Ellen Frankel Paul, Howard Dickman's Liberty, Property, and the Foundations of the American PDF

By Ellen Frankel Paul, Howard Dickman

Here's what the Framers of the structure thought of financial rights. to the present debate over constitutional interpretation, this ebook provides a dispassionate exam of our beginnings. It specializes in the philosophical, political, and social currents that motivated the idea and behaviour of the Framers. What used to be the connection among estate rights and liberty? How vital to the Framers used to be the security of financial liberties? In what methods does the structure guard those liberties? was once the structure a rfile cast with the motive of securing what may later be referred to as a capitalist approach? Or have been the Framers essentially keen on selling a society dependent upon civic advantage? those are a number of the significant subject matters that the authors of this quantity deal with.

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Additional info for Liberty, Property, and the Foundations of the American Constitution

Example text

In the years following the Revolution, the federal government made repeated efforts to control the spread of settlement westward. In order to fill up America's vast space in an orderly manner, the government priced the land high, limited the credit available, and kept the plots that could be bought large in size. But people-on-the-move simply ignored these restrictions. They swarmed around the speculative holdings of land companies, squatted where they wanted, or preempted land and refused to pay for it.

Where we measure our society's health by its GNP, its unemployment figures, or its inflation rate, the Revolutionary leaders measured theirs by its virtue, by the extent to which the people were willing to sacrifice their private interests to the public and to forego the consumption of luxuries. Wealth, commerce, and prosperity were important, but they had to be considered in terms of their moral effects on the character of the American people. We can never understand the different eighteenth century economic world until we understand its preoccupation with morality.

Field, supposedly a paragon of laissez-faire, strenuously defended the states' police power, even at the risk of undermining or actually taking private property. 59 A second broad conclusion that I wish to suggest is a highly speculative and revisionist one. A recent work asserts that the "general welfare" rationale for a "taking" (or for "takings") is of comparatively recent vintage. S. 61 Judge Spencer Roane of Virginia, that forceful spokesman for states' rights, proclaimed back in 1819 that "the preamble is no part of the constitution.

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