The Constitutional Origins of the American Revolution

The Constitutional Origins of the American Revolution 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 pe

  • Title: The Constitutional Origins of the American Revolution
  • Author: Jack P. Greene
  • ISBN: 9780521132305
  • Page: 173
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 seUsing 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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    1. Time for a segment of "A moment in obscure history." This time, we're looking at the constitutional dispute that resulted in the American Revolution.Since sometime in 2009, the Tea Party movement has lead a revival of interest in the US Constitution. Senator Mike Lee summed up why the increased interest of late during the release of his new book, "The Freedom Agenda: Why a Balanced Budget Amendment is Necessary to Restore Constitutional Government": many of our problems today stem from when the [...]

    2. The book is about what lead colonist to the war of independence in a nutshell. Its how there was constitutional uncertainties, confusion, misunderstandings , interpretation between both England and the Colonies. Since their foundation they had always enjoyed some type of local autonomy within their communities. After the Glorious Revolution in England in 1689, when Parliament overcomes the king by disposing him and establishing another; they asserted themselves as the sovereign of not only Engla [...]

    3. Greene argues that differing opinions of elites in Britain and the colonies about Britain's (especially Parliament's) authority over the colonies and constitutional law were unable to be resolved and ultimately caused the colonies to succeed from Britain. Colonists were satisfied with being under the king, but not under the legislature. Internal v. external affairs.As in his book Pursuits of Happiness he comes off as arrogant (particularly in the preface). I wonder how much of this is actually i [...]

    4. When Bernard Bailyn kicked off the historiographical trend of the importance of ideology in the American Revolution, Jack Greene, an eminent intellectual and legal historian, noticed that the one area left unexplored by Bailyn was in the conflict between the American colonists and British Empire over constitutional tensions that had come to a head. Greene brilliantly explores the changing British constitution throughout the period prior to and during the first British Empire, and shows how the m [...]

    5. Jack P. Greene, one of my favorite colonial historians, revisits the legal arguments of the American Revolution, linking them to the works of John Philip Reid and relocates much of the action to the negotiations of the 1730s with the Walpole government over exactly how the 1688 Revolution spelled out the government's powers, and the status of colonial charters in light of the revocation of the Dominion of New England and trade restrictions, as well as defense obligations on the frontier. Grounde [...]

    6. This was a good book about the Colonies prior to the American Revolutionary War. It discusses the viewpoints and political views of the Colonists as well as the opinions of the British Crown and Parliament. It does a nice job of presenting both sides of the arguments in terms of the Colonists' side as well as the side of the British.I thought it was well-written. It held my interest throughout the entire book. The author did a nice job of discussing both sides of the 'issue' facing the Colonists [...]

    7. 'Origins is an impressive contribution to the study of legal history. Clear and succinct, its brevity will scare away neither the casual reader nor the beginning student, while its meticulously researched references will attract the seasoned scholar. Most importantly, its subject will be relevant as long as Americans continue to dispute the “ancient problem of how, in an extended polity, to distribute authority between the center and the peripheries.”'Read the full review, "Jefferson's Mista [...]

    8. Gives a concise and insightful account of how British colonists were spurred to revolt due to their conflicting understandings of British law. This book reminds us that American identity was yet to be formed, explaining what it meant to be a British subject in America.

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