By David J. Bederman
The Framers of the yank structure have been considerably stimulated through historical background and classical political conception, as exemplified by means of their schooling, the provision of classical readings, and their inculcation in classical republican values. This quantity explores how the Framing iteration deployed classical studying to increase some of the crucial structural elements of the structure: federalism, separation of powers, a bicameral legislature, self reliant courts, and the warfare and overseas kin powers. additionally tested are very modern constitutional debates, for which there have been classical inspirations, together with sovereign immunity, govt privilege, line-item vetoes, and the electoral university. Combining suggestions of highbrow historical past, classical reports, and constitutional interpretation, this e-book makes a distinct contribution to our figuring out of up to date constitutionalism.
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251 Essential to the Framers’ historic sense of their participation in the founding of a new nation was the ideal of honor that went with that. As Gordon Wood has noted, “Probably nothing separates the traditional world of the Founding Fathers from today more than its concern with Honor. Honor was the value genteel society placed on a gentleman and the value a gentleman placed on himself. . ”252 Closely connected with the conservation of honor is the accumulation of fame. Douglass Adair has hypothesized that a key motivation for members of the Framing generation was “the lust for the psychic reward of fame, honor [and] glory,” with fame being “the action or behavior of a ‘great man,’ who stands out, who towers above his fellows in some spectacular way.
I have not, however, [been interested in] a hypercritical knowledge of the Latin and Greek languages. ”183 Additionally, Jefferson observed that “the utilities we derive from the remains of the Greek and Latin languages are, first, as models of pure taste in writing. To these we are certainly indebted to the rational and chaste style of modern composition. . ”184 Jefferson strived for the clarity and concision of written expression that Sallust and Tacitus used in their histories, while adopting P1: KNP 9780521885362c01 CUFX223/Bederman 978 0 521 88536 2 December 29, 2007 20:14 The Framers’ Classical Education and World View 25 Demosthenian models for his very rare public speeches.
Whence could it have proceeded, that the Athenians, a people who would not suffer an army to be commanded by fewer than ten generals, and who required no other proof of danger to their liberties than the illustrious merit of a fellow-citizen, should consider one illustrious citizen as a more eligible depositary of the fortunes of themselves and their posterity, than a select body of citizens, from whose common deliberations more wisdom, as well as more safety, might have been expected? These questions cannot be fully answered, without supposing that the fears of discord and disunion among a number of counsellors exceeded the apprehension of treachery or incapacity in a single individual.