The Revolution was not even over before the ramshackle nature of the Articles of Confederation began to show at the seams. A convention assembled in Philadelphia in 1787 to construct a constitution, which proposed a single executive president, a bicameral Congress, and a judiciary. (33 mins)
When he returned to America, he hoped to spend his remaining years enjoying life as a private citizen, but public duty called once again. Although America had won its independence, many challenges - from paying debts to establishing a government - remained. Delve into the debates and trials of a new nation. (33 mins)
Return to American policies on cybersecurity, this time focusing on the idea of government monitoring of the Internet. Start by learning all about how on-network monitoring systems work. After that, step back and examine how government monitoring is enforced and limited--but not prohibited--by the Constitution. (33 min)
Distinguished actors re-create the tense exchanges between the Colonial leaders who meet in secret sessions in Philadelphia in May of 1789. We are plunged into the passionate arguments -- finally resolved by the "Great Compromise" between the big states and small states -- that preceded the framing of the Constitution. (28 min)
The Declaration of Independence, The U.S. Constitution and The Bill of Rights represent much more than the words used by America's Founding Fathers to define a fragile, nascent country. They're the living, breathing realization of America's democratic ideal, the bedrock of a society that its people have built over nearly two-and-a-half centuries, and they provide a blueprint that is, was and will be a template for democracy around the world.
HBO presents a 45-minute special, directed by Alexandra Pelosi and narrated by David McCullough (John Adams), in which dozens of Americans - from actors and media personalities, to politicians, lawmakers and presidents, to schoolchildren whose future is being shaped by our shared past - read the three founding documents that define our outlook on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. (49 mins)
Gain a nuanced understanding of what the Founders' "original intent" really was and how so many of the questions they grappled with divided them for their entire lives - ultimately being bequeathed to their successors and persisting even to this day. (32 mins)
America's Unwritten Constitution : the Precedents and Principles We Live By by Akhil Reed AmarDespite its venerated place atop American law and politics, our written Constitution does not enumerate all of the rules and rights, principles and procedures that actually govern modern America. The document makes no explicit mention of cherished concepts like the separation of powers and the rule of law. On some issues, the plain meaning of the text misleads. For example, the text seems to say that the vice president presides over his own impeachment trial--but surely this cannot be right. As esteemed legal scholar Akhil Reed Amar explains inAmerica's Unwritten Constitution, the solution to many constitutional puzzles lies not solely within the written document, but beyond it--in the vast trove of values, precedents, and practices that complement and complete the terse text. In this sequel toAmerica's Constitution: A Biography, Amar takes readers on a tour of our nation'sunwritten Constitution, showing how America's foundational document cannot be understood in textual isolation. Proper constitutional interpretation depends on a variety of factors, such as the precedents set by early presidents and Congresses; common practices of modern American citizens; venerable judicial decisions; and particularly privileged sources of inspiration and guidance, including theFederalist papers, William Blackstone'sCommentaries on the Laws of England, the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. These diverse supplements are indispensible instruments for making sense of the written Constitution. When used correctly, these extra-textual aids support and enrich the written document without supplanting it. An authoritative work by one of America's preeminent legal scholars,America's Unwritten Constitution presents a bold new vision of the American constitutional system, showing how the complementary relationship between the Constitution's written and unwritten components is one of America's greatest and most enduring strengths.
Call Number: 342.7302 A485
Publication Date: 2012-09-11
The Annotated U. S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence by Jack N. RakoveHere in a newly annotated edition are the two founding documents of the United States of America: the Declaration of Independence (1776), our great revolutionary manifesto, and the Constitution (1787âe"88), in which âeoeWe the Peopleâe#157; forged a new nation and built the framework for our federal republic. Together with the Bill of Rights and the Civil War amendments, these documents constitute what James Madison called our âeoepolitical scripturesâe#157; and have come to define us as a people. Now a Pulitzer Prizeâe"winning historian serves as a guide to these texts, providing historical contexts and offering interpretive commentary. In an introductory essay written for the general reader, Jack N. Rakove provides a narrative political account of how these documents came to be written. In his commentary on the Declaration of Independence, Rakove sets the historical context for a fuller appreciation of the important preamble and the list of charges leveled against the Crown. When he glosses the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the subsequent amendments, Rakove once again provides helpful historical background, targets language that has proven particularly difficult or controversial, and cites leading Supreme Court cases. A chronology of events provides a framework for understanding the road to Philadelphia. The general reader will not find a better, more helpful guide to our founding documents than Jack N. Rakove.
