American Sovereigns: The People and America’s Constitutional by Christian G. Fritz

By Christian G. Fritz

American Sovereigns is a path-breaking interpretation of America's political background and constitutionalism that explores how american citizens struggled over the concept that the folk could rule because the sovereign after the yankee Revolution. nationwide and kingdom debates approximately executive motion, legislation, and the people's political powers demonstrate how american citizens sought to appreciate how a collective sovereign-the people-could either play the position because the ruler and but be governed via governments in their personal selecting.

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For instance, South Carolina Governor John Rutledge resigned in 1778 because the legislature revised the constitution without “lawful Power” to do so. ” The perspective of the legislature was captured by John Lewis Gervais, a former member of the South Carolina legislature and future delegate to the Continental Congress. He agreed with Rutledge that only the 9:41 P1: IBE 9780521881883c02 34 CUNY1095/Fritz 978 0 521 88188 3 October 2, 2007 The People’s Sovereignty people had the authority to adopt or change the constitution.

62 Changing constitutions without regard to revision provisions did not violate constitutionalism. It was inconsistent with American constitutionalism at this early period to believe that a constitution took precedence over the will of its makers or otherwise bound the people to specified procedures. 63 THE PROCESS OF REVOLUTIONARY CONSTITUTION-MAKING Americans struggled a great deal over how to exercise their sovereign power. More than a month before drafting the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson hoped Congress might recess.

The people could “alter, or abolish” government in Pennsylvania’s 1776 constitution in any manner “judged most conducive” to the public welfare. Some of these provisions justified the people’s acting outside governmental institutions. The people could alter written constitutions whenever and however they wished, even without strict compliance with existing procedures for change in the constitution. 39 Only five of the eleven states that drafted initial constitutions contained bills of rights with alter or abolish provisions.

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