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Other titles in the Studies in Legal History series:

Constituting Empire: New York and the Transformation of Constitutionalism in the Atlantic World, 1664-1830

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Constituting Empire: New York and the Transformation of Constitutionalism in the Atlantic World, 1664-1830 Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

According to the traditional understanding of American constitutional law, the Revolution produced a new conception of the constitution as a set of restrictions on the power of the state rather than a mere description of governmental roles. Daniel J. Hulsebosch complicates this viewpoint by arguing that American ideas of constitutions were based on British ones and that, in New York, those ideas evolved over the long eighteenth century as New York moved from the periphery of the British Atlantic empire to the center of a new continental empire.

Hulsebosch explains how colonists and administrators reconfigured British legal sources to suit their needs in an expanding empire. In this story, familiar characters such as Alexander Hamilton and James Kent appear in a new light as among the nation's most important framers, and forgotten loyalists such as Superintendent of Indian Affairs Sir William Johnson and lawyer William Smith Jr. are rightly returned to places of prominence.

In his paradigm-shifting analysis, Hulsebosch captures the essential paradox at the heart of American constitutional history: the Revolution, which brought political independence and substituted the people for the British crown as the source of legitimate authority, also led to the establishment of a newly powerful constitution and a new postcolonial genre of constitutional law that would have been the envy of the British imperial agents who had struggled to govern the colonies before the Revolution.

Synopsis:

"A sophisticated and insightful analysis of American constitutional theory and the development of law as the expression of that theory within a conceptual structure rooted in the understanding of empire."

Register of the Kentucky Historical Society "As Hulsebosch brilliantly describes, the constitution of the British Empire was rarely settled and almost always hotly contested."

Harvard Law Review "Provocative. . . . Hulsebosch has successfully placed early American constitutional history in two critical contexts: the social history of mobility as well as the intellectual paradigm of empire. The result deserves to be read by both social historians and legal scholars of this period."

William and Mary Quarterly "An interesting and important dimension to the old Progressive historical perspective that explains how a divided people became one."

Journal of the Early Republic A pleasure to read.

--American Historical Review [Hulsebosch] brilliant book will have a profound impact on our understanding of the American Revolution. . . .

--Law and History Review A capacious and beautifully written history.

Christine Desan, Harvard Law School Utterly persuasive. . . . Hulsebosch's handling of the historical evidence is impeccable, and his writing is crisp and clear.

Larry D. Kramer, Stanford Law School

Synopsis:

The traditional understanding of American constitutional law is that the Revolution caused a shift in the conception of the constitution from merely a description of governmental roles to a set of restrictions on the power of the state. Hulsebosch complicates this viewpoint by arguing that American ideas of constitutional law were based on British ones and that American colonists and administrators reconfigured British legal sources to suit their needs in their own expanding empire.

About the Author

Daniel J. Hulsebosch is professor of law at New York University School of Law.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Constitutions and Empire

Part I: The Imperial Origins of New York

1. Empire and Liberty

2. Time Immemorial: The Foundations of Common-Law Culture in an Imperial Province

Part II: Imperia in Imperio: Property and Sovereignty in a Frontier Province

3. The Multiple Constitutions of Empire in New York, 1750-1777

4. The Search for Imperial Law in the 1760s

Part III: Imperial Civil War and Reconstitution

5. Provincial Resistance and Garrison Government

6. The State Constitution of 1777

Part IV: Postcolonial Constitutionalism and Transatlantic Legal Culture

7. The Imperial Federalist: Ratification and the Creation of Constitutional Law

8. Empire State: Constitutional Politics and the Convention of 1821

9. An Empire of Law

Conclusion

Notes

Bibliography

Acknowledgments

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780807859209
Author:
Hulsebosch, Daniel J.
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
Subject:
Constitutional
Subject:
United States - Colonial Period
Subject:
United States - Revolutionary War
Subject:
Legal History
Subject:
constitutional law; empire; colonial law; constitution; William Johnson; Cadwallader Colden; William Livingston; William Smith Jr; Alexander Hamilton; James Kent; law in the early Republic; Atlantic history; British history
Subject:
Constitutional law
Subject:
Empire
Subject:
colonial law
Subject:
Constitution
Subject:
William Johnson
Subject:
Cadwallader Colden
Subject:
William Livingston
Subject:
William Smith Jr
Subject:
Alexander Hamilton
Subject:
James Kent
Subject:
law in the early Republic
Subject:
Atlantic history
Subject:
British -- History.
Subject:
Law : General
Edition Description:
Paperback
Series:
Studies in Legal History
Publication Date:
20081031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
504
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Law » Constitutional Law
History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » US History » Colonial America
History and Social Science » US History » Revolution and Constitution Era
Travel » General

Constituting Empire: New York and the Transformation of Constitutionalism in the Atlantic World, 1664-1830 New Trade Paper
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$37.75 Backorder
Product details 504 pages University of North Carolina Press - English 9780807859209 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "A sophisticated and insightful analysis of American constitutional theory and the development of law as the expression of that theory within a conceptual structure rooted in the understanding of empire."

Register of the Kentucky Historical Society "As Hulsebosch brilliantly describes, the constitution of the British Empire was rarely settled and almost always hotly contested."

Harvard Law Review "Provocative. . . . Hulsebosch has successfully placed early American constitutional history in two critical contexts: the social history of mobility as well as the intellectual paradigm of empire. The result deserves to be read by both social historians and legal scholars of this period."

William and Mary Quarterly "An interesting and important dimension to the old Progressive historical perspective that explains how a divided people became one."

Journal of the Early Republic A pleasure to read.

--American Historical Review [Hulsebosch] brilliant book will have a profound impact on our understanding of the American Revolution. . . .

--Law and History Review A capacious and beautifully written history.

Christine Desan, Harvard Law School Utterly persuasive. . . . Hulsebosch's handling of the historical evidence is impeccable, and his writing is crisp and clear.

Larry D. Kramer, Stanford Law School

"Synopsis" by , The traditional understanding of American constitutional law is that the Revolution caused a shift in the conception of the constitution from merely a description of governmental roles to a set of restrictions on the power of the state. Hulsebosch complicates this viewpoint by arguing that American ideas of constitutional law were based on British ones and that American colonists and administrators reconfigured British legal sources to suit their needs in their own expanding empire.
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