Call Number: 342.7302 A615
Publication Date: 2009-11-30
A Brilliant Solution : Inventing the American Constitution by Carol BerkinWe know--and love--the story of the American Revolution, from the Declaration of Independence to Cornwallis's defeat. But the Articles of Confederation, our first government, was a disaster. This crisis caused a group of men to journey to Philadelphia in 1787 to create a lasting and more stable government. The lawyers and politicians, some famous and others just ordinary men, had no great expectations for the document they were fashioning. Somehow, in the amalgam of ideas, argument, and compromise, a great thing happened: A constitution and a form of government were created that have served us well. Carol Berkin tells the story of that amazing summer in Philadelphia, and makes you feel as if you were there, listening to the arguments, getting to know the framers, and appreciating the difficult and critical decisions being made. Retelling a story that is more hallowed than understood, Berkin brings us into the world of eighteenth-century America and shows us the human side of a great accomplishment.
Call Number: 973.318 B512
Publication Date: 2002-09-13
A Companion to the United States Constitution and Its Amendments by John R. VileDesigned to help students understand the Constitution in all of its splendor and subtlety, this book introduces key events of the founding era, the Declaration of Independence, and the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention. The Constitution and its amendments are explored section by section, along with pertinent historical events, laws, and cases. Since the Third Edition was published in 2001, we have witnessed another presidential election, a second war with Iraq, significant Supreme Court cases on privacy, the death penalty, affirmative action, searches and seizures, and, perhaps most significantly, a series of developments related to America's response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. In addition, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has announced her intention to resign. This new edition encompasses all of these developments. The Fourth Edition is the first to be thoroughly revised in its entirety, rather than merely updated. The language has been made even more accessible, rendering this an ideal starting point for students, as well as new citizens, who may be unfamiliar with constitutional law, American politics, or American history. Those already familiar with constitutional issues will be able to make use of the book as a reference guide to landmarks in constitutional history and development. Each chapter concludes with a bibliography of key books and cases useful for further study. The book includes a glossary; the texts of the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution; and a section on how to locate cases and understand citations. Fifty leading cases are briefly described. Finally, the book includes two all-new sections, Highlights in Constitutional History and U.S. Supreme Court Justices.
The Constitution of the United States by Harold J. Spaeth; Edward C. SmithPrepared for students by renowned professors and noted experts, here are the most extensive and proven study aids available, covering all the major areas of study in college curriculums. Each guide features: up-to-date scholarship; an easy-to-follow narrative outline form; specially designed and formatted pages; and much more.
Call Number: 342.7302 S732
Publication Date: 1991-08-14
The Constitution Today : Timeless Lessons for the Issues of Our Era by Akhil Reed Amar"I don't think there is anyone in the academy these days capable of more patient and attentive reading of the constitutional text than Akhil Amar."--Jeremy Waldron, New York Review of Books In The Constitution Today, Akhil Reed Amar, America's preeminent constitutional scholar, considers the biggest and most bitterly contested debates of the last two decades and provides a passionate handbook for thinking constitutionally about today's headlines. Amar shows how the Constitution's text, history, and structure are crucial repositories of collective wisdom, providing specific rules and grand themes relevant to every organ of the American body politic. Prioritizing sound constitutional reasoning over partisan preferences, Amar makes the case for diversity-based affirmative action and a right to have a gun in one's home for self-defense, and the case against spending caps on independent political advertising and bans on same-sex marriage. He explains what's wrong with presidential dynasties, advocates a "nuclear option" to restore majority rule in the Senate, and suggests ways to reform the Supreme Court. And he revisits three dramatic constitutional conflicts--the impeachment of Bill Clinton, the contested election of George W. Bush, and the fight over Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. Leading readers through the questions at stake in each episode while outlining his abiding views regarding the Constitution's letter, its spirit, and the direction constitutional law must go, Amar offers an essential guide for anyone seeking to understand America's Constitution and its relevance today.
