The Neglected Politics of the American Founding
By Andrew R. Rutten
This article appeared in the Spring 1998 issue of The Independent Review

Two recent books reveal the hidden richness and complexity of America’s constitutional history: Marc Kruman’s Between Authority and Liberty: State Constitution Making in Revolutionary America and William Novak’s The People’s Welfare: Law and Regulation in Nineteenth-Century America. Explicitly revisionist, they show how state constitutions were shaped both by their framers’ guiding principles and by the realities of day-to-day politics.

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