Declaring Rights: A Brief History With Documents

Paperback | October 15, 1997

byJack N. Rakove

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Questions about the original meaning of the Bill of Rights remain a source of active concern and controversy in the twenty-first century. In order to help students consider the intentions of the first Constitutional amendments and the significance of declaring rights, Jack Rakove traces the tradition and describes the deliberations from which the Bill of Rights emerged.

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Questions about the original meaning of the Bill of Rights remain a source of active concern and controversy in the twenty-first century. In order to help students consider the intentions of the first Constitutional amendments and the significance of declaring rights, Jack Rakove traces the tradition and describes the deliberations fro...

Jack N. Rakove is Coe Professor of History and American Studies and professor (by courtesy) of political science at Stanford University. His scholarly work concentrates on the creation of a national policy in Revolutionary America, the problem of ascertaining the "original meaning" on the Constitution, and the political career and thi...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:217 pages, 8.18 × 5.51 × 0.5 inPublished:October 15, 1997Publisher:Bedford/St. Martin's

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0312137346

ISBN - 13:9780312137342

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Table of Contents

  Foreword
  Preface
    
  Introduction: Rights across the Centuries
    
PART ONE: RIGHTS IN REVOLUTION
    
  1. The Seventeenth-Century Background
    English Precedents
    American Precedents
    
  2. Puzzels about Rights
    Defining a Right
    The Holders of Rights
    The Threat to Rights
    The Sources of Rights
    The Form and Function of a Declaration of Rights
    The Popularity of Rights-Talk
    
  3. The Colonists' Appeal to Rights
    
  4. The Legacy of 1689
    Constraining the King
       1. Convention Parliment, Declaration of Rights, February 12, 1688 o.s.
    
  5. Rights in Resistance
    Challenging the Stamp Act
       2. Resolutions of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts, October 29, 1765
    Disputing the American Claim
       3. Martin Howard,Jr., A Letter from a Gentleman at Halifax (1765)
    Consitutional Rights in the British Tradition
       4. John Adams, The Earl of Clarendon to William Pym, January 27, 1766
    Declarations of Rights as Instruments of Negotiation
       5. Contintental Congress, Declaration and Resolves, October 14, 1774
    
  6. Rights in the First Constitutions
    Constitutions: A New Definition
       6. Four Letters on Interesting Subjects, 1776
    Populist Suspicions
       7. Resolutions of Concord, Massachusetts, October 21, 1776
    Declaring Rights: The First Models
       8. Thomas Jefferson, Third Draft of a Constitution for Virginia, Part IV, June 1776
       9. Virginia Provincial Convention, Committee Draft of a Declaration of Rights, May 27, 1776
       10. Pennsylvania Convention, Declaration of Rights, 1776
    Massachusetts: A Final Example
       11. A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1780
    A Legislative Milestone
       12. Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, 1786
    
PART TWO: THE CONSTITUTION AND RIGHTS
    
  7. Madison and the Problem of Rights
    
  8. Framing the Constitution
    
  9. The Basic Positions Stated
    A First Try at Amendments
       13. Richard Henry Lee, Amendments Proposed to Congress, September 27, 1787
    A Crucial Federalist Response
       14. James Wilson, Statehouse Speech, October 6, 1787
    
  10. The Anti-Federalist Case
    The Traditional Position Restated
       15. Brutus, Second Essay Opposing the Constitution, November 1, 1787
    Rights and the Education of Citizens
       16. Federal Farmer, Letter XVI, January 20, 1788
    
  11. The Federalist Position
    Can We Enumerate All Our Rights?
       17. James Iredell, Speech in the North Carolina Ratification Convention, July 28, 1788
    
  12. Madison and Jefferson: The Classic Exchange
    Defending the Veto
       18. James Madison, Letter to Thomas Jefferson, October 24, 1787
    The View From Paris
       19. Thomas Jefferson, Letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787
       20. Thomas Jefferson, Letter to James Madison, July 31, 1788
    Madison's Response
       21. James Madison, Letter to Thomas Jefferson, October 17, 1788
    Jefferson's Common Sense
       22. Thomas Jefferson, Letter to James Madison, March 15, 1789
    
  13. Framing the Bill of Rights
     Madison's Statemanship
       23. James Madison, Speech to the House of Representatives, June 8, 1789
    Unweaving the Amendments
       24. U.S. House of the Representatives, Constitutional Amendments Proposed to the Senate, August 24, 1789
    Editorial Changes
       25. U. S. Congress, Constitutional Amendments Proposed to the States, September 28, 1789
    Residual Ambiguities
    
  Epilogue: After Two Centuries
    
APPENDICES
    
    A Constitutional Chronology (1603-1791)
    Questions for Consideration
    Selected Bibliography
    
  Index

Editorial Reviews

"This book will be a worthy addition to the Bedford series. In a thoughtful introduction, Rakove takes the reader through the development of the notion of rights as well as through the specific history of the first ten amendments to the federal Constitution. He presents his readers with a well-chosen set of documents and groups them coherently, introducing each group with a brief but provocative sketch-essay."