As scholars have long recognized, the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution -- the Bill of Rights -- resulted from the political negotiations that transpired in the various state ratifying conventions called to approve or reject the draft produced by the 1787 Constitutional Convention. The tenacious opposition that had marked many of the convention's deliberations quickly carried over into the states where Antifederalists, convinced that the proposed new form of government posed insidious dangers to the people and the states, insisted that its powers be sharply proscribed. The Bill of Rights that ultimately emerged out of this process of accommodation and compromise has frequently been invoked as the republic's essential foundation of individual liberty.The opening essays in this collection by Lois G. Schwoerer, Donald S. Lutz, and Kenneth R. Bowling set the Bill of Rights in context by tracing its historical lineages and establishing the political context for its adoption by the states. Paul Finkelman sees the differences between Federalist fears of anarchy and Antifederalist fears of tyranny as eventually reconcilable, while Saul Cornell and Whitman H. Ridgway examine how particular functional dimensions of the various rights were popularly conceived. Michael Lienesch finds a major significance of the Bill of Rights to have been the enhanced credibility it afforded the new governing authority. Akhil Reed Amar goes beyond that conclusion and argues for the amendments' having important organizational and governing consequences, a position that Forrest McDonald rejects as not borne out by the subsequent history of the United States. Bernard Schwartz concludes thevolume with a comparative examination of the American and French experiences with bills of rights that supports those scholars who argue for the critical role played by the Constitution's first amendments in matters of constitutional jurisprudence.
Publisher: University of Virginia Press ISBN: 9780813917146 Number of pages: 480 Weight: 993 g Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 38 mm
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