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date: 22 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This book provides a comprehensive guide to the U.S. Constitution. It examines constitutional developments based on a periodization scheme that partly reflects important changes in constitutional governance, from the Jacksonian Era to the beginning of the 1980s. With its general historical institutionalist orientation, the book blurs precise distinctions between political science and law, with particular emphasis on the role of political parties, interest groups, and bureaucrats in operating a constitution designed to prevent the rise of parties, interest-group politics, and an entrenched bureaucracy. It also considers exertions of power by the Supreme Court, along with the national executive and Congress; federalism, liberty, property, and religion; free expression and free press; criminal procedure and habeas corpus; and the right to bear arms. In addition, the book discusses Native Americans, race, gender, and citizenship to illustrate contemporary constitutional struggles for equality; the constitutional status of international law, constitutionalism, and constitutional authority.

Keywords: United States, Constitution, federalism, liberty, religion, free expression, race, gender, citizenship, equality

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