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xiii, 180 pages ; 24 cm.
  • Introduction: 'A manufacturer making the tools he was to work with'
  • 'Orders indispensably necessary'
  • 'This John Milton deserves hanging'
  • 'The eternal rules of justice and reason ought to be a law'
  • 'I have begun a sketch'
  • 'The average price of peace and war'
  • 'The tactics of political assemblies form the science'
  • 'This beautiful political order.'
Upon declaring independence from Britain in July 1776, the United States Congress urgently needed to establish its credentials as a legitimate government that could credibly challenge the claims of the British Crown. In large measure this legitimacy rested upon setting in place the procedural and legal structures upon which all claims of governmental authority rest. In this book, Aschenbrenner explores the ways in which the nascent United States rapidly built up a system of parliamentary procedure that borrowed heavily from the British government it sought to replace. In particular, he looks at how, over the course of twenty-five years, Thomas Jefferson drew upon the writings of the Chief Clerk of the British Parliament, John Hatsell, to frame and codify American parliamentary procedures. Published in 1801, Jefferson's Manual of Parliamentary Practice for the Use of the Senate of the United States presents rules, instances, citations and commentary as modern readers would expect them to appear, quoting Hatsell and other British authorities numerous times. If the two nations suffered any unpleasant relations in the First War for American Independence - Aschenbrenner concludes - one would be hard pressed to detect it from Jefferson's Manual. Indeed, direct comparison of the House of Commons and the Continental Congress shows remarkable similarities between the ambitions of the two institutions as they both struggled to adapt their political processes to meet the changing national and international circumstances of the late-eighteenth century.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9781472472656 20171218
Law Library (Crown)
viii, 251 pages ; 24 cm.
  • Introduction
  • From the spoken to the written word
  • The world of the index
  • Hunting for books
  • In pursuit of public opinion
  • Conclusion.
Dealing with the issue of ecclesiastical censorship and control over reading and readers, this study challenges the traditional view that during the eighteenth century the Catholic Church in Italy underwent an inexorable decline. It reconstructs the strategies used by the ecclesiastical leadership to regulate the press and culture during a century characterized by important changes, from the spread of the Enlightenment to the creation of a state censorship apparatus. Based on the archival records of the Roman Inquisition and the Congregation of the Index of Forbidden Books preserved in the Vatican, it provides a comprehensive analysis of the Catholic Church's endeavour to keep literature and reading in check by means of censorship and the promotion of a "good" press. The crisis of the Inquisition system did not imply a general diminution of the Church's involvement in controlling the press. Rather than being effective instruments of repression, the Inquisition and the Index combined to create an ideological apparatus to resist new ideas and to direct public opinion. This was a network mainly inspired by Counter-Enlightenment principles which would go on to influence the Church's action well beyond the eighteenth century. This book is an English translation of Il governo della lettura: Chiesa e libri nell'Italia del Settecento (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2007).
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9781138306639 20180129
Law Library (Crown)
308 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
  • Introduction: Citizenship before the Fourteenth Amendment
  • The retroactive invention of citizenship : a textual history
  • "Citizenship in heaven" : biblical exegesis and the afterlife of politics
  • Citizens of nature : oceanic revolutions and the geopolitics of personhood
  • The elsewhere of citizenship : literary autonomy and the fabrication of allegiance
  • Stateless fictions : negative instruction and the nationalization of citizenship
  • Coda : Wong Kim Ark and "the man without a country".
No Constitutional definition of citizenship existed until the 14th Amendment in 1868. Carrie Hyde looks at the period between the Revolution and the Civil War when the cultural and juridical meaning of citizenship was still up for grabs. She recovers numerous speculative traditions that made and remade citizenship's meaning in this early period.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780674976153 20180219
Law Library (Crown)
xii, 329 pages ; 24 cm.
  • Introduction: crime and the law
  • The statistical map
  • Class perceptions
  • Ethnicity and gender
  • Perceptions of place
  • Fiddles, perks and pilferage
  • The criminal class and perceptions of criminals
  • Prosecutors and the courts
  • Detection and prevention: the old police and the new
  • Punishment and reformation
  • Concluding remarks.
Law Library (Crown)
xiii, 266 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm.
  • Introduction: Empire and law, 'firmly united by the circle of the British diadem'
  • Internal others : Jews, Gypsies, and Jacobites
  • 'In a country of liberty?' : slavery, villeinage, and the making of whiteness of in the Somerset case (1772)
  • Imperial disruptions : city, nation, and empire in the Gordon Riots
  • 'This fleet is not yet republican' : conceptions of law in the mutinies of 1797
  • Wedding and bedding : making the union with Ireland, 1800
  • Conclusion.
