Historical Reprints Consitution of the United States: A Brief Study of the Genesis

Consitution of the United States: A Brief Study of the Genesis

Consitution of the United States: A Brief Study of the Genesis
Catalog # SKU1041
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name James M. Beck


of the
United States

A Brief Study of the Genesis,
Formulation and Political Philosophy
of the
Constitution of the United States

James M. Beck, LL.D.

This study on the Constitution was prepared by Soliciter General of the United States, James Beck. It was dedicated to Harry Daughtery, Attorney General of the United States, under President Warren Harding. A few years after the publication of this book, Daughtery was indicted for Fraud against the United States. He was only one of the corrupt mafia running the Harding administration. The book gives insight in the formation of the Constitution not normally covered in history books.

The entire text of the Constitution has been added in the book for your convenience.

Excerpt from the Author's Introduction:

I have forborne in these lectures to make more than a passing reference to the League of Nations and the great Conference which framed it, tempting as the obvious analogy was. The reader who studies the appendices will see that the Covenant of the League more nearly resembles the Articles of Confederation than the Constitution of 1787. I only mention the subject to suggest that the reader of these lectures will better understand why the American people take the written obligations of the League so seriously and literally. We have been trained for nearly a century and a half to measure the validity and obligations of laws and executive acts in Courts of Justice and to apply the plain import of the Constitution. Our constant inquiry is, "Is it so nominated" in that compact? In Europe, and especially England, constitutionalism is largely a spirit of great objectives and ideals.

Therefore, while in these nations the literal obligations of Articles X, XI, XV, and XVI of the Covenant of the League are not taken rigidly, we in America, pursuant to our life-long habit of constitutionalism, interpret these clauses as we do those of our Constitution, and we ask ourselves, Are we ready to promise to do, that which these Articles literally import, join, for example, in a commercial, social and even military war against any nation that is deemed an aggressor, however remote the cause of the war may be to us? Are we prepared to say that in the event of a war or threatened danger of war, the Supreme Council of the League may take any action it deems wise and effectual to maintain peace? This is a very serious committal. Other nations may not take it so literally, but with our life-long adherence to a written Constitution as a solemn contractual obligation, we do. This is said in no spirit of hostility to the League, but only to explain the American point of view. Since I delivered these lectures, I took a short trip to the Continent, and while sojourning in Geneva, made a visit to the offices of the League. All I there saw greatly interested me, and I could have nothing but a feeling of admiration for the effective and useful administrative work which the League is doing.

The men who framed the Covenant of the League tried to do, under more difficult, but not dissimilar, conditions, what the framers of the American Constitution did in 1787. In both cases the aim was high, the great purpose meritorious. Those Americans who, for the reasons stated, are not in sympathy with the structural form and political objectives of the League, are not lacking in sympathy for its admirable administrative work in co-ordinating the activities of civilized nations for the common good. In any study of a World Constitution, the example of those who framed the American Constitution can be studied with profit.


Americans have never lacked interest in English history; for however broad the stream of our national life, how could we ignore its chief source?

But is there in England an equal interest in the history of America, whose origin and development constitute one of the most dramatic and significant dramas ever played upon the stage of this "wide and universal theatre of man"? It is true that Thackeray, in his Virginians, gave us in fiction the finest picture of our colonial life, and the late and deeply lamented Lord Bryce wrote one of the best commentaries upon our institutions in The American Commonwealth. In more recent years two of the most moving portraits of our Hamilton and Lincoln are due to your Mr. Oliver and Lord Charnwood. We gratefully recognize this; and yet, how many educated Englishmen have studied that little known chapter of our history, which gave to the progress of mankind a contribution to political science which your Gladstone praised as the greatest "ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man"?

If "peace hath her victories no less renown'd than war," this achievement may well justify your study and awaken your admiration; for, as I have already said and cannot too strongly emphasize, it was the work of the English-speaking race, of men who, shortly before they entered upon this great work of constructive statecraft, were citizens of your Empire. The conditions of colonial development had profoundly stimulated in these English pioneers the sense and genius for constitutionalism.

In his speech on Conciliation with America of March 22, 1775, Edmund Burke showed his characteristically philosophic comprehension of this powerful constitutional conscience of the then American subjects of the Empire. After stating that in no other country in the world was law so generally studied, and referring to the fact that as many copies of Blackstone's Commentaries had been sold in America as in England, he added:

"This study renders men acute, inquisitive, dexterous, prompt in attack, ready in defence, full of resources. In other countries the people, more simple and of a less mercurial cast, judge of an ill principle in government only by an actual grievance; here they anticipate the evil, and judge of the pressure of the grievance by the badness of the principle."

Moreover, these hardy pioneers were the privileged heirs of the great political traditions of England. While the Constitution of the United States was very much more than an adaptation of the British Constitution, yet its underlying spirit was that of the English speaking race and the Common Law. Behind the framers of the Constitution, as they entered upon their momentous task, were the mighty shades of Simon de Montfort, Coke, Sandys, Bacon, Eliot, Hampden, Lilburne, Milton, Shaftesbury and Locke. Could there be a better illustration of Sir Frederick Pollock's noble tribute to the genius of the common law:

"Remember that Our Lady, the Common Law, is not a task-mistress, but a bountiful sovereign, whose service is freedom. The destinies of the English-speaking world are bound up with her fortunes and migrations and its conquests are justified by her works"? Another reason makes the consideration of the subject not only interesting but opportune. "These are the times that try men's souls."

It is a time of sifting, when men of all nations in civilization in these critical days are again testing the value even of those political institutions which have the sanction of the past. Society is in a state of flux. Everywhere the foundations of governmental structures seem to be settling--let us hope and pray upon a surer foundation--and when the seismic convulsion of the world war is taken into account, it is not surprising that this is so. While the storm is not yet past and the waves have not wholly subsided, it is natural that everywhere thoughtful men as true mariners are taking their reckonings to know where they are and whether the frail bark of human institutions is still sufficiently seaworthy to keep afloat.

Softcover, 5 x 8, 160+ pages


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