Why and how did Americans conceive a republic built on individual liberty, in an era of oppressive monarchies? Two Revolutions and the Constitution describes how the British revolutions and constitution shaped the political values which were the foundation of the American Constitution.
The author explains how British colonial government, the innovations in the first American constitutions (the State constitutions), and the failure of the States' first attempt to unite, all influenced the Framers in drafting the final Constitution.
The book tells how developments in England since Magna Carta had enabled liberty and representative government to develop in England and in colonial America. The charges against George III in the Declaration of Independence mirrored the charges against Charles I at the founding of the English republic. The English replaced two kings in their revolutions of the 1600s. Those revolutions led to enduring constitutional changes in Britain and in colonial America.
Philips also considers how the founding charters of the American colonies contained the seeds of American rebellion in the 1760s and 1770s.
By James D. R. Philips
Chapter 1 Before the Revolution: The System of Government in America
Chapter 2 The End of Tyranny? The English Revolution
Chapter 3 The Original Legislature: The Origins of Parliament
Chapter 4 The British Executive: The Prime Minister Supersedes the King
Chapter 5 British Coercion, American Resistance
Chapter 6 The First American Constitutions: The State Constitutions
Chapter 7 The Confederation Was Not Enough
Chapter 8 The Revolution Is Secured: The Constitution Is Born
Appendix 1 The Legal Status of the Colonies
Appendix 2 1790 Census Data
Appendix 3 The Origins of the Common Law
About the Author