The rule of law, an ideology of equality and universality that justified Britain's eighteenth-century imperial claims, was the product not of abstract principles but imperial contact. As the Empire expanded, encompassing greater religious, ethnic and racial diversity, the law paradoxically contained and maintained these very differences. This book revisits six notorious incidents that occasioned vigorous debate in London's courtrooms, streets and presses: the Jewish Naturalization Act and the Elizabeth Canning case (1753-54); the Somerset Case (1771-72); the Gordon Riots (1780); the mutinies of 1797; and Union with Ireland (1800). Each of these cases adjudicated the presence of outsiders in London - from Jews and Gypsies to Africans and Catholics. The demands of these internal others to equality before the law drew them into the legal system, challenging longstanding notions of English identity and exposing contradictions in the rule of law. -- .
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9781526120403 20180115
Law Library (Crown)
336 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
  • Introduction: The coast of the strait
  • The straits of slavery (1760-1770)
  • The war for liberty (1774-1783)
  • The wild northwest (1783-1803)
  • The winds of change (1802-1807)
  • The rise of the renegades (1807-1815)
  • Conclusion: The American city (1817 and beyond).
"Most Americans believe that slavery was a creature of the South, and that Northern states and territories provided stops on the Underground Railroad for fugitive slaves on their way to Canada. [This book] reveals that slavery was at the heart of the Midwest's iconic city: Detroit. [The author] has pieced together the experience of the unfree--both native and African American--in the frontier outpost of Detroit, a place wildly remote yet at the center of national and international conflict. Skillfully assembling fragments of a distant historical record, [the author] introduces new historical figures and unearths struggles that remained hidden from view until now. The result is fascinating history, little explored and eloquently told, of the limits of freedom in early America, one that adds new layers of complexity to the story of a place that exerts a strong fascination in the media and among public intellectuals, artists, and activists."-- Book jacket.
Law Library (Crown)
xii, 456 pages ; 24 cm.
  • Introduction
  • Phénomenologie du droit des rangs
  • Doctrine du droit des rangs
  • Conclusion.
Law Library (Crown)
xvii, 244 pages ; 24 cm.
  • Introduction: The pertinent details
  • Samuel Loudon and the building of the Empire State in print
  • William Gordon, print culture, and the politics of history
  • John Ward Fenno's bookshop politics
  • Literary fairs and national ambitions
  • Evert Duyckinck and the national book trade
  • Afterword: Print and memory in an age of change.
"[This book] traces the evolution of New York's publishing trade from the end of the American Revolution to the Age of Jackson. [The author] explores the gradual development of local, regional, and national distribution networks in the early republic."-- Provided by publisher.
Law Library (Crown)
xx, 273 pages ; 25 cm
  • 1. America's First Constitution: State Over Nation 2. The Road to Philadelphia: Nationalists in Search of Energy and Supremacy 3. The Constitutional Convention: Nation over State within a Federal Framework 4. Delimiting the Scope of National Authority 5. Three Dissenting Fathers: The First Salvo in the Antifederalist Campaign 6. The Antifederalist Drive to Reinstitute State over Nation 7. Three Ratification Contests: The Fate of the Union in the Balance 8. Madison and the Threat of a Second Constitutional Convention 9. The Bill of Rights in Congress: Madison's Race against Time 10. The Tenth Amendment: Nation over State Preserved 11. Postscript: Federalism Tested: Madison v. Marshall and the Antifederalist Revival.
  • (source: Nielsen Book Data)9781349951628 20180319
This book presents an original historical-legal analysis of the adoption of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Drawing upon James Madison's own minutes of the 1787 Convention, it focuses on Madison's crucial role in shaping a bill of rights that would both reserve the states' powers and confirm the implied powers doctrine for the federal government. This comprehensive work is indispensable for understanding the origins of the federal system of government and its impact on later developments in the United States.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9781349951628 20180319
Law Library (Crown)
xx, 424 pages ; 25 cm
  • Granville Sharp (1735-1813)
  • The manuscripts
  • Black servants brought to England
  • The cases. Jonathan Strong ; The King (Lewis) v Stapylton (1771) ; Somerset v Stewart ; Gregson v. Gilbert (The Zong) ; Jonathan Strong ; King (Lewis) v Stapylton ; Somerset v Stuart ; Gregson v Gilbert ; Minor cases
  • Legislation
  • Letters
  • Blackstone's commentaries.
