View of the Constitution of the United States with Selected Writings

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As professor of law at the College of William and Mary, St. George Tucker in 1803 published View of the Constitution - the first extended, systematic commentary on the United States Constitution after its ratification and later its amendment by the Bill of Rights. View was originally part of Tucker’s “Americanized” or “republicanized” edition of the multivolume Commentaries on the Laws of England by Sir William Blackstone. Generations of American law students, lawyers, judges, and statesmen learned their Blackstone - and also their understanding of the Constitution - through Tucker. As Clyde N. Wilson notes, “Tucker is the exponent of Jeffersonian republicanism … in contrast to the commercial republicanism of New England that has since the Civil War been taken to be the only true form of American philosophy.” In addition to the entirety of View, the Liberty Fund volume includes seven other essays from Tucker’s renowned edition of Blackstone. These include “On the Study of Law,” “Of the Unwritten, or Common Law of England,” and “Of the Several Forms of Government.”

View of the Constitution of the United States with Selected Writings, ed. Clyde N. Wilson (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund 1999).

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