Saul Cornell


It is impossible to understand the Constitutional dynamics of the early Republic without some appreciation for the manifold ways popular constitutionalism shaped these early debates. Popular constitutionalism in the early republic encompassed an enormous spectrum of legal strategies. The peaceful efforts of the Democratic-Republican Societies to influence the course of Federalist policy stood at one pole, while mob action stood at the other. Even more important than either of these modalities of popular constitutionalism were the efforts of local communities and states to use the militia as check on federal power.

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