Call Number: 342.73 A485c 2018
Publication Date: 2018-09-25
The Dynamic Constitution : an Introduction to American Constitutional Law by Richard H. Fallon; Richard H. FallonIn this 2004 book Harvard law professor Richard H. Fallon introduces non-lawyers to the workings of American constitutional law. He writes with clarity and vigor about leading constitutional doctrines and issues, including the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, the guarantee of equal protection, rights to fair procedures and rights to privacy and sexual autonomy. Along the way, Fallon describes many of the fascinating cases and personalities that have shaped constitutional law. He shows how historical, cultural and other factors have influenced constitutional adjudication, making clear the dynamic nature of the Constitution. For both the courts and the American people, Fallon argues, the Constitution must serve as a dynamic document that adapts to the changing conditions inherent in human affairs. Fallon goes on to defend dynamic constitutionalism by confronting head on the concerns that some critics have raised.
The Framers' Coup : the Making of the United States Constitution by Michael J. KlarmanAmericans revere their Constitution. However, most of us are unaware how tumultuous and improbable the drafting and ratification processes were. As Benjamin Franklin keenly observed, any assembly of men bring with them "all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their localinterests and their selfish views." One need not deny that the Framers had good intentions in order to believe that they also had interests. Based on prodigious research and told largely through the voices of the participants, Michael Klarman's The Framers' Coup narrates how the Framers' clashinginterests shaped the Constitution - and American history itself.The Philadelphia convention could easily have been a failure, and the risk of collapse was always present. Had the convention dissolved, any number of adverse outcomes could have resulted, including civil war or a reversion to monarchy. Not only does Klarman capture the knife's-edge atmosphere ofthe convention, he populates his narrative with riveting and colorful stories: the rebellion of debtor farmers in Massachusetts; George Washington's uncertainty about whether to attend; Gunning Bedford's threat to turn to a European prince if the small states were denied equal representation in theSenate; slave staters' threats to take their marbles and go home if denied representation for their slaves; Hamilton's quasi-monarchist speech to the convention; and Patrick Henry's herculean efforts to defeat the Constitution in Virginia through demagoguery and conspiracy theories.The Framers' Coup is more than a compendium of great stories, however, and the powerful arguments that feature throughout will reshape our understanding of the nation's founding. Simply put, the Constitutional Convention almost didn't happen, and once it happened, it almost failed. And, even afterthe convention succeeded, the Constitution it produced almost failed to be ratified. Just as importantly, the Constitution was hardly the product of philosophical reflections by brilliant, disinterested statesmen, but rather ordinary interest group politics. Multiple conflicting interests had a say,from creditors and debtors to city dwellers and backwoodsmen. The upper class overwhelmingly supported the Constitution; many working class colonists were more dubious. Slave states and nonslave states had different perspectives on how well the Constitution served their interests.Ultimately, both the Constitution's content and its ratification process raise troubling questions about democratic legitimacy. The Federalists were eager to avoid full-fledged democratic deliberation over the Constitution, and the document that was ratified was stacked in favor of theirpreferences. And in terms of substance, the Constitution was a significant departure from the more democratic state constitutions of the 1770s. Definitive and authoritative, The Framers' Coup explains why the Framers preferred such a constitution and how they managed to persuade the country to adoptit. We have lived with the consequences, both positive and negative, ever since.
