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The Framers of the American Constitution were substantially influenced by ancient history and classical political theory, as exemplified by their education, the availability of classical readings, and their inculcation in classical republican values. This volume explores how the Framing generation deployed classical learning to develop many of the essential structural aspects of the Constitution: federalism, separation of powers, a bicameral legislature, independent courts, and the war and foreign relations powers. Also examined are very contemporary constitutional debates, for which there were classical inspirations, including sovereign immunity, executive privilege, line-item vetoes, and the electoral college. Combining techniques of intellectual history, classical studies, and constitutional interpretation, this book makes a unique contribution to our understanding of contemporary constitutionalism.Read more
- Detailed analysis of essential constitutional law concepts and contemporary debates on constitutional issues
- Very close examination of classical sources to fully understand the impact of the classical tradition on the American constitution
- Highly readable and accessible to general readers
- Winner of the Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2009
Reviews & endorsements
"...this fine book is essential reading for anyone concerned with the origins of the Constitution or the intellectual world that produced it."
--Law and Politics Book ReviewSee more reviews
"In this innovative and erudite study, Bederman surveys the influence of classical works on the American founding generation. A convincing argument for the Founding Fathers' use of classical ideas is lucidly advance. The book offers a more historically accurate and philosophically coherent argument than other recent volumes on the topic...The author defends the importance of original intent, with limitations, while concluding that the Founders' use of ancient sources was "instrumental and pragmatic."...Highly Recommended..."
--H.L. Cheek Jr., CHOICE
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- Date Published: February 2008
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521885362
- length: 352 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 24 mm
- weight: 0.69kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. The framers' classical education and world view
2. Classical political models and the founders
3. Constitution-making and ancient history
4. Modern resonances
5. The classical Constitution.
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