The Constitutional Origins of the American Revolution (New Histories of American Law)

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9780521132305: The Constitutional Origins of the American Revolution (New Histories of American Law)
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Using the British Empire as a case study, this succinct study argues that the establishment of overseas settlements in America created a problem of constitutional organization that created deep and persistent tensions within the empire during the colonial era and that the failure to resolve it was the principal element in the decision of thirteen continental colonies to secede from the empire in 1776. Challenging those historians who have assumed that the British had the law on their side during the debates that led to the American Revolution, this volume argues that the empire had long exhibited a high degree of constitutional multiplicity, with each colony having its own discrete constitution and the empire as whole having an uncodified working customary constitution that determined the way authority was distributed within the empire. Contending that these constitutions cannot be conflated with the metropolitan British constitution, it argues that British refusal to accept the legitimacy of colonial understandings of the sanctity of the many colonial constitutions and the imperial constitution was the critical element leading to the American Revolution.

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Using the British Empire as a case study, this succinct study argues that the establishment of overseas settlements in America created a problem of constitutional organization that created deep and persistent tensions within the empire during the colonial era and that the failure to resolve it was the principal element in the decision of thirteen continental colonies to secede from the empire in 1776.

About the Author:

Jack P. Greene taught at Michigan State University, Western Reserve University, and the University of Michigan before he moved in 1966 to The Johns Hopkins University, where he was a member of the Department of History for thirty-nine years, except for two years spent at the University of California, Irvine in 1990-2. A specialist in the history of Colonial British and Revolutionary American history, he has published and edited many books, chapters in books, articles, and reviews. Perhaps his best-known works are The Quest for Power: The Lower Houses of Assembly in the Southern Royal Colonies, 1689-1776 (1963), Peripheries and Center: Constitutional Development in the Extended Polities of the British Empire and the United States, 1607-1789 (1986), Pursuits of Happiness: The Social Development of the Early Modern British Colonies and the Formation of American Culture (1988), and The Intellectual Construction of America: Exceptionalism and Identity from 1492 to 1800 (1993).

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Book Description CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Using the British Empire as a case study, this succinct study argues that the establishment of overseas settlements in America created a problem of constitutional organization. The failure to resolve the resulting tensions led to the thirteen continental colonies seceding from the empire in 1776. Challenging those historians who have assumed that the British had the law on their side during the debates that led to the American Revolution, this volume argues that the empire had long exhibited a high degree of constitutional multiplicity, with each colony having its own discrete constitution. Contending that these constitutions cannot be conflated with the metropolitan British constitution, it argues that British refusal to accept the legitimacy of colonial understandings of the sanctity of the many colonial constitutions and the imperial constitution was the critical element leading to the American Revolution. Seller Inventory # APC9780521132305

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