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Two Revolutions and the Constitution : How the English and American Revolutions Produced the American Constitut - James D. R. Philips

Two Revolutions and the Constitution

How the English and American Revolutions Produced the American Constitut

By: James D. R. Philips

Paperback | 18 May 2021

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How and why did Americans conceive a republic built on individual liberty, in an era or oppressive monarchies? This book describes the origins of the rights and liberties which the Constitution protects, including their roots in the English Revolution and republic. It also tells the story of revolutionary American progress from British colonies to a new nation founded on the world's first written Constitution. This book describes how developments in England since Magna Carta had enabled liberty and representative government to develop in England and in America. The English replaced two kings in their revolutions of the seventeenth century, and the author explains how those revolutions resulted in enduring constitutional changes. This book shows that the charges against George III in the Declaration of Independence mirrored the charges against Charles I at the founding of the English republic. Philips considers why the American colonies were partially self-governing from their founding, and how the founding charters of the colonies contained seeds of American rebellion in the 1760s and 1770s. This book explains the gap between British and colonial Americans' perceptions of their constitutional rights, and how that gap led to British oppression and American rebellion. By means of the Constitution, the Framers aimed to establish a federal, national, and republican system of government which would protect Americans' liberties. The author explores how the Framers' experience of British colonial government, the American colonial charters, the innovations in the first American constitutions (the State constitutions), and the failure of the Confederation in the revolutionary period, all influenced the Framers in drafting the final Constitution.

Industry Reviews

Two Revolutions and the Constitution strikes a much-deserved blow at 'American Exceptionalism,' a misguided and self-congratulatory myth that persists in our profession. Philips offers a clear and persuasive account of the English roots of America's constitution and the government that it created. Bravo!
— Carol Berkin, professor of history and author of A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution

An important book which explains hitherto unrecognized connections between early English Republicans and their common law concepts and the foundations of the United States Constitution. It analyzes the struggles against royalism in both countries, and why America seceded and succeeded with help from British legal history.

— Geoffrey Robertson, international human rights lawyer, and author of The Tyrannicide Brief: The Story of the Man Who Sent Charles I to the Scaffold

A fascinating book for an age which has seen the Capitol stormed and the U.K. at the brink of destruction: there has never been a better time to remind ourselves of how exactly these first, deeply-related, Anglo-American revolutions unfolded.

— James Hawes, author of The Shortest History of England

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