Cloth $45.00ISBN: 9780226129006
Paper $30.00ISBN: 9780226116310
The Constitution in Congress series has been called nothing less than a biography of the US Constitution for its in-depth examination of the role that the legislative and executive branches have played in the development of constitutional interpretation. This third volume in the series, the early installments of which dealt with the Federalist and Jeffersonian eras, continues this examination with the Jacksonian revolution of 1829 and subsequent efforts by Democrats to dismantle Henry Clay’s celebrated “American System” of nationalist economics. David P. Currie covers the political events of the period leading up to the start of the Civil War, showing how the slavery question, although seldom overtly discussed in the debates included in this volume, underlies the Southern insistence on strict interpretation of federal powers.
Like its predecessors, The Constitution in Congress: Democrats and Whigs will be an invaluable reference for legal scholars and constitutional historians alike.
"Currie has presented the arguments and debates in an even handed, clearly edited and heavily footnoted fashion that enables the reader to understand the impact of Congress and the Presidency on the devlopment of the Constitution. . . . I recommend it for the quality of Currie's research, analysis and writing. Like any good study of history, its value lies in showing us examples from the past as guides to the present."
"Historians will benefit from this legal scholar's lively perspective on antebellum constitutional controversies. This volume is a treasure trove of insights on fundamental questions of national development as well as minor issues that often meant much to the people and the states."
Law & Politics Book Review
"A first-rate descritive account of constitutional debates during the middle part of the nineteenth century. Hence, Currie succeeds once again."
"This is meant to be a comprehensive reference work, not a thesis-driven interpretative analysis. . . . The very topic of this work and its research base--grinding through those interminably boring congressional debates--could have resulted in an extraordinarily tedious book. This book is not, largely because of Profesor Currie's lively, colloquial, and downright folksy prose. . . . This is one good read!"
Journal of Interdisciplinary History
“David P. Currie’s discussion is meticulous and informative. It is difficult to believe that he leaves unaddressed anything that would shed light on American constitutional development.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu