The four primary documents that, since 1878, formed a type of “preamble” to the revised United States Code the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance, and the Constitution are brought together here for the first time in a single volume.
Political theorist Richard Cox introduces these founding “laws” of America, places them in historical context, examines the leaders who introduced them, and discusses how and why these documents were given such an important place in the U.S. Code. Cox explains the significance of the code’s revision in the aftermath of the Civil War and Reconstruction.
Designed for students and general readers, Four Pillars of Constitutionalism explores how each of the four components of our nation’s legal history was developed and their main features, including the full text of each document, and a bibliography of selected readings. This work is a handy, accessible, and very useful supplement to the study of constitutional law, history, and American political thought.