The American Founding: Essays on the Formation of the Constitution

The American Founding: Essays on the Formation of the Constitution

The American Founding: Essays on the Formation of the Constitution

The American Founding: Essays on the Formation of the Constitution

Synopsis

Introduction by J. Jackson Barlow and Ken Masugi The Classical Spirit of the Founding by Thomas G. West The Founders and the Classics by Charles R. Kesler Locke and the Problem of Civil Religion by Michael Zuckert Equality and the Founding by Henry V. Jaffa Revolutionary Thoughts in the Founding by Marvin Meyers Fundamental Laws and Individual Rights in the 18th Century Constitution by Gerald Stourzh Natural Right in the American Founding by Edward J. Erler The Collapse of the Articles of Confederation by Jack N. Rakove America and the Enlightenment by Henry Steele Commager Thomas Jefferson, The Founders, and Constitutional Change by Merrill D. Peterson The Bill of Rights by Leonard W. Levy Bibliography Index About the Editors & Contributors

Excerpt

J. Jackson Barlow andKen Masugi

The United States is a nation whose political institutions owe a unique debt to philosophy. The practice of American politics is thoroughly informed by its theory, particularly in its Founding. Although not all of the contributors to this volume would necessarily agree with this formulation, each adds to its comprehension.

The editors have prepared this volume with the explicit intention of helping to commemorate the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, whose celebration extends from 1987 to 1991. Speaking of the Fourth of July, Abraham Lincoln once declared that such celebrations make us "feel more attached the one to the other, and more firmly bound to the country we inhabit." As this volume shows, one does not abandon the objective realm of scholarship for having had such a practical effect. In this volume the historians attempt to understand the American Founders as they understood themselves, and the political scientists seek guidance from the past as a means of judging how we Americans are to act at present. Such a mixture of talents for the sake of this public purpose has been the object of the Bicentennial projects of The Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy and of Public Research, Syndicated, from which most of these essays have been drawn. Neither of these projects would have been possible without the generous support of the Special Initiative for the Bicentennial of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Particular thanks are due to the Earhart Foundation for its support of the editorial work in putting this volume together.

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