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This book reconstructs the fascinating but obscure history of the Eleventh Amendment to the US Constitution, which limits the exercise of US judicial power when American states are sued. Its modern meaning was largely shaped around cases concerning the liability of Southern states to pay their debts during and after Reconstruction: by shielding states from liability, the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Eleventh Amendment eased the establishment of post-Reconstruction Southern society and left a maddeningly complicated law of federal jurisdiction.