For many Americans, the word "constitution" means just one
thing: the national Constitution. According to a recent survey,
almost half do not know that individual states also have
constitutions. Scholars have also paid little attention to state
constitutions, favoring the apparently more dynamic and significant
federal scene. G. Alan Tarr seeks to change that in this landmark
book. A leading authority on state legal issues, he combines
history, law, and political science to present a thorough and
long-needed account of the distinct and important role of state
constitutions in American life.
Tarr shows that state constitutional politics are dominated by
three crucial issues with little salience at the national level:
the distribution of power among groups and regions within states,
the scope of state and local governmental authority, and the
relation of the state to economic activity. He explains how state
constitutions differ from the national Constitution in treating not
only matters of high principle but also such mundane subjects as
ski trails and motor vehicle revenues. He also explores why state
constitutions, unlike their federal counterpart, have been so
frequently amended and replaced. Tarr concludes that the United
States not only has a system of dual constitutionalism but also has
dual constitutional cultures.
Powerfully argued and meticulously researched, the book fills an
important gap in political and legal studies and finally gives
state constitutions the scholarly attention they richly
Is the information for this product incomplete, wrong or inappropriate?
Let us know about it.
Does this product have an incorrect or missing image?
Send us a new image.
Is this product missing categories?
Add more categories.
Review This Product
No reviews yet - be the first to create one!