The purpose of Granville Sharpe's Cases on Slavery is twofold: first, to publish previously unpublished legal materials principally in three important cases in the 18th century on the issue of slavery in England, and specifically the status of black people who were slaves in the American colonies or the West Indies and who were taken to England by their masters. The unpublished materials are mostly verbatim transcripts made by shorthand writers commissioned by Granville Sharp, one of the first Englishmen to take up the cause of the abolition of the slave trade and slavery itself. Other related unpublished material is also made available for the first time, including an opinion of an attorney general and some minor cases from the library of York Minster. On the slave ship Zong, there are transcripts of the original declaration, the deposition by the chief mate, James Kelsall and an extract from a manuscript that Professor Martin Dockray was working on before his untimely death. The second purpose, outlined in the Introduction, is to give a social and legal background to the cases and an analysis of the position in England of black servants/slaves brought to England and the legal effects of the cases, taking into account the new information provided by the transcripts. There was a conflict in legal authorities as to whether black servants remained slaves, or became free on arrival in England. Lord Mansfield, the chief justice of the court of King's Bench, was a central figure in all the cases and clearly struggled to come to terms with slavery. The material provides a basis for tracing the evolution of his thought on the subject. On the one hand, the huge profits from slave production in the West Indies flooded into England, slave owners had penetrated the leading institutions in England and the pro-slavery lobby was influential. On the other hand, English law had over time established rights and liberties which in the 18th century were seen by many as national characteristics. That tradition was bolstered by the ideas of the Enlightenment. By about the 1760s it had become clear that there was no property in the person, and by the 1770s that such servants could not be sent abroad without their consent, but whether they owed an obligation of perpetual service remained unresolved.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9781509911219 20170515
Law Library (Crown)
xix, 391 pages : maps ; 24 cm
  • Introduction / Charles H. Parker and Gretchen Starr-LeBeau
  • Local contexts and regional variations
  • Tribunals and jurisdictions
  • Judges and shepherds
  • Inquisition and consistory records
  • Programs of moral and religious reform
  • Victims as actors
  • Negotiating penance
  • Gender on trial : attitudes towards femininity
  • Disciplinary institutions in the Atlantic world
  • Disciplinary institutions in an Asian environment
  • The endgame : the decline of institutional correction
  • Conclusion: Reformations of penance and scholarly renascences of disciplinary institutions / E. William Monter.
Judging Faith, Punishing Sin breaks new ground by offering the first comparative treatment of Catholic inquisitions and Calvinist consistories, offering scholars a new framework for analysing religious reform and social discipline in the great Christian age of reformation. Global in scope, both institutions played critical roles in prosecuting deviance, implementing religious uniformity, and promoting moral discipline in the social upheaval of the Reformation. Rooted in local archives and addressing specific themes, the essays survey the state of scholarship and chart directions for future inquiry and, taken as a whole, demonstrate the unique convergence of penitential practice, legal innovation, church authority, and state power, and how these forces transformed Christianity. Bringing together leading scholars across four continents, this volume is an invaluable contribution to our understanding of religion in the early modern world. University students and scholars alike will appreciate its clear introduction to scholarly debates and cutting edge scholarship.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9781107140240 20170612
Law Library (Crown)
vii, 166 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
  • Introduction
  • Exceptionality
  • Scarcity
  • Illegality
  • Conclusions
  • Appendix A: The catalogus rariorum manuscriptorum
  • Appendix B: Images of the original catalogue (1710).
This book presents the story of a unique collection of 140 manuscripts of `learned magic' that was sold for a fantastic sum within the clandestine channels of the German book trade in the early eighteenth century. The book will interpret this collection from two angles - as an artefact of the early modern book market as well as the longue-duree tradition of Western learned magic -, thus taking a new stance towards scribal texts that are often regarded as eccentric, peripheral, or marginal. The study is structured by the apparent exceptionality, scarcity, and illegality of the collection, and provides chapters on clandestine activities in European book markets, questions of censorship regimes and efficiency, the use of manuscripts in an age of print, and the history of learned magic in early modern Europe. As the collection has survived till this day in Leipzig University Library, the book provides a critical edition of the 1710 selling catalogue, which includes a brief content analysis of all extant manuscripts. The study will be of interest to scholars and students from a variety of fields, such as early modern book history, the history of magic, cultural history, the sociology of religion, or the study of Western esotericism.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9783319595245 20171211
Law Library (Crown)
x, 330 pages : illlustration, maps ; 23 cm
  • Introduction
  • The inquisitor
  • A convert's tale
  • Joseph and his brothers
  • In the land of the dead
  • Afterword.
