part of the processes of collective bargaining instituted by the New Deal. This book represents a fundamental reinterpretation of constitutional change in the United States and of the role of American organized labor, which is shown to be a creator of liberalism, rather than a spoiler of socialism.
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(234mm x 156mm x 15mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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