ISBN: 9781785512070

Publication date: 20 Jan 2020

Author: Hrdlicka, James
Colonists, Citizens, Constitutions highlights documents that tell the story of American constitutionalism from the founding era through the turn of the twentieth century. Accompanying a major exhibition at the New-York Historical Society and the Museum of the American Revolution, the book features federal and state constitutional materials - including a rare, privately owned copy of the original 1787 US constitution - that offer essential windows onto the history of the United States. Remarkably numerous and impressively diverse, constitutions enabled Americans to create revolutionary governments of, by, and for the people. Weaving both well-known and less familiar documents into a compelling narrative, the accessible text reveals how Americans have exercised their constitutional powers to shape their communities and why democracy remains an ongoing process, one in which citizens must constantly strive to create 'more perfect' unions among themselves.Contents: Foreword; Preface; Collecting Evidence: The Making of an American Collection; Introduction; 1. Experiments in Self-Government; 2. An Expanding Union; 3. Slavery and Freedom; 4. Reform and Renewal; Epilogue; Works in the Catalogue; Selected Bibliography; Acknowledgments; Index