Thursday, February 12, 2009

Two New Pamphlets on Constitutional History from the AHA

The American Historical Association announces the publication of two new essays, published as pamphlets, on American constitutional history. The first is Louis Fisher's The War Power: Original and Contemporary:
The original conception of “war powers,” as defined by the new American republic in the Constitution, was a power not vested in the U.S. president, but in the people, who through regular elections expected Congress to make the ultimate decision on taking the nation to war against another country. This pamphlet examines the history of the war powers and how their conception has changed over the past two hundred years.
[Louis Fisher is a specialist in constitutional law with the Law Library of the Library of Congress.]

The second essay is Jean H. Baker's Women and the U.S. Constitution: 1776–1920:
In the drafting of the U.S. Constitution, gender was a non-issue. Women played no role in the authorship of either the original 1787 document or the Bill of Rights, and were largely excluded from the Constitution’s application. As a result, American women played a peripheral role in constitutional history until 1920. This pamphlet looks at this role as it developed throughout the nineteenth-century, culminating in 1920 with the passing of the women’s sufferage amendment in 1920.
[Jean H. Baker is a professor of history at Goucher College.]