Our Secret Constitution: How Lincoln Redefined American Democracy
George P. Fletcher
Americans hate and distrust their government. At the same time, Americans love and trust their government. These contradictory attitudes are resolved by Fletcher's novel interpretation of constitutional history. He argues that we have two constitutions--still living side by side--one that caters to freedom and fear, the other that satisfied our needs for security and social justice.
The first constitution came into force in 1789. It stresses freedom, voluntary association, and republican elitism. The second constitution begins with the Gettysburg Address and emphasizes equality, organic nationhood, and popular democracy. These radical differences between our two constitutions explain our ambivalence and self-contradictory attitudes toward government.
With September 11 the second constitution--which Fletcher calls the Secret Constitution--has become ascendant. When America is under threat, the nation cultivates its solidarity. It overcomes its fear and looks to government for protection and the pursuit of social justice. Lincoln's messages of a strong government and a nation that must "long endure" have never been more relevant to American politics.
"Fletcher's argument has intriguing implications beyond the sweeping subject of this profoundly thought-provoking book."--The Denver Post
26 OUR S E C R E T C O N S T I T U T I O N to escape. According to the Thirteenth Amendment, there could never again be relationships of slavery or involuntary servitude in the United States. The federal government would have to be ever watchful to insure that this kind of slippage would never occur in the private relationships among citizens. Furthermore, under the "equal protection clause," the states must recognize and promote the equality of those subject to their jurisdiction. To round.
That deprive them of equal protection of the laws? These are the difficult issues to which we now turn. TH E NATION AS THE CRUCIBLE OF E QUALITY Gettysburg forged a link between the nation and egalitarian thinking that we sometimes forget. The connection between the limited nation and unbounded equality has paradoxical overtones. The nation is dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. The thrust toward equality has universalist implications. Neither Lincoln in 1863 nor the.
Powerful than ever. It had experimented with an income tax and, therefore, could look forward to more effective funding. It had coordinated the armies of the states and now it would undertake to guide the redevelopment and integration of the South in a society governed by a new set of values. The question now was whether under a new governmental structure with Washington at its head, the individual states could nourish the principle that they were the residual source of governmental power as set.
Nation and emancipate the slaves. At the time, about one thousand people in New Orleans were engaged in the business of receiving shipments of livestock from boats coming down the Mississippi, slaughtering the animals and packing the meat for distribution. The 1869 Act claimed to concentrate the management of the livestock and meat packing trade into selected areas. It provided that animals could be unloaded and slaughtered exclusively on the properties owned by two of the many enterprises.
Handicaps, and possibly sexual orientation. Having been born a noncitizen also counts as a demographic burden—but only relative to the United States. It might be advantageous relative to some other legal system. The intriguing question for this purpose is whether birth under modest economic circumstances constitutes the kind of burden that would trigger Justice Stevens's principle. Imagine the implications of Justice Stevens's rhetoric in the Rodriguez case. Because he received his appointment in.