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Free Expression and Democracy in AmericaA History$
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Stephen M. Feldman

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226240664

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226240749.001.0001

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Republican Democracy from the Revolution, through the Civil War

Republican Democracy from the Revolution, through the Civil War

(p.14) Chapter 2 Republican Democracy from the Revolution, through the Civil War
Free Expression and Democracy in America
University of Chicago Press

Beginning with the earliest state constitutions, the American people and their elected officials, as well as political and legal theorists, developed a republican democratic system of government. The framers of the national Constitution refined the practice and theory of republican democracy, creating a remarkably pliant regime. Then, through the early-nineteenth century, the American people accommodated the constitutional structures to the nation's changing social, cultural, and economic practices. As the Civil War would demonstrate, however, some political disputes could be too vehement for even the flexible republican democratic system to withstand. This chapter discusses republican democracy as the essence of American government; republican democracy in American society; judicial review under republican democracy; and changing interpretations of republican democracy.

Keywords:   Civil War, republican democracy, American government, judicial review

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