The Law of the Land : a Grand Tour of Our Constitutional Republic by Akhil Reed AmarFrom Kennebunkport to Kauai, from the Rio Grande to the Northern Rockies, ours is a vast republic. While we may be united under one Constitution, separate and distinct states remain, each with its own constitution and culture. Geographic idiosyncrasies add more than just local character. Regional understandings of law and justice have shaped and reshaped our nation throughout history. America's Constitution, our founding and unifying document, looks slightly different in California than it does in Kansas.In The Law of the Land , renowned legal scholar Akhil Reed Amar illustrates how geography, federalism, and regionalism have influenced some of the biggest questions in American constitutional law. Writing about Illinois, the land of Lincoln," Amar shows how our sixteenth president's ideas about secession were influenced by his Midwestern upbringing and outlook. All of today's Supreme Court justices, Amar notes, learned their law in the Northeast, and New Yorkers of various sorts dominate the judiciary as never before. The curious Bush v. Gore decision, Amar insists, must be assessed with careful attention to Florida law and the Florida Constitution. The second amendment appears in a particularly interesting light, he argues, when viewed from the perspective of Rocky Mountain cowboys and cowgirls.Propelled by Amar's distinctively smart, lucid, and engaging prose, these essays allow general readers to see the historical roots of, and contemporary solutions to, many important constitutional questions. The Law of the Land illuminates our nation's history and politics, and shows how America's various local parts fit together to form a grand federal framework.
Call Number: 342.73 A485L
Publication Date: 2015-04-14
Liberty's Blueprint : How Madison and Hamilton Wrote the Federalist Papers, Defined the Constitution, and Made Democracy Safe for the World by Michael I. MeyersonAside from the Constitution itself, there is no more important document in American politics and law than The Federalist-the series of essays written by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison to explain the proposed Constitution to the American people and persuade them to ratify it. Today, amid angry debate over what the Constitution means and what the framers’ original intent” was, The Federalist is more important than ever, offering the best insight into how the framers thought about the most troubling issues of American government and how the various clauses of the Constitution were meant to be understood. Michael Meyerson’s Liberty’s Blueprint provides a fascinating window into the fleeting, and ultimately doomed, friendship between Hamilton and Madison, as well as a much-needed introduction to understanding how the lessons of The Federalist are relevant for resolving contemporary constitutional issues from medical marijuana to the war on terrorism. This book shows that, when properly read, The Federalist is not a conservative” manifesto but a document that rightfully belongs to all Americans across the political spectrum.
Call Number: 342.7302 M613
Publication Date: 2008-03-04
The Lives of the Constitution : Ten Exceptional Minds That Shaped America's Supreme Law by Joseph TartakovskyIn a fascinating blend of biography and history, Joseph Tartakovsky tells the epic and unexpected story of our Constitution through the eyes of ten extraordinary individuals--some renowned, like Alexander Hamilton and Woodrow Wilson, and some forgotten, like James Wilson and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Tartakovsky brings to life their struggles over our supreme law from its origins in revolutionary America to the era of Obama and Trump. Sweeping from settings as diverse as Gold Rush California to the halls of Congress, and crowded with a vivid Dickensian cast, Tartakovsky shows how America's unique constitutional culture grapples with questions like democracy, racial and sexual equality, free speech, economic liberty, and the role of government. Joining the ranks of other great American storytellers, Tartakovsky chronicles how Daniel Webster sought to avert the Civil War; how Alexis de Tocqueville misunderstood America; how Robert Jackson balanced liberty and order in the battle against Nazism and Communism; and how Antonin Scalia died warning Americans about the ever-growing reach of the Supreme Court. From the 1787 Philadelphia Convention to the clash over gay marriage, this is a grand tour through two centuries of constitutional history as never told before, and an education in the principles that sustain America in the most astonishing experiment in government ever undertaken.
