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 might rule because the sovereign after the yankee Revolution. nationwide and kingdom debates approximately govt motion, legislations, and the people's political powers show how americans sought to appreciate how a collective sovereign-the people-could either play the function because the ruler and but be governed by way of governments in their personal deciding upon.

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S. ” From the time of the Revolution, this difficult question generated conflict and profoundly shaped the structure of American constitutional thought. One answer to how all the people governed as the sovereign was that the collective sovereign expressed its will only through the use of procedural mechanisms. After creating governments based on their authority as the sovereign, the people henceforth were bound by their constitutions. 32 Others considered this procedural view an overly narrow conception of the people as the sovereign.

A North Carolina congressional delegate echoed this position as well. 24 American constitutions enhanced the role of the people in scrutinizing governments and altered the understanding of how they did so. The traditional devices for scrutiny were petition, remonstrance, and instruction. Petitions (requests for governmental action), remonstrance (protests of governmental policy), and instructions (directives by voters to their representatives) were forms of political participation employed by colonial Americans.

The 1776 constitutions of Maryland and North Carolina basically incorporated this same instruction. The people under all these constitutions would play a role. In some states it was ongoing and active, even to the point of dispensing with traditional checks and balances of government branches. 30 However the new American constitutions were structured and whatever their features, under them the sovereign was ultimately responsible for the government it created. This responsibility entailed the people’s power to scrutinize government’s operation.

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