A groundbreaking historical reexamination of one of the most infamous episodes in the history of anti-SemitismJoseph Suss Oppenheimer--"Jew Suss"--is one of the most iconic figures in the history of anti-Semitism. In 1733, Oppenheimer became the "court Jew" of Carl Alexander, the duke of the small German state of Wurttemberg. When Carl Alexander died unexpectedly, the Wurttemberg authorities arrested Oppenheimer, put him on trial, and condemned him to death for unspecified "misdeeds." On February 4, 1738, Oppenheimer was hanged in front of a large crowd just outside Stuttgart. He is most often remembered today through several works of fiction, chief among them a vicious Nazi propaganda movie made in 1940 at the behest of Joseph Goebbels.The Many Deaths of Jew Suss is a compelling new account of Oppenheimer's notorious trial. Drawing on a wealth of rare archival evidence, Yair Mintzker investigates conflicting versions of Oppenheimer's life and death as told by four contemporaries: the leading inquisitor in the criminal investigation, the most important eyewitness to Oppenheimer's final days, a fellow court Jew who was permitted to visit Oppenheimer on the eve of his execution, and one of Oppenheimer's earliest biographers. What emerges is a lurid tale of greed, sex, violence, and disgrace--but are these narrators to be trusted? Meticulously reconstructing the social world in which they lived, and taking nothing they say at face value, Mintzker conjures an unforgettable picture of "Jew Suss" in his final days that is at once moving, disturbing, and profound.The Many Deaths of Jew Suss is a masterfully innovative work of history, and an illuminating parable about Jewish life in the fraught transition to modernity.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780691172323 20170703
Law Library (Crown)
x, 420 pages ; 24 cm
  • Introduction
  • Equality, natural rights, and the laws of nature
  • The case against the natural rights founding
  • Equality and natural rights misunderstood
  • The founder's arguments for equality, natural rights, and natural law
  • The state of nature
  • The social compact and consent of the governed
  • Natural rights and public policy
  • Why government should support morality
  • How government supports morality
  • Sex and marriage in political theory and policy
  • Cultivating public support for liberty and virtue
  • What virtues should government promote?
  • The founder's virtues : questions and clarifications
  • The founder's understanding of property rights
  • Private ownership
  • Free markets
  • Sound money
  • The Hamilton-Jefferson quarrel
  • Conclusion: Justice, nobility, and the politics of natural rights.
This book provides a complete overview of the American Founders' political theory, covering natural rights, natural law, state of nature, social compact, consent, and the policy implications of these ideas. The book is intended as a response to the current scholarly consensus, which holds that the Founders' political thought is best understood as an amalgam of liberalism, republicanism, and perhaps other traditions. West argues that, on the contrary, the foundational documents overwhelmingly point to natural rights as the lens through which all politics is understood. The book explores in depth how the Founders' supposedly republican policies on citizen character formation do not contradict but instead complement their liberal policies on property and economics. Additionally, the book shows how the Founders' embraced other traditions in their politics, such as common law and Protestantism.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9781316506035 20170829
Law Library (Crown)
xxii, 192 pages ; 24 cm.
  • Einleitung: Müller-Siedels Rechtbuch
  • Vor Gericht. Balladendichtung und Justizkritik. Zu einem wenig bekannten Gedicht Goethes
  • Schillers Rechtsdenken. Verschwörung, Widerstandsrecht und Tyrannenmord im dramatischen Werk
  • Todesarten und Todesstrafen. Eine Betrachtung über Heinrich von Kleist
  • Wissenschaftskritik und literarische Moderne. Zur Problemage im frühen Expressionismus
  • Justizkritik im Werk Heinrich Manns. Zu einem Thema der Weimarer Republik
  • Alfred Erich Hoche. Lebensgeschichte im Spannungsfeld von Psychiatrie, Strafrecht und Literatur
  • Alfred Döblin, Die beiden Freundlichen und ihr Giftmord. Psychiatrie, Strafrecht und moderne Literatur.
