Does the Constitution Follow the Flag? The Evolution of Territoriality in American Law

By Kal Raustiala | Go to book overview

8
TERRITORIALITY'S EVOLUTION

At the turn of the last century Americans heatedly debated whether their constitution followed the flag. Did the United States possess a “home-stayin’ constitution,” as the satirist Finley Peter Dunne suggested at the time, or did its foundational rules extend wherever and whenever the federal government governed? Perhaps the newly muscular nature of American power in an overtly imperial age had changed the answer; perhaps the flag was now, in Dunne's clever words, “so lively that no constitution could follow it and survive.”1 In the century that followed, of course, the flag became livelier than anyone at the time could have imagined.

With the presidential election of 1900 couched as a referendum on the Constitution and the flag, the victory of William McKinley over the anticolonial William Jennings Bryan signaled a new American willingness to embrace empire in places like the Philippines. McKinley's campaign had declaimed that the flag “has not been planted in foreign soil to acquire more territory, but for humanity's sake.” McKinley nonetheless did not disappoint the substantial interests that favored more territory. The subsequent ratification by the Supreme Court of a peculiarly American form of imperialism facilitated this expansion. Yet by holding that only some rights applied in the new island possessions, whereas others lost their strength at the water's edge, the early-twentieth-century Insular Cases cobbled together an odd and unstable marriage of imperialism and constitutionalism.

Although it deeply polarized the United States at the time, this debate over the Constitution and the flag is now largely forgotten. Yet as the previous chapter detailed, a very similar debate emerged almost exactly a century later. Whether Guantanamo Bay was a “legal black hole” or a legitimate detention center for dangerous enemy combatants became

-223-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Does the Constitution Follow the Flag? The Evolution of Territoriality in American Law
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 313

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.