Foreshadows of the Law: Supreme Court Dissents and Constitutional Development

By Donald E. Lively | Go to book overview

Chapter 1
A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT IN SLAVERY

Ratification of the Constitution created a new political union. Even when consisting of only thirteen states, as it did in the immediate aftermath of revolution, the nation comprised many interests and competing priorities. The rivalries, differences and chauvinism of the several states were an impediment to but ultimately a reason for establishing a viable national union. Under the Articles of Confederation, which governed the nation in the years immediately after the American Revolution, the federal government had no power over interstate commerce. Minus centralized authority and uniformity of standards, the various states sought to maximize their respective advantage by means of taxation, tariffs and other trade barriers. As economic warfare devolved into economic chaos, it became apparent that the fledgling union would not prosper and might not survive without structural revision. A commonly sensed need to enhance national economic powers soon expanded into inspiration for the Constitutional Convention which, in 1787, generated the plan for a new political system.


Compromise and the Constitution

Not all differences among the states were resolved in the framing and ratification process. Brokering a new nation required compromise, the success of which depended on calculated ambiguity and manipulability of terms. Agreement with respect to the contents of the Constitution thus did not resolve all aspects of the document's meaning or even its general purpose. Even now, perceptions vary with respect to what the Constitutional Convention achieved and the charter it produced signifies. For some,

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Foreshadows of the Law: Supreme Court Dissents and Constitutional Development
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • INTRODUCTION: JUDICIAL REVIEW AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT xiii
  • Bibliography xxvi
  • Chapter 1 a Constitutional Right in Slavery 1
  • Bibliography 22
  • Chapter 2 Images of a New Union 25
  • Bibliography 41
  • Chapter 3 Constitutional Redefinition and National Reconstruction 43
  • Bibliography 60
  • Chapter 4 the Rise, Demise and Resurrection of Substantive Due Process 63
  • Bibliography 85
  • Chapter 5 Color and the Constitution 87
  • Bibliography 111
  • Chapter 6 Freedom of Speech: the "Indispensable" Liberty 113
  • Bibliography 134
  • Chapter 7 the Right to Be Let Alone 137
  • Bibliography 158
  • AFTERWORD 161
  • Index 163
  • About the Author 169
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