By George Athan Billias
Winner of the 2010 e-book Award from the recent England historic AssociationAmerican constitutionalism represents this country's maximum present to human freedom, but its tale is still principally untold. For over 200 years, its beliefs, principles, and associations stimulated varied peoples in several lands at diversified occasions. American constitutionalism and the progressive republican records on which it really is dependent affected numerous nations by way of aiding them boost their very own constitutional democracies. Western constitutionalism—of which the United States used to be an element in addition to Britain and France—reached an important turning aspect in worldwide historical past in 1989, while the forces of democracy handed the forces of autocracy for the 1st time.Historian George Athan Billias lines the unfold of yankee constitutionalism—from Europe, Latin the USA, and the Caribbean sector, to Asia and Africa—beginning chronologically with the yank Revolution and the fateful "shot heard around the international" and finishing with the realization of the chilly battle in 1989. the yankee version contributed considerably by means of spearheading the force to bigger democracy in the course of the Western global, and Billias's landmark research tells a narrative that would switch the best way readers view the $64000 position American constitutionalism performed in this period.
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Additional info for American Constitutionalism Heard Round the World, 1776-1989: A Global Perspective
Friedrich’s words, they were seeking “how to divide legislative powers between the states and federal government, how to balance the fields of governmental activity so as to produce a stable equilibrium between state and nation, and finally . . ”85 It was clear to the delegates that more governmental functions had to be shifted to the central government and, to most delegates, significantly more. Yet for many, doing so ran the risk of creating a too-powerful central government, which they feared most.
As he explained later to his friend Henry Lee in May 1825: Not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take. 22 If the ideas in the Declaration had many precedents, the pathbreaking actions that followed it did not. In one of the first instances in modern world history, a people was actually embarking on the road to revolution as laid out in the contract theory: seeking to overthrow by force of arms a presumably abusive regime and to establish in its place a government of the people’s own choosing.
For all that, however, it is still possible to determine with a cautious degree of confidence the way and extent to which American constitutionalism has influenced others. That influence can be discovered by tracking down America’s founding documents as translated or published in the original in the various countries. Evidence of such influence can be found also by studying the writings of important constitutional theorists who taught their compatriots about the American system. This is most obvious in the widespread adoption of certain features of American 14 Of Constitutions and Constitutionalisms constitutionalism—written constitutions, judicial review, federalism, and written safeguards of individual rights—even if in modified form.