"Der Literaturwissenschaftler Walter Müller-Seidel zählt zu den einflussreichsten Vertretern seines Faches. Weit über dessen Grenzen hinaus setzte er sich mit anderen Disziplinen und Denksystemen auseinander. Seine vorliegenden Arbeiten von Goethe bis zur Weimarer Republik sind im Spannungsfeld von Psychiatrie, Strafrecht und Literatur angesiedelt und dokumentieren Elemente der literarischen und rechtlichen Entwicklungen der letzten 200 Jahre"-- Provided by publisher.
Law Library (Crown)
xiv, 559 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
  • Tory-hunting
  • Britain's dilemma
  • Rubicon
  • Plundering protectors
  • Violated bodies
  • Slaughterhouses
  • Black holes
  • Skiver them!
  • Town-destroyer
  • Americanizing the war
  • Man for man
  • Returning losers.
"The American Revolution is often portrayed as an orderly, restrained rebellion, with brave patriots defending their noble ideals against an oppressive empire. It's a stirring narrative, and one the founders did their best to encourage after the war. But as historian Holger Hoock shows in this ... account of America's founding, the Revolution was not only a high-minded battle over principles, but also a profoundly violent civil war--one that shaped the nation, and the British Empire, in ways we have only begun to understand"-- Amazon.com.
Law Library (Crown)
x, 387 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 25 cm
  • The Declaration of Independence and the mystery of equality
  • Contending for religious equality
  • Equal justice for Irishmen and other foreigners
  • People of color and the promise betrayed
  • People of color and equal rights : New England cases
  • Subordinate citizens : women and children
  • Equal rights and unequal people
  • Equal rights, privilege, and the pursuit of inequality.
From a distinguished historian, a detailed and compelling examination of how the early Republic struggled with the idea that "all men are created equal" How did Americans in the generations following the Declaration of Independence translate its lofty ideals into practice? In this broadly synthetic work, distinguished historian Richard Brown shows that despite its founding statement that "all men are created equal, " the early Republic struggled with every form of social inequality. While people paid homage to the ideal of equal rights, this ideal came up against entrenched social and political practices and beliefs. Brown illustrates how the ideal was tested in struggles over race and ethnicity, religious freedom, gender and social class, voting rights and citizenship. He shows how high principles fared in criminal trials and divorce cases when minorities, women, and people from different social classes faced judgment. This book offers a much-needed exploration of the ways revolutionary political ideas penetrated popular thinking and everyday practice.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780300197112 20170621
Law Library (Crown)
xii, 329 pages ; 24 cm
  • Introduction: Of subjects and sovereigns
  • The laws of subjecthood
  • The free-born subject's inheritance
  • Real and pretended subjects : mediating subjecthood in the Mediterranean
  • His Britannick Majesty's new subjects : the rights of subjects in Grenada and Quebec
  • The promises and perils of subjecthood and jurisdiction : Calcutta
  • Conclusion.
In the aftermath of the Seven Years' War, when a variety of conquered and ceded territories became part of an expanding British Empire, crucial struggles emerged about what it meant to be a "British subject." In Grenada, Quebec, Minorca, Gibraltar, and Bengal, individuals debated the meanings and rights of subjecthood, with many capitalizing on legal ambiguities and local exigencies to secure access to political and economic benefits. In the hands of inhabitants and colonial administrators, subjecthood became a shared language, practice, and opportunity as individuals proclaimed their allegiance to the crown and laid claim to a corresponding set of protections. Approaching subjecthood as a protean and porous concept, rather than an immutable legal status, Subjects and Sovereigns demonstrates that it was precisely subjecthood's fluidity and imprecision that rendered it so useful to a remarkably diverse group of individuals. In this book, Hannah Weiss Muller reexamines the traditional bond between subject and sovereign and argues that this relationship endured as a powerful site for claims-making throughout the eighteenth century. Muller analyzes both legal understandings of subjecthood, as well as the popular tradition of declaring rights, in order to demonstrate why subjects believed they were entitled to make requests of their sovereign. She reconsiders narratives of upheaval and transformation during the Age of Revolution and insists on the relevance and utility of existing structures of state and sovereign. Emphasizing the stories of subjects who successfully leveraged their loyalty and negotiated their status, she also explores how and why subjecthood remained an organizing and contested principle of the eighteenth-century British Empire. By placing the relationship between subjects and sovereign at the heart of this analysis, Muller offers a new perspective on a familiar period and suggests that imperial integration was as much about flexible and expansive conceptions of belonging as it was about the shared economic, political and intellectual networks.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780190465810 20171009
Law Library (Crown)
420 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
  • Introduction: Seen and unseen
  • The widow Washington
  • Martha Dandridge
  • Married lady
  • Mistress of Mount Vernon
  • Revolutionary War
  • First Lady
  • Slaves in the President's house
  • Home again
  • Martha Wayles
  • Mistress of Monticello I
  • War in Virginia
  • Birth and death at Monticello
  • Patsy Jefferson and Sally Hemings
  • First Lady
  • Mistress of Monticello II
  • The Hemingses
  • Death of Thomas Jefferson
  • Dolley Payne
  • Mrs. Madison
  • First Lady
  • Mistress of Montpelier
  • Decline of Montpelier
  • The widow Madison
  • Sale of Montpelier
  • In Washington
  • Death of Dolley Madison
  • Epilogue: Inside and outside.
