The Fathers of the Constitution: A Chronicle of the Establishment of the Union

By Max Farrand | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII
THE UNION ESTABLISHED

THE course of English history shows that Anglo- Saxon tradition is strongly in favor of observing precedents and of trying to maintain at least the form of law, even in revolutions. When the English people found it impossible to bear with James II and made it so uncomfortable for him that he fled the country, they shifted the responsibility from their own shoulders by charging him with "breaking the original Contract between King and People." When the Thirteen Colonies had reached the point where they felt that they must separate from England, their spokesman, Thomas Jefferson, found the necessary justification in the fundamental compact of the first settlers "in the wilds of America" where "the emigrants thought proper to adopt that system of laws under which they had hitherto lived in the mother country"; and in the Declaration of Independence he charged the King

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