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Vol 21 No 10 Oct/Nov 2016

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Constitutional History of the American Revolution: V. 3. Authority to Legislate

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John Phillip ReidProfessor of Law, New York University, USA

ISBN13: 9780299130701
ISBN: 0299130703
Published: February 1992
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Format: Hardback
Price: £23.50



This is a comprehensive study of the constitutionality of the parliamentary legislation cited by the American Continental Congress as a justification for its rebellion against Great Britain in 1776. The content and purpose of that legislation is well known to historians, but here Reid places it in the context of 18th-century constitutional doctrine and discusses its legality in terms of the intellectual premises of 18th century Anglo-American legal values.;The third installment in a planned four-volume work, ""The Authority to Legislate"" follows ""The Authority to Tax"" and ""The Authority of Rights"". In this volume, Reid shows that the inflexibility of British constitutional principle left no room for settlement or change; Parliament became entrapped by the imperatives of the constitution is was struggling to preserve. He analyzes the legal theories put forward in support of Parliament's authority to legislate and the specific precedents cited as evidence of that authority.;Reid's examination of both the debate over the authority to legislate and the constitutional theory underlying the debate shows the extent to which the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence were actions taken in defense of the rule of law. Considered as a whole, Reid's ""Constitutional History of the American Revolution"" contributes to an understanding of the central role of legal and constitutional standards, especially concern for rule by law, in the development of the American nation.

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