American Sovereigns: The People and America's Constitutional Tradition Before the Civil War challenges traditional American constitutional history, theory and jurisprudence that sees today's constitutionalism as linked by an unbroken chain to the 1787 Federal constitutional convention. American Sovereigns examines the idea that after the American Revolution, a collectivity - the people - would rule as the sovereign. Heated political controversies within the states and at the national level over what it meant that the people were the sovereign and how that collective sovereign could express its will were not resolved in 1776, in 1787, or prior to the Civil War. The idea of the people as the sovereign both unified and divided Americans in thinking about government and the basis of the Union. Today's constitutionalism is not a natural inheritance, but the product of choices Americans made between shifting understandings about themselves as a collective sovereign.
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(234mm x 156mm x 25mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - Christian G. Fritz
Christian G. Fritz is a professor of law at the University of New Mexico School of Law, where he has held both the Dickason and Weihofen chairs. Fritz has a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. He is the author of Federal Justice in California: The Court of Ogden Hoffman, 1851-1891 (1991), a path-breaking work that analyzes the operation of the first federal district court in San Francisco. Fritz delivered the 2002 Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., lecture at the Oklahoma City University School of Law. Professor Fritz is a member of the American Society for Legal History and the American Historical Association, and has served on the editorial boards of several law and history journals.