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Article
Alternative Visions of American Constitutionalism: Popular Sovereignty and the Early American Constitutional Debate
Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly (1997)
  • Christian G. Fritz, University of New Mexico - Main Campus
Abstract

This Article explores the revolutionary period and the early national period of American constitutionalism, examining popular sovereignty as the foundation of American governance and political power. It intends to challenge standard perspectives on American constitutionalism, in particular the notion that the United States Constitution was the model constitution and reflected the mature, complete understanding of how to translate revolutionary theory into republican practice. The Federal Constitution was not the culmination of the "correct" understanding of popular sovereignty, but merely one version that ultimately produced a distinct constitutional tradition. An alternative vision, however, existed, survived, and gave coherence to a rather different tradition of constitution-making and revision. The validity and vitality of that tradition has largely been muted by two hundred years of Federal Constitution worship.

Publication Date
Winter 1997
Citation Information
Christian G. Fritz. "Alternative Visions of American Constitutionalism: Popular Sovereignty and the Early American Constitutional Debate" Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly Vol. 24 Iss. 2 (1997)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/christian_fritz/11/