Between Authority & Liberty: State Constitution Making in Revolutionary America

Between Authority & Liberty: State Constitution Making in Revolutionary America

Between Authority & Liberty: State Constitution Making in Revolutionary America

Between Authority & Liberty: State Constitution Making in Revolutionary America

Synopsis

In a major reinterpretation of American political thought during the American Revolution, Marc Kruman explores the process of constitution making in each of the thirteen original states and shows that the framers of these constitutions created a distinctively American science of politics well before the end of the Confederation era. This analysis challenges Gordon Wood's now-classic argument that, at the beginning of the Revolution, the founders placed great faith in legislators as representatives of the people. According to Kruman, state constitution makers feared arbitrary power and mistrusted legislators' ability to represent the people's interests. For these reasons, they broadened the suffrage and introduced frequent elections as checks against legislative self-interest.
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