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The Preamble and Mission of the Constitution

by Michael J. C. Taylor (Author)
Monographs XLVIII, 246 Pages

Summary

In this book, Michael J. C. Taylor outlines an intellectual history of the six essential phrases of the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution. These phrases convey what the essential goals and purposes of the Constitution are, and this book’s essential mission is to discern both the original intent of the Framers, as well as the Enlightenment legacy they left to us. This book examines the writings of the Framers, as well as the various works that inspired their ideas and the abstract concepts they studied.

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Permissions
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Prologue: “We, the People of the United States”: Political Sovereignty and Its Influence on American Constitutionalism
  • 1 “In Order to Form a More Perfect Union”: The Social Contract and the Reclamation of American Independence
  • 2 “Establish Justice”: Impartiality and Equity under a Federal Constitution
  • 3 “Insure Domestic Tranquility”: A Unified Nation through a Balanced Government
  • 4 “Provide for the Common Defense”: Protecting a New Nation under the Constitution
  • 5 “Promote the General Welfare”: The Federal Government and the Public Good
  • 6 “To Secure the Blessings of Liberty”: The Protection of Personal Rights in the Constitution
  • Epilogue: “Do Ordain and Establish”: The Constitution and the Modern American Citizen
  • Appendix A: Thoughts on Government
  • Appendix B: Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union
  • Appendix C: The Constitution of the United States
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Michael J C Taylor

The Preamble
and Mission of the
Constitution

About the author

Michael J C Taylor earned his bachelor of arts from Rockhurst College and obtained his doctorate in history and political science from the University of Missouri Kansas City. He served as Professor of American History and Politics at Dickinson State University, Bemidji State University, and Paine College.

About the book

The Preamble and Mission of the Constitution is an intellectual history of the six essential phrases of the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution. These phrases convey what the essential goals and purposes of the Constitution are, and this book’s essential mission is to discern both the original intent of the Framers, as well as the Enlightenment legacy they left to us. This book examines the writings of the Framers, as well as the various works that inspired their ideas and the abstract concepts they studied.

This eBook can be cited

This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.

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Permissions

This work contains material from the following published works:

1984 by George Orwell. Copyright © 1983 by Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher.

A Machine That Would Go of Itself: the Constitution in American Culture by Michael Kammen. Copyright © 1986 by St. Martin’s Press. Used by permission of the publisher.

Active Liberty Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution by Stephen Breyer. Copyright © 2005 by Alfred A. Knopf. Used by permission of the publisher.

Cato’s Letters, or Essays on Liberty, Civil and Religious, and Other Important Subjects (Two volumes) by John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon, edited by Ronald Hamowy. Copyright © 1995 by The Liberty Fund. Used by permission of the publisher.

Commentaries on the Laws of England (4 volumes) by William Blackstone, edited by William Draper Lewis. Copyright © 2004 by the Lawbook Exchange. Reprint of 1922 edition. Used by permission of the publisher.

Democracy in America (Two volumes) by Alexis de Tocqueville, edited by Phillips Bradley. Copyright © 1990 by Vintage Books. Used by permission of the publisher.

Discourses Concerning Government by Algernon Sidney, edited by Thomas G. West. Copyright © 1996 by The Liberty Fund. Used by permission of the publisher.

Feudal Society (2 volumes) by Marc Bloch, edited by L. A. Manyon. Copyright © 1961 by Phoenix Books/University of Chicago Press. Used by permission of the publisher.←ix | x→

Founding Fathers: Brief Lives of the Framers of the United States Constitution by M. E. Bradford. Copyright © 1981 by the University of Kansas Press. 1994 Reprint. Used by permission of the publisher.

Friends of the Constitution: Writings of the “Other” Federalists edited by Colleen A. Sheehan and Gary L. MacDowell. Copyright © 1998 by The Liberty Fund. Used by permission of the publisher.

George Washington: A Collection edited by W. B. Allen. Copyright © 1988 by The Liberty Fund. Used by permission of the publisher.

History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides, translated by Rex Warner. Copyright © 1972 by Penguin Books. Used by permission of the publisher.

Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes, edited by Richard Tuck. Copyright © 1996 by Cambridge University Press. Used by permission of the publisher.

Lincoln: Speeches and Writings 1859–1865 by Abraham Lincoln, edited by Don E. Fahrenbacher. Copyright © 1989 by the Literary Classics of the United States, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher.

Man and the State by Jacques Maritan. Copyright © 1951 by The Catholic University of America Press. Used by permission of the publisher.

Nations and Nationalism by Ernest Gellner. Copyright © 1983 by Cornell University Press. Used by permission of the publisher.

Notes of Debates in the Federal Constitution of 1787 by James Madison. Copyright © 1966 by Ohio University Press. 1985 reprint. Used by permission of the publisher.

On Duties by Cicero, edited by M. T. Griffin and E. M. Atkings. Copyright © 1991 by the Cambridge University Press. Used by permission of the publisher.

On the Good Life by Cicero, edited by Michael Grant. Copyright © 1971 by Penguin Books. Used by permission of the publisher.

Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution by Jack N. Rakove. Copyright © 1997 by Vintage Books. Used by permission of the publisher.

Political Writings by Voltaire, edited by David Williams. Copyright © 1994 by Cambridge University Press. Used by permission of the publisher.

Rome and the Mediterranean by Livy, translated by Henry Bettenson. Copyright © 1976 by Penguin Books. Used by permission of the publisher.

Social Contract edited by Ernest Barker. Copyright © 1960 by Oxford University Press. Used by permission of the publisher.

Speeches and Writings 1832–1858 by Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler. Copyright © 1989 by the Literary Classics of the United States, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher.