Call Number: 342.73 T193L
Publication Date: 2018-04-10
Our Constitution [videorecording] : a ConversationUnited States Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Stephen Breyer talk about the Constitution with high school students and discuss why we have and need a constitution, what federalism is, how implicit and explicit rights are defined and how separation of powers ensures that no one branch of government obtains too much power
Call Number: 342.73 O934
Publication Date: 2005
A Practical Companion to the Constitution : How the Supreme Court Has Ruled on Issues From Abortion to Zoning by Jethro K. LiebermanThis is the most comprehensive and readable one-volume reference book in print, accessible to lay readers and specialists alike, on the meaning of the American Constitution as the Supreme Court has interpreted it. It is an indispensable tool for students and lay persons who want to understand today's constitutional controversies and their background in our history. It is equally useful to lawyers and other specialists who seek quick reviews of constitutional issues with immediate reference to cases for further research. Unlike conventional treatises that discuss the Constitution clause by clause or under a few broad concepts, this book uniquely treats every aspect of the Constitution and every constitutional topic in alphabetical order, in more than 1,000 short essays. It is extensively cross-referenced and exhaustively indexed, so that even a reader with only a minimal notion of the Constitution or constitutional law can quickly find clear answers to questions about pressing issues of the day. Among the other unique features: a set of introductory essays on the background of the Constitution and the many difficulties of interpreting it; a concordance to each word and phrase in the Constitution; a year-by-year chronology of justices who have served on the Supreme Court; and a table of the more than 2,650 Supreme Court cases from 1792 to the present referred to in the book, listing the vote, the author of the majority opinion, the concurring and dissenting justices, and the length of the opinions.
Call Number: 342.02 L716
Publication Date: 1999-03-10
Religious Freedom and the Constitution by Christopher L. Eisgruber; Lawrence G. SagerReligion has become a charged token in a politics of division. Religious Freedom and the Constitution offers practical, moderate, and appealing terms for the settlement of many hot-button issues that have plunged religious freedom into controversy. It calls Americans back to the project of finding fair terms of cooperation for a religiously diverse people, and it offers a valuable set of tools for working toward that end.
Call Number: 342.7308 E364
Publication Date: 2007-02-28
Retained by the People : the "Silent" Ninth Amendment and the Constitutional Rights Americans Don't Know They Have by Dan FarberThe Ninth Amendment lurks like an unexploded mine within the Bill of Rights. Its wording is direct: "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." However, there is not a single Supreme Court decision based on it. Even the famously ambitious Warren Court preferred to rely on the weaker support of the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause for many of its decisions on individual rights. Since that era, mainstream conservatives have grown actively hostile to the very mention of the Ninth Amendment. Daniel Farber, a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley, makes an informed and lucid argument for employing the Ninth Amendment in support of a large variety of rights whose constitutional basis is now shaky. The case he makes for the application of this unused amendment has profound implications in almost every aspect of our daily lives.
To Form a More Perfect Union : the Critical Ideas of the Constitution by Herman Belz (Editor); Ronald Hoffman (Editor); Peter Albert (Editor)CONTENTS: Fundamental values, the founding fathers, and the Constitution / John M. Murrin -- The protection of property in the origins and development of the American Constitution / Jennifer Nedelsky -- The individualist foundations of American constitutionalism / J.R. Pole -- John Adams and the French critics of the Constitution / John P. Diggins -- The political philosophy of the Constitution / Edward J. Erler -- The discourse of politics in 1787 : the Constitution and its critics on individualism, community, and the state / Isaac Kramnick -- The Constitution and character : the missing critical principle? / Jean Yarbrough -- Facing up to the founding / Ralph Lerner -- Anarchy and the crisis of the union / Peter S. Onuf -- Ideas in conflict : political strategy and intellectual advantage in the federal convention / Calvin C. Jillson
Call Number: 342.029 T627
Publication Date: 1992-07-01
The United States Constitution : What It Says, What It Means by JusticeLearning.orgAffordable, readable, and indispensable,The United States Constitution: What it Says, What it Means allows you to put the most important document in American history in your back pocket. In conjunction with Justice Learning and The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands and with anintroduction written by Caroline Kennedy and an afterword written by David Eisenhower, this pocket guide appeals to the broadest possible audience. Each Article and each Amendment is followed by a clear and concise explanation, in plain English, that is suitable for both middle and high schoolstudents.On December 8, 2004 President Bush officially signed Constitution Day into law. The law mandates that each year, on September 17th, schools and colleges that receive federal money are required to teach the Constitution. The new law was championed in Congress by Sen. Robert Byrd who famously carriesaround a copy of the document in his pocket. Sen. Byrd became increasingly alarmed at the lack of civics education - specifically relating to the Constitution - in our public schools and he wanted to take action.Lightweight, easy to use and easy for everyone to understand The United States Constitution: What it Says, What it Means is an excellent way for students and citizens of all ages to read and completely comprehend the building block of American democracy.Justice Learning (www.justicelearning.org), is a comprehensive on-line resource that offers wide-ranging non-partisan materials relating to civics education.
