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Cover for the book The Constitution and Public Policy in U.S. History

The Constitution and Public Policy in U.S. History

Edited by Julian E. Zelizer, and Bruce J. Schulman
  • Copyright: 2009
  • Dimensions: 6 x 9
  • Page Count: 201 pages
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-271-03534-5
  • Series Name: Issues in Policy History

Despite its crucial importance in U.S. history, the study of the constitutional system fell out of favor with many historians and history departments for several decades during the latter half of the twentieth century. The dawn of the twenty-first century, however, has borne witness to a new interdisciplinary interest among scholars in reviving this important dialogue in American history. This book represents some of the most innovative contributions to this dialogue by a new generation of historians and legal scholars. The essays presented in this volume offer new insights into constitutionalism, legal culture, and the political arena, together contributing to an “ongoing reconceptualization of the historical relationship between the Constitution and public policy.”

In this volume of "Issues in Policy History," Julian Zelizer and Bruce Schulman bring together eleven essays from renowned scholars Mary Sarah Bilder, Donald T. Critchlow and Cynthia L. Stachecki, Christine Desan, Morton Keller, Ajay K. Mehrotra, David Quigley, John A. Thompson, Christopher Tomlins, and Michael Willrich. By applying new archival research to questions of policy history and embedding constitutional history in its political context, these scholars breathe new life into the study of public policy and reaffirm Woodrow Wilson’s conclusion that the Constitution’s “spirit is always the spirit of the age.”

Julian E. Zelizer is Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University.

Bruce J. Schulman is Professor of History at Boston University.


Editor’s Preface

Bruce J. Schulman and Julian E. Zelizer


Mary Sarah Bilder

Idea or Practice: A Brief Historiography of Judicial Review

Christine Desan

From Blood to Profit: Making Money in the Practice and Imagery of Early America

Christopher Tomlins

Necessities of State: Police, Sovereignty, and the Constitution

David Quigley

Constitutional Revision and the City: The Enforcement Acts and Urban America, 1870–1894

Michael Willrich

“The Least Vaccinated of Any Civilized Country”: Personal Liberty and Public Heath in the Progressive Era

Ajay K. Mehrotra

Forging Fiscal Reform: Constitutional Change, Public Policy, and the Creation of Administrative Capacity in Wisconsin, 1880–1920

John A. Thompson

Woodrow Wilson and a World Governed by Evolving Law

Anthony Badger

The South Confronts the Court: The Southern Manifesto of 1956

Alan Rogers

State Constitutionalism and the Death Penalty

Donald T. Critchlow and Cynthia L. Stachecki

The Equal Rights Amendment Reconsidered: Politics, Policy, and Social Mobilization in a Democracy

Morton Keller

Governance and Democracy: Public Policy in Modern America


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