Behind every great man stands a great woman. And behind that great woman stands a slave. Or so it was in the households of the Founding Fathers from Virginia where slaves worked and suffered throughout the domestic environments of the era, from Mount Vernon, Monticello, and Montpelier to the nation's capital. American icons like Martha Washington, Martha Jefferson, and Dolley Madison were all slaveholders. And as Marie Jenkins Schwartz uncovers in Ties That Bound, these women, as the day to day managers of their households, dealt with the realities of a slaveholding culture directly and continuously, even in the most intimate of spaces.Unlike other histories that treat the stories of the First Ladies' slaves as somehow separate from the lives of their mistresses, as if slavery should be relegated to its own sphere or chapter, Ties That Bound closely examines the relationships that developed between the First Ladies and their slaves. For elite women and their families, slaves were more than an agricultural workforce; instead, slavery was an entire domestic way of life that reflected and reinforced their status. In many cases slaves were more constant companions to the white women of the household than were the white men themselves, who often traveled or were at war. Thus, by looking closely at the complicated intimacy these women shared, Schwartz is able to reveal how they negotiated their roles, illuminating much about the lives of slaves themselves as well as class, race, and gender in early America.By detailing the prevalence and prominence of slaves in the daily lives of women who helped shape the country, Schwartz makes it clear that it is impossible to honestly tell the stories of these women while ignoring the slaves in the background. She asks us to consider anew the embedded power of slavery in the very earliest conception of American politics, society, and everyday domestic routines.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780226147550 20170515
Law Library (Crown)
xix, 390 pages ; 24 cm
  • The confederation's final years : a chronology
  • Introduction
  • War's aftermath
  • Americans and postwar debts : public faith or anarchy?
  • Republic and empire : the struggle over confederation taxes
  • Protecting American commerce in an imperial world
  • "Astonishing" emigrations and western settlement conflicts
  • The Spanish-treaty impasse and the union's collapse
  • Economic relief, social peace, and republican justice
  • Shays's rebellion : the final battle of the American revolution?
  • "The truth is, we have not a government" : confederation stalemate and the road to the Philadelphia convention
  • Conclusion: The birth of the American empire.
In 1783, as the Revolutionary War came to a close, Alexander Hamilton resigned in disgust from the Continental Congress after it refused to consider a fundamental reform of the Articles of Confederation. Just four years later, that same government collapsed, and Congress grudgingly agreed to support the 1787 Philadelphia Constitutional Convention, which altered the Articles beyond recognition. What occurred during this remarkably brief interval to cause the Confederation to lose public confidence and inspire Americans to replace it with a dramatically more flexible and powerful government? We Have Not a Government is the history of this contentious moment in American history. In George William Van Cleve's compelling book, we encounter a sharply divided America. The Confederation faced massive war debts with virtually no authority to compel its members to pay them. It experienced punishing trade restrictions and strong resistance to American territorial expansion from powerful European governments. Bitter sectional divisions that deadlocked the Continental Congress arose from exploding western settlement.And a deep, long-lasting recession led to sharp controversies and social unrest across the country amid roiling debates over greatly increased taxes, debt relief, and paper money. Van Cleve shows how these remarkable stresses transformed the Confederation into a stalemate government and eventually led previously conflicting states, sections, and interest groups to advocate for a union powerful enough to govern a continental empire. Touching on the stories of a wide-ranging cast of characters--including John Adams, Patrick Henry, Daniel Shays, George Washington, and Thayendanegea--Van Cleve makes clear that it was the Confederation's failures that created a political crisis and led to the 1787 Constitution. Clearly argued and superbly written, We Have Not a Government is a must-read history of this crucial period in our nation's early life.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780226480503 20171201
Law Library (Crown)