Call Number: 342.7302 U581
Publication Date: 2005-09-17
United States Constitutional Law : an Introduction by Paul RodgersThe great liberties and guarantees of the United States Constitution are stated as general principles, to be perpetuated and reapplied in a changing America. This book provides a basic understanding of Constitutional law, addressing both the history of the U.S. Constitution and each of its individual clauses. It explains the power of the Supreme Court, whereby a bare majority of five justices, each with lifetime tenure, can overrule the president, the Congress, and state and local governments--effectively declaring the rights and obligations of persons and organizations across the land. Referencing more than 950 Supreme Court decisions, the book treats each subject objectively and without opinionated commentary.
Call Number: 342.73 R691
Publication Date: 2011-02-08
War Powers : How the Imperial Presidency Hijacked the Constitution by Peter IronsA striking assessment of how the Constitution has been stretched, distorted, and violated to accommodate the drive to empire from Jefferson's day to our own An insightful analysis and rousing history,War Powers examines a fundamental question in the development of the American empire: What constraints does the Constitution place on our territorial expansion, military intervention, occupation of foreign countries, and on the power the president may exercise over American foreign policy? Worried about the dangers of unchecked executive power, the Founding Fathers deliberately assigned Congress the sole authority to make war. But the last time Congress declared war was on December 8, 1941, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Since then, every president from Harry Truman to George W. Bush has used military force in pursuit of imperial objectives, while Congress and the Supreme Court have virtually abdicated their responsibilities to check presidential power. In vivid detail, Peter Irons recounts this story of subversion from above, tracing presidents' increasing willingness to ignore congressional authority and even suspend civil liberties. Drawing on congressional hearings, Supreme Court opinions, law-review commentary, media reports, and scholarly accounts, legal historian Irons takes us up to the recent preemptive invasion of Iraq, offering a necessary account of our most pressing contemporary constitutional crisis.
Call Number: 342.73 I71w
Publication Date: 2005-08-05
The Words We Live By : Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution by Linda R. MonkThe Words We Live By takes an entertaining and informative look at America's most important historical document, now with discussions on new rulings on hot button issues such as immigration, gay marriage, gun control, and affirmative action. In The Words We Live By, Linda Monk probes the idea that the Constitution may seem to offer cut-and-dried answers to questions regarding personal rights, but the interpretations of this hallowed document are nearly infinite. For example, in the debate over gun control, does "the right of the people to bear arms" as stated in the Second Amendment pertain to individual citizens or regulated militias? What do scholars say? Should the Internet be regulated and censored, or does this impinge on the freedom of speech as defined in the First Amendment? These and other issues vary depending on the interpretation of the Constitution. Through entertaining and informative annotations, The Words We Live By offers a new way of looking at the Constitution. Its pages reflect a critical, respectful and appreciative look at one of history's greatest documents. The Words We Live By is filled with a rich and engaging historical perspective along with enough surprises and fascinating facts and illustrations to prove that your Constitution is a living -- and entertaining -- document. Updated now for the first time, The Words We Live By continues to take an entertaining and informative look at America's most important historical document, now with discussions on new rulings on hot button issues such as immigration, gay marriage, and affirmative action.