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Constitutions and the ClassicsPatterns of Constitutional Thought from Fortescue to Bentham$
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Denis Galligan

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198714989

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198714989.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 December 2021

Patterns of Constitutional Thought from Fortescue to Bentham

Patterns of Constitutional Thought from Fortescue to Bentham

(p.1) 1 Patterns of Constitutional Thought from Fortescue to Bentham
Constitutions and the Classics

D. J. Galligan

C. Palmer

Oxford University Press

This chapter sets out the book’s purpose, which is to examine the ideas on constitutions of a selection of authors from the fifteenth century to the early nineteenth century. These ideas have earlier origins but, in confronting fuller forms of nationhood from which emerged the modern state, this period is critical to the character of modern constitutions. The classic authors included here are mainly British, together with a selection of eighteenth-century authors from the United States and France, in the first case writing about the creation of a United States of America, in the second concentrated around the period prior to and after the French Revolution. The main theme running through the chapters in this book is the relationship between rulers and ruled, between the people and government. Questions considered include: why do the people form a nation? Once formed, how is it to be governed and for what ends? Are the people to govern themselves; if not, who is to govern and on what terms? These are the main ideas running through the essays.

Keywords:   constitutions, legal theory, nationhood, modern state, rulers

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