On March 4, 1789, New York City's church bells pealed, cannons fired, and flags snapped in the wind to celebrate the date set for the opening of the First Federal Congress. In many ways the establishment of Congress marked the culmination of the American Revolution as the ship of state was launched from the foundation of the legislative system ...
On March 4, 1789, New York City's church bells pealed, cannons fired, and flags snapped in the wind to celebrate the date set for the opening of the First Federal Congress. In many ways the establishment of Congress marked the culmination of the American Revolution as the ship of state was launched from the foundation of the legislative system outlined in Article I of the Constitution. Inventing Congress presents the latest scholarship on the interrelated intellectual, institutional, cultural, and political antecedents of the formation of the First Federal Congress. The first section covers the origins of the body, ranging in discussion from the question of how the founders' understanding of classical Greek and Roman republican precedent shaped their thinking, to the political lessons learned during the Continental and Confederation Congresses. The second section concerns itself with the establishment of the First Federal Congress, examining several heretofore little-treated aspects of the most important Congress in history, including its relationship to the press, morality, the