Constitutions and the Classics: Patterns of Constitutional Thought from Fortescue to Bentham

Hardcover | January 21, 2015

EditorDenis Galligan

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The period from the fifteenth century to the late eighteenth century was one of critical importance to British constitutionalism. Although the seeds were sown in earlier eras, it was at this point that the constitution was transformed to a system of representative parliamentary government.Changes at the practical level of the constitution were accompanied by a wealth of ideas on constitutions written from different - and often competing - perspectives. Hobbes and Locke, Harrington, Hume, and Bentham, Coke, the Levellers, and Blackstone were all engaged in the constitutional affairsof the day, and their writings influenced the direction and outcome of constitutional thought and development. They treated themes of a universal and timeless character and as such have established themselves of lasting interest and importance in the history of constitutional thought. Examiningtheir works we can follow the shaping of contemporary ideas of constitutions, and the design of constitutional texts.At the same time major constitutional change and upheaval were taking place in America and France. This was an era of intense discussion, examination, and constitution-making. The new nation of the United States looked to authors such as Locke, Hume, Harrington, and Sydney for guidance in theirsearch for a new republicanism, adding to the development of constitutional thought and practice. This collection includes chapters examining the influences of Madison, Hamilton, Jefferson, and Adams. In France the influence of Rousseau was apparent in the revolutionary constitution, and Sieyes wasan active participant in its discussion and design. Montesquieu and de Maistre reflected on the nature of constitutions and constitutional government, and these French writers drew on, engaged with, and challenged the British and American writers. The essays in this volume reveal a previouslyunexplored dynamic relationship between the authors of the three nations, explaining the intimate connection between ruler and ruled.

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The period from the fifteenth century to the late eighteenth century was one of critical importance to British constitutionalism. Although the seeds were sown in earlier eras, it was at this point that the constitution was transformed to a system of representative parliamentary government.Changes at the practical level of the constitut...

Denis Galligan is Professor of Socio-Legal Studies and Director of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford. He is also a Professorial Fellow of Wolfson College, Jean Monnet Professor of European Public Law at the Universita degli Studi di Siena, and a Visiting Professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:464 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:January 21, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019871498X

ISBN - 13:9780198714989

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Table of Contents

1. D. J. Galligan and C. Palmer: Patterns of Constitutional Thought from Fortescue to Bentham2. M.R.L.L. Kelly: Sir John Fortescue and the Political Dominium: The People, the Common Weal, and the King3. Ian Williams: Edward Coke4. Tom Sorell: Constitutions in Hobbes's Science of Politics5. D. J. Galligan: The Levellers, the People, and the Constitution6. Jean-Fabien Spitz: Locke's Contribution to the Intellectual Foundations of Modern Constitutionalism7. J. C. Davis: Narrative Constitutionalism and the Kinetics of James Harrington's Oceana8. John Adams: David Hume: Constitution by Convention9. Wilfrid Prest: William Blackstone and the 'free Constitution of Britain'10. Philip Schofield: Constitutions and the Classics: Jeremy Bentham11. Giovanni Grottanelli de'Santi: Montesquieu12. Ruhza Smilova: The General Will Constitution: Rousseau as a Constitutionalist13. Raymond Kubben: L'abbe de Sieyes: Champion of National Representation, Father of Constitutions14. Mila Versteeg: 'Perfection in Imperfection': Joseph de Maistre and the Limitations of Constitutional Design15. Mark A. Graber: James Madison's Republican Constitutionalism16. M.N.S. Sellers: The Constitutional Thought of Alexander Hamilton17. Gerald Leonard: Jefferson's Constitutions18. David Thomas Konig: John Adams, Constitution Monger19. Richard Whatmore: Thomas Paine