- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (February 17, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199940061
- ISBN-13: 978-0199940066
- Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1.4 x 6.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,899,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Civic Constitution: Civic Visions and Struggles in the Path toward Constitutional Democracy 1st Edition
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"One thing that makes 'The Civic Constitution' particularly exciting is the achievement of studying this extremely diffuse form of popular constitutionalism...Beaumont does an impressive job, weaving together newspaper articles, political pamphlets, popular songs, sermons, and petitions to identify the contents of civic constitutionalism. The result makes for a convincing argument, and an exciting read."
--Political Science Quarterly
"[A]n excellent resource, providing a worthwhile and well-reasoned perspective contributing to a fuller understanding of American constitutionalism. A valuable addition to the discourse on popular constitutionalism, this title should occupy a place in every academic law library." - Heather N. Joy, Research/Instruction Librarian, Dale E. Fowler School of Law, Chapman University, Law Library Journal
From the Inside Flap
How have generations of Americans debated and shaped the constitutional meanings of liberty, equality, justice, and "We, the people"? What roles have engaged citizens and social movements played in effecting transformative constitutional change? These questions are at the heart of Elizabeth Beaumont's lucid and compelling study. In The Civic Constitution, she traces four crucial eras of constitutional dispute and reinvention: the broad swath of revolutionaries who catalyzed the Declaration of Independence and first state constitutions; the antifederalists and other critics who influenced the national Constitution and Bill of Rights; the abolitionists who paved the way for the Reconstruction Amendments; and the suffragists whose battles provoked the Nineteenth Amendment.
Beaumont argues that these groups should be recognized as civic founders or co-founders of the U.S. Constitution. Through newspaper wars and petitions, convention speeches and sermons, boycotts, protests, and civil disobedience, these men and women worked to redefine fundamental law. Challenging established authority, they advocated vital new understandings of popular self-governance, rights and liberties, and citizenship. Indeed, though their roles are often overlooked in contemporary debates, these civic reformers not only shaped the text, ideals, and norms of modern constitutionalism, but reconstructed civic membership and the body politic.
The Civic Constitution is a sweeping work of reinterpretation that speaks to students of American politics, history, law, and theory. This richly documented study offers a keener understanding of the Constitution and civic identity and a more profound perception of democracy itself.