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Dred Scott and the Problem of Constitutional Evil

£30.99

Part of Cambridge Studies on the American Constitution

  • Date Published: September 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521861656

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  • Dred Scott and the Problem of Constitutional Evil , first published in 2006, concerns what is entailed by pledging allegiance to a constitutional text and tradition saturated with concessions to evil. The Constitution of the United States was originally understood as an effort to mediate controversies between persons who disputed fundamental values, and did not offer a vision of the good society. In order to form a 'more perfect union' with slaveholders, late-eighteenth-century citizens fashioned a constitution that plainly compelled some injustices and was silent or ambiguous on other questions of fundamental right. This constitutional relationship could survive only as long as a bisectional consensus was required to resolve all constitutional questions not settled in 1787. Dred Scott challenges persons committed to human freedom to determine whether antislavery northerners should have provided more accommodations for slavery than were constitutionally strictly necessary or risked the enormous destruction of life and property that preceded Lincoln's new birth of freedom.

    • New interpretation of antebellum constitutional law and politics
    • Challenges conventional wisdom on purpose of constitutionalism
    • Cutting edge law, political science, and history
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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2006
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521861656
    • length: 280 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 161 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Lessons of Dred Scott:
    1. The Dred Scott decision
    2. Critiques of Dred Scott
    3. Critiquing the critiques
    4. Injustice and constitutional law
    Part II. The Constitutional Politics of Slavery:
    5. The slavery compromises revisited
    6. The compromises and constitutional development
    7. The constitutional order modified:
    1820–60
    8. The constitution and the Civil War
    Part III. Compromising with Evil:
    9. Majoritarianism and constitutional evil
    10. Contract, consent, and constitutional evil
    11. Constitutional relationships and constitutional evil
    Part IV. Voting for John Bell:
    12. Lincoln v. Bell
    13. Constitutional justice or constitutional peace.

  • Author

    Mark A. Graber, University of Maryland, College Park
    Mark A. Graber is a Professor of Government at the University of Maryland College Park and a Professor of Law at the University of Maryland School of Law. He previously taught law and political science at the University of Texas. He is the author of Transforming Free Speech (1991), Rethinking Abortion (1996), and numerous articles on American constitutional development, law and politics. His many awards include the Edward Corwin Prize (best dissertation), the Hughes Goessart Prize (best article in the Journal of the History of the Supreme Court), and the Congressional Quarterly Prize (best published article on public law). He is a member of the American Political Science Association and the American Association of Law Schools. During the 2005–6 academic year, he was head of the Law and Courts section of the American Political Science Association.

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