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Inventing the People: The Rise of Popular Sovereignty in England and America
This book makes the provocative case here that America has remained politically stable because the Founding Fathers invented the idea of the American people and used it to impose a government on the new nation. His landmark analysis shows how the notion of popular sovereignty—the unexpected offspring of an older, equally fictional notion, the "divine right of kings"—has ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 17th 1989 by W. W. Norton Company
(first published 1988)
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Morgan's Inventing the People is about fictions of power and the necessity of such in shaping the sovereignty of the people (sovereignty itself being a fiction). To maintain the fiction of divine right in England, the Lords had to let the king know that it was by their authority, not his, that he kept his right. Behind the House of Lords as well as the Commons stood another gross fiction, that of a body politic representative of "the people." In actuality, even the Commons was managed by ...more
This is my second Edmund Morgan book, and, as in "American Slavery, American Freedom," he is once again thorough in his research and provocative in his thesis. His argument is that all government of the many by the few (a formulation borrowed from David Hume) depends on what Morgan calls "fictions": the fiction of the divine right of kings, or the fiction of the sovereignty of the people. This book traces the transition between those two conceptions of the basis of government.
Morgan himself ...more
Morgan himself ...more
Es un buen análisis de la cuestión clásica de la teoría política de por qué las minorías pueden gobernar a las mayorías. Se apoya en la historia de Inglaterra y EEUU en los siglos XVII y XVIII, lo cual te puede dejar un poco afuera si no tenés un background (como fue mi caso). Igualmente las cuestiones generales están buenas, explica cómo se empezaron a apoyar en la ficción del "pueblo" cuando la cosa divina del Rey ya no daba. Usa muchas cartas de los próceres de la independencia yanqui ...more
What is American democracy all about, anyway? This book kinda answers this question from the perspective of what sovereignty is and how the answer to that question has both changed and remained the same in the transition from the 'old world' to the 'new'.