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The Evangelical Origins of the Living Constitution

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  6 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
The New Deal is often said to represent a sea change in American constitutional history, overturning a century of precedent to permit an expanded federal government, increased regulation of the economy, and eroded property protections. John Compton offers a surprising revision of this familiar narrative, showing that nineteenth-century evangelical Protestants, not New Deal ...more
Hardcover, 261 pages
Published March 17th 2014 by Harvard University Press (first published March 10th 2014)
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Josh Windham
Dec 03, 2016 Josh Windham rated it it was amazing
In this incredibly insightful book, Professor Compton endeavors to round-out the incomplete picture of the post-New Deal constitutional "revolution" painted by those who believe our Constitution sanctioned a government of enumerated and limited powers. For many in that camp, the narrative tended to paint progressive jurists as baseless usurpers of the traditional constitutional order--mere opportunistic power-seekers who saw in the throes of the Great Depression a chance massively to expand the ...more
Richard
May 06, 2014 Richard rated it it was amazing
A terrific, thought-provoking book by a young scholar who has done his homework. He shows the "living Constitution," which some decry as a product of the Progressives of the 1900s was to some degree a product of some of the thinking and energies of Christians from the Second Great Awakening in their campaigns against alcohol and the lottery which had the effect of weakening property rights and commerce and contract clause issues. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
Charlie
Jun 16, 2015 Charlie rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-history
A worthwhile argument straightforwardly executed. Linking the judiciary innovations of the Progressive Era to evangelical reforms opens up avenues for legal historians and cultural historians to draw on each other's work. The only drawback to this book is its redundancy; each chapter rehashes much of what came before, rendering the main argument rather skeletal.
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