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The American Revolution and the Pamphlet Debate: A Conversation with Gordon Wood

with Gordon S. Wood

This next edition of Liberty Law Talk is a conversation with the great American Founding historian Gordon Wood on a new two volume collection entitled the American Revolution: Writings from the Pamphlet Debate that he has edited for Library of America. We discuss these foundational debates between British and colonial statesmen that contested the nature of law, sovereignty, rights, and constitutionalism and would serve as the basis of the revolution and lead to the creation of America.

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on October 14, 2015 at 13:28:44 pm

Congratulations on an engrossing and challenging program. The heart of the dispute over legitimate governance in the American colonies seems to lie with the nature of the English Civil War and its constitutional outcome, namely absolute parliamentary sovereignty. The American revolutionaries seemingly couldn't or wouldn't understand this, and, as Dr. Wood points out, they framed their grievances in explicitly anti-Monarchical, rather than anti-parliamentary, terms.

Were I a British Tory "of the long-horned variety" I would argue that the American system of governance is today in no small measure of crisis on account of an over-mighty executive, a considerable irony for a state which arose with an explicit rejection of the Sovereign power.

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John W. Pfriem
on October 17, 2015 at 16:07:35 pm

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The American Revolution and the Pamphlet Debate: A Conversation with Gordon Wood | Unusual Thinking Patterns

Law & Liberty welcomes civil and lively discussion of its articles. Abusive comments will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to delete comments - or ban users - without notification or explanation.