By Richard A. Primus
Richard A. Primus examines 3 an important sessions in American heritage (the overdue eighteenth century, the Civil struggle and the Fifties and Nineteen Sixties) and demonstrates how the conceptions of rights triumphing at each one of those occasions grew out of competition to concrete political instances. within the first research of its variety, Primus highlights the impact of totalitarianism (in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union) at the language of rights. This publication can be a massive contribution to modern political concept, of curiosity to students and scholars in politics and executive, constitutional legislation, and American historical past.
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Extra resources for The American Language of Rights (Ideas in Context)
68–69, 124–196, 156. 113 Jefferson, Summary View, p. eight. 114 Continental Conggress, A Declaration by the Representatives of the United Colonies of North America, Now Met in General Congress in Philadelphia, Setting forth the Causes and Necessity of their taking up Arms (NewburyPort, 1775), p. four. one hundred fifteen Maryland Constitution of 1776, Declaration of Rights, section 37. Page 122 Annapolis to trade through the town's port. It is not clear, however, what the source of a right to use the port of Annapolis might be or why so specific and pedestrian a right should merit constitutional status. In the context of reaction to the Boston Port Act, however, a simple story emerges to explain the motive behind that clause. Just after passage of the Boston Port Act, an anonymous pamphlet appeared in New York, noting that if the closure succeeded in subduing the rebellion in Boston, there was every reason to believe that Parliament would close other ports to drive other cities into submission. In short, the pamphleteer warned, the Boston Port Act portended ruin for residents of port cities throughout the American colonies. 116 In all, roughly forty pamphlets were published in reaction to the Boston Port Act. no longer surprisingly, the majority were published in Boston. One pamphlet, which announced the Virginia House of Burgesses' condemnation of the Act, was published in Williamsburg, the seat of the Virginia government. With that single exception, every pamphlet protesting the Boston Port Act was published in a port city. Newport, not usually a site of pamphleteering, published a pamphlet. Hartford, an inland town which frequently did publish pamphlets, was silent. Eight pamphlets appeared in New York and six in Philadelphia. Of all the pamphlets published outside of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, the three largest cities and largest ports in America, half were published in Maryland, where anger ran high in the port town of Annapolis. 117 On 25 May 1774, a "meeting of the inhabitants of the city of Annapolis" passed a series of resolutions on the Boston Port Act. The meeting announced that all of the colonies must unite to obtain the repeal of the Act, that a boycott of Britain was in order, that Annapolis would stop exports to Britain immediately and stop imports when a larger cartel would be organized, that there would be no payments of debt to Britain until the Boston Port Act was repealed, and that Annapolis would boycott any colony that did not join in a colonial majority boycotting Britain. Some of these resolutions passed unanimously, and none met with significant dissent. 118 Perhaps no other city in America — Boston excepted — 116 A Serious address to the Inhabitants of the Colony of New York, Containing a full and minute Survey of the BostonPort Act (New York: Holt, 1774). 117 See Charles Evans, American Bibliography: A Chronological Dictionary of all Books, Pamphlets, and Periodical Publications printed in the United States of America (Peter Smith, 1941), vol.