Get Constitutional Context: Women and Rights Discourse in PDF

By Kathleen S. Sullivan

ISBN-10: 0801885523

ISBN-13: 9780801885525

While the U.S. used to be based on summary rules of convinced "unalienable rights," its felony traditions are established in British universal legislations, a truth lengthy decried through innovative reformers. universal legislation, the grievance is going, ignores summary rights rules in want of culture, successfully denying equality to giant segments of the inhabitants.

The nineteenth-century women’s rights move embraced this argument, claiming that universal legislations ideas of estate and married women’s prestige have been at odds with the nation's dedication to equality. traditional knowledge means that this tactic helped pave the best way for balloting rights and higher jobs. In Constitutional Context, Kathleen S. Sullivan offers a clean perspective.

In revisiting the era’s congressional debates, country laws, judicial critiques, information money owed, and paintings of political activists, Sullivan reveals that the argument for common, summary rights was once no longer the one, or most sensible, course to be had for social swap. instead of erecting a brand new paradigm of absolute rights, she argues, women’s rights activists unwittingly undermined universal law’s skill to redress grievances, contributing seriously to the social, cultural, and political stagnation that characterizes where of girls and the stream today.

A hard and considerate examine of what's often considered an period of growth, Constitutional Context presents the foundation for a extra finished figuring out and interpretation of constitutional law.

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Extra resources for Constitutional Context: Women and Rights Discourse in Nineteenth-Century America (The Johns Hopkins Series in Constitutional Thought)

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19 Certainty and simplicity were the goals that Jeremy Bentham set for himself in his own dispute with a common-law jurist. As a teenager, Bentham attended Sir William Blackstone’s 1765 Vinerian lectures at Oxford. These lectures would form the basis for Commentaries on the Laws of England and serve as an exposition of the common law for readers in both England and the United States throughout the next century. Bentham reacted to those lectures in a series of works, published in his lifetime and posthumously, deriding the common law and the natural law foundation that Blackstone had identified.

People knew the law because someone told them what the law was. This was authoritarian imposition, with one person—or one body— serving as the source of law and, furthermore, as the source of the definitive meaning of the law. “It is not in lands of liberty and equal rights that the business of cod- 40 the rise of rights ifying flourishes. It is commonly the work of despots. A single imperial voice, commanding unqualified instant submission throughout the community, has hitherto ordered, directed, and enforced it in practice.

The citizen would no longer have the opportunity to engage in interpretation of law and the state would alter the status of citizen from shaper of the law to subject of the law. bentham in america If Americans were to embrace legal positivism they would replace practical reason with expert knowledge, replace action with appeal to authority and experts, and replace reference to experience with reference to rules. The transition to positivism in the United States was not made, however, at least, not right away.

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Constitutional Context: Women and Rights Discourse in Nineteenth-Century America (The Johns Hopkins Series in Constitutional Thought) by Kathleen S. Sullivan


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