Download American Sovereigns: The People and America’s Constitutional by Christian G. Fritz PDF

By Christian G. Fritz

American Sovereigns is a path-breaking interpretation of America's political heritage and constitutionalism that explores how american citizens struggled over the concept the folks might rule because the sovereign after the yankee Revolution. nationwide and kingdom debates approximately executive motion, legislations, and the people's political powers show how american citizens sought to appreciate how a collective sovereign-the people-could either play the position because the ruler and but be governed through governments in their personal opting for.

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For them, it made no sense that a government established by a constitution created by the sovereign people would become the sovereign in the place of the people. This attitude and expectation of an active role as the sovereign logically supported a right of the people to be more active in day-to-day government as well. This seemed particularly true to those once excluded from the arena of political discourse. ” They worried that the idea of the people as the sovereign authorizing government would be stretched to facilitating increasing involvement of the people in day-to-day government decisions.

37 Americans believed that the people were simultaneously the sovereign and the ruled during constitution-making of the revolutionary era. This raised the question of whether the people, as the newly recognized sovereign in America, could ever “oppress” itself, justifying the right of revolution that Americans exercised in 1776. Invoking the right of revolution in the wake of 9:41 P1: IBE 9780521881883c02 24 CUNY1095/Fritz 978 0 521 88188 3 October 2, 2007 The People’s Sovereignty declaring independence implicitly assumed the existence of two parties to the contract, one of whose breach warranted independence.

These ideas logically followed from the text of the first state constitutions and the sweeping statements of leaders of the Revolution. Eventually, some Americans questioned the application of these constitutional principles and the idea that sovereignty was located in the people, not government. In America, legitimate government was not the bargain between the people and a sovereign because in the new nation the two were fused. Americans readily noted this. “[A]ll power is . . in the people,” so that they could neither 9:41 P1: IBE 9780521881883c02 18 CUNY1095/Fritz 978 0 521 88188 3 October 2, 2007 The People’s Sovereignty “give [it] up” nor have it “taken out of their hands,” declared inhabitants of Albemarle County, Virginia.

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