The Agricola and The Germania by Tacitus, edited by Harold Mattingly. Copyright © 1970 by Penguin Books. Used by permission of the publisher.

The Anti-Federalist: Writings by the Opponents of the Constitution edited by Herbert Storing. Copyright © 1981 by the University of Chicago Press. Used by permission of the publisher.

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, edited by R. M. Lumiansky. Copyright © 1971 by the Washington Square Press. Used by permission of the publisher.

The Creation of the American Republic, 1776–1787 by Gordon S. Wood. Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. Copyright © 1970 by the University←x | xi→ of North Carolina Press; new preface copyright © 1998 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher.

The Early History of Rome by Livy. Translated by Aubrey De Sélincourt. Copyright © 1960 by Penguin Books. Used by permission of the publisher.

The Federalist (The Gideon Edition) by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, edited by George W. Carey and James McClellan. Copyright © 2001 by The Liberty Fund. Used by permission of the publisher.

The Founders’ Constitution (5 volumes) edited by Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner. Copyright © 1987 by The Liberty Fund. 2000 reprint. Used by permission of the publisher.

The Golden Bough by James Gregory Frazier. Copyright © 1922 by Collier Books, 1922. Used by permission of the publisher.

The Growth of the Law by Benjamin Nathan Cardozo. Copyright © 1924 by Yale University Press. Used by permission of the publisher.

The Histories by Herodotus, edited by John M. Marincola. Copyright © 1972 by The Penguin Group. Used by permission of the publisher.

The History of English Law Before the Time of Edward I (2 Volumes) by Frederick Pollard and Frederic William Maitland. Copyright © 1923 by Cambridge University Press. Used by permission of the publisher.

The History of the Kings of Britain by Geoffrey of Monmouth, edited by Lewis Thorpe. Copyright © 1966 by Penguin Books. Used by permission of the publisher.

The Nature of the Universe by Lucretius, edited by Ronald Latham. Copyright © 1951 by Penguin Books. Used by permission of the publisher.

The Papers of Benjamin Franklin (Volume IV) edited by Leonard B. Larabee. Copyright © 1961 by Yale University Press. Used by permission of the publisher.

The Papers of George Mason (3 volumes) edited by Robert A. Rutland. Copyright © 1970 by University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher.

The Politics by Aristotle, edited by T. A. Sinclair. Copyright © 1962 by Penguin Books, 1992 reprint. Used by permission of the publisher.

The Republic by Plato, translated by Francis Cornford. Copyright © 1941 by Oxford University Press. Used by permission of the publisher.

The Revolutionary Writings of John Adams edited by C. Bradley Thompson. Copyright © 2000 by The Liberty Fund. Used by permission of the publisher.

The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine. Copyright © 1995 by Oxford University Press. Used by permission of the publisher.

The Rights of War and Peace (3 volumes) by Hugo Grotius, edited by Richard Tuck. Copyright © 2005 by The Liberty Fund. Used by permission of the publisher.

The Social Contract and Other Later Political Writings by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, edited by C. D. H. Cole. Copyright © 1973 by Charles E. Tuttle Co., Inc. Used by permission of the publisher.

The Social Contract and Other Later Political Writings by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, edited by Victor Gourevitch. Copyright © 1996 by Cambridge University Press. Used by permission of the publisher.

The Spirit of the Laws by Baron de Montesquieu, edited by Anne Cohler, Basia Miller, and Harold Stone. Copyright © 1989 by Cambridge University Press. Used by permission of the publisher.←xi | xii→

The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius, translated by Robert Graves. Copyright © 1957 by Penguin Books. 1989 reprint. Used by permission of the publisher.

Thomas Jefferson: Writings edited by Merrill D. Peterson. Copyright © 1984 by Literary Classics of the United States, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher.

Two Treatises on Government by John Locke, edited by Peter Laslett. Copyright © 1960 by Cambridge University Press. Used by permission of the publisher.

View of the Constitution of the United States, with Selected Writings by St. George Tucker, edited by Clyde N. Wilson. Copyright © 1999 by The Liberty Fund. Used by permission of the publisher.

We the People: Foundations by Bruce Ackerman. Copyright © 1991 by The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Used by permission of the publisher.

Witness at the Creation: Hamilton, Madison, Jay, and the Constitution by Richard B. Morris. Copyright © 1985 by Henry Holt and Company, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher.←xii | xiii→

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Preface

This book is not a chronology of the Constitution’s construction: It is an exegesis upon the abstract ideas the Framers studied, and which were later incorporated into the governing document of the American nation. The methodology is clearly evident: the evolution of historical, legal and philosophical concepts into concrete expression. Its purpose is to discern the original intent of those who constructed it by utilizing their own words, along with a careful examination of the works they cited as inspiration. For more than two decades the Framers’ path of knowledge has been traversed by this historian to contemplate with accuracy the lessons they gleaned from the past; to ruminate upon the Enlightenment philosophies they often quoted; and, to reflect upon their expressions within the context of the purpose of government. This was done to conclude their essential objective for the charter at the heart of the American republic.

Details

Pages
XLVIII, 246
ISBN (PDF)
9781433158360
ISBN (ePUB)
9781433158377
ISBN (MOBI)
9781433158384
ISBN (Hardcover)
9781433158353
Language
English
Publication date
2019 (January)
Published
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Vienna, Oxford, Wien, 2018. XLVIII, 246 pp.

Biographical notes

Michael J. C. Taylor (Author)

Michael J C Taylor earned his bachelor of arts from Rockhurst College and obtained his doctorate in history and political science from the University of Missouri Kansas City. He served as Professor of American History and Politics at Dickinson State University, Bemidji State University, and Paine College.

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Title: The Preamble and Mission of the Constitution