Politics and the Constitution in the History of the United States, Volume 1

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University of Chicago Press, 1980 - Law - 2025 pages
When the first two volumes of William Crosskey's monumental study of the Constitution appeared in 1953, Arthur M. Schlesinger called it "perhaps the most fertile commentary on that document since The Federalist papers." It was highly controversial as well. The work was a comprehensive reassessment of the meaning of the Constitution, based on examination of eighteenth-century usages of key political and legal concepts and terms. Crosskey's basic thesis was that the Founding Fathers truly intended a government with plenary, nationwide powers, and not, as in the received views, a limited federalism.

This third volume of Politics and the Constitution, which Crosskey began and William Jeffrey has finished, treats political activity in the period 1776-87, and is in many ways the heart of the work as Crosskey conceived it. In support of the lexicographic analysis of volumes 1 and 2, volume 3 shows that nationalist ideas and sentiments were a powerful force in American public opinion from the Revolution to the eve of the Constitutional Convention. The creation of a generally empowered national government in Philadelphia, it is argued, was the fruition of a long-active political movement, not the unintended or accidental result of a temporary conservative coalition.

This view of the political background of the Constitutional Convention directly challenges the Madisonian-Jeffersonian orthodoxy on the subject. In support of his interpretation, Crosskey amassed a wealth of primary source materials, including heretofore unexplored pamphlets and newspapers. This exhaustive research makes this unique work invaluable for scholars of the period, both for the primary sources collected as well as for the provocative interpretation offered.
 

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One ought to search Google Scholar (search on 'Crosskey') for reviews, by some of the luminaries of legal scholarship, of this work, at the time it came out.Crosskey generated much controversy.
His
writing style is viscous - rather like wading through a swamp. He is highly intolerant of views differing from his.
Nevertheless, he is brilliant. Stimulating new insights abound.
If you are interested in what the powers of Congress and of the federal courts are under the Constitution, you must wade through the mud and read this book.
 

Contents

THE INITIAL RECOGNITION OF THE SUPREME COURTS POSITION
711
HEREIN
754
THE SUPREME COURTS Loss OF SUPREMACY WITH RESPECT
818
THE SUPREME COURTS Loss OF INDEPENDENCE WITH RESPECT
865
THE SUPREME COURT AS A BOARD OF LEGISLATIVE REVIEW AND
938
JUDICIAL REVIEW IN THE CONSTITUTION
976
JUDICIAL REVIEW IN THE FEDERAL CONVENTION AND THE FIRST
1008
THE SUPREME COURT AND THE CONSTITUTIONAL
1047
SOLUTIONS AND PROBLEMS
1161
A THE POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
1179
B THE OBSERVATOR
1206
THE DUANE PAPERS FROM THE FIRST CONTINENTAL CONGRESS OF 1774
1210
E THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES
1225
F LETTER OF JASPER YEATES TO WILLIAM TILGHMAN
1241
NOTES
1255
INDEX
1282

THE TRUE MEANING OF THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT
1083
THE SUPREME COURTS TRANSFORMATION OF THE FOURTEENTH
1119

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About the author (1980)

The late William W. Crosskey was professor of law at the University of Chicago. William Jeffrey, Jr., is professor of law at the University of Cincinnati.

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