The Civic Constitution: Civic Visions and Struggles in the Path toward Constitutional Democracy by Elizabeth BeaumontThe Civic Constitution: Civic Visions and Struggles in the Path toward Constitutional Democracy by Elizabeth Beaumont

The Civic Constitution: Civic Visions and Struggles in the Path toward Constitutional Democracy

byElizabeth Beaumont

Hardcover | March 3, 2014

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The role of the Constitution in American political history is contentious not simply because of battles over meaning. Equally important is precisely who participated in contests over meaning. Was it simply judges, or did legislatures have a strong say? And what about the public's role ineffecting constitutional change? In The Civic Constitution, Elizabeth Beaumont focuses on the last category, and traces the efforts of citizens to reinvent constitutional democracy during four crucial eras: the revolutionaries of the 1770s and 1780s; the civic founders of state republics and thenational Constitution in the early national period; abolitionists during the antebellum and Civil War eras; and, finally, suffragists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Throughout, she argues that these groups should be recognized as founders and co-founders of the U.S. Constitution. Though often slighted in modern constitutional debates, these women and men developed distinctive constitutional creeds and practices, challenged existing laws and social norms,expanded the boundaries of citizenship, and sought to translate promises of liberty, equality, and justice into more robust and concrete forms. Their civic ideals and struggles not only shaped the text, design, and public meaning of the U.S. Constitution, but reconstructed its membership andtransformed the fundamental commitments of the American political community. An innovative expansion on the concept of popular constitutionalism, The Civic Constitution is a vital contribution to the growing body of literature on how ordinary people have shaped the parameters of America'sfundamental laws.
Elizabeth Beaumont is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota, where she focuses on democracy, citizenship, and constitutionalism. Previously, she was a Research Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. In addition to her work on constitutionalism, she has co-authored books...
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Title:The Civic Constitution: Civic Visions and Struggles in the Path toward Constitutional DemocracyFormat:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:March 3, 2014Publisher:OUPLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199940061

ISBN - 13:9780199940066

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsKey to AbbreviationsIntroduction1. The Civic ConstitutionPart One: Revisiting the 18th Century Founding2. Making Liberty PopularRevolutionaries' "Common Sense" Popular Constitutionalism and New State Republics3. The Unfinished ConstitutionQuarrels and Claims of "We, the People" in Constitutional Creation and RatificationPart Two: Civic Struggles to Refound "We, the People" and the Constitution4. Pursuing EqualityAbolitionists' Anti-slavery Constitutionalism and Reconstruction5. Claiming JusticeSuffragists' Gender Justice Constitutionalism and Transformation6. The Complexities of a Civic Founders' ConstitutionReferencesIndex