Download Constitutional Brinksmanship: Amending the Constitution by by Russell L. Caplan PDF

By Russell L. Caplan

ISBN-10: 019505573X

ISBN-13: 9780195055733

ISBN-10: 1423763777

ISBN-13: 9781423763772

During this first systematic examine of the felony difficulties when it comes to the conference clause, Russell Caplan indicates that repeated constitutional crises have given upward push to country drives for a countrywide conference approximately each two decades because the structure was once enacted. He deftly examines the politics of constitutional brinksmanship among Congress and the states to bare the continued rigidity among kingdom and federal rights and constitutional culture and reform.

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72 The Revolution had left the nation in debt, and the economic depression was acutely felt by heavily taxed farmers in the Northeast who were no longer allowed to repay creditors in crops. Requiring scarce hard money, they were forced to sell their land and livestock to merchants and speculators on the coast. In the summer of 1786 county conventions all over New England stated the agrarian community's grievances and demands for paper currency, but passing resolutions soon turned into mob action to intimidate the courts, which executed actions against debtors.

No convention was held, and Virginia did not receive a new constitution until 1830. "44 A century after the English Convention Parliaments, the convention was the accepted mode for constitutional change in the United States. Yet the English predecessors were not regarded, in their time, as establishing new governments. The convention parliament had been a pragmatic solution to a break in the royal line, a makeshift to repair the political fabric rather than a convocation of founding fathers to promulgate new constitutional doctrine.

These considerations eventually led to the drafting and adoption of the 1787 Constitution. 55 The Confederation, wrote Max Farrand, "had been devised for an entirely different condition of affairs. " The Articles codified the arrangements forged among the colonies during the War, and probably represented the best that could be done at the time in the way of a central government; anything stronger would have been judged by the states a threat and rejected. Yet as early as January 1776, Thomas Paine's Common Sense had proposed that "a Continental Conference be held ...

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