Download American Constitutionalism Heard Round the World, 1776-1989: by George Athan Billias PDF

By George Athan Billias

Winner of the 2010 e-book Award from the hot England old AssociationAmerican constitutionalism represents this country's maximum reward to human freedom, but its tale continues to be mostly untold. For over 2 hundred years, its beliefs, principles, and associations encouraged various peoples in several lands at diversified instances. American constitutionalism and the innovative republican records on which it truly is established affected numerous nations by means of supporting them improve their very own constitutional democracies. Western constitutionalism—of which the United States used to be a component in addition to Britain and France—reached an incredible turning element in worldwide historical past in 1989, while the forces of democracy surpassed the forces of autocracy for the 1st time.Historian George Athan Billias lines the unfold of yankee constitutionalism—from Europe, Latin the US, and the Caribbean zone, to Asia and Africa—beginning chronologically with the yank Revolution and the fateful "shot heard around the international" and finishing with the belief of the chilly struggle in 1989. the yank version contributed considerably via spearheading the force to bigger democracy in the course of the Western global, and Billias's landmark examine tells a narrative that may swap the best way readers view the $64000 function American constitutionalism performed in this period.

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Extra resources for American Constitutionalism Heard Round the World, 1776-1989: A Global Perspective

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What was produced in the American presidency at first was what Carl J. 77 Scholars for generations had defined various kinds of governing systems along lines derived from classical times, that is, monarchy, aristocracy, or democracy. When the need arose to distinguish among different kinds of democracy, scholars proposed categories to classify constitutions according to the most distinctive element in each system. 79 Although the American presidential system changed its dynamics between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it has nonetheless exercised far less influence in the world than Britain’s parliamentary system.

He notes that the 1776 revolutionaries had emphasized their claims to sovereignty and the independence of free states. 5 Although this state system had yet to be formed, it was based on what we now call international law. Subsequent interpreters of the Declaration, however, stressed instead the natural-law theory on which the rights of individuals were based. ” America’s pronouncement regarding sovereignty was soon repeated throughout the globe, as the Declaration became a generic form for expressing this idea.

The Declaration’s statement that “these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES,” is by virtue of that phrase a document with strong constitutional implications. By emphasizing the “rights of states” under international law, the Declaration assumed a distinctive constitutional cast. The same was true of its principle that the natural “rights of individuals” formed the basis for a duly constituted government. The Declaration conveyed also the constitutional idea of a sovereign people possessing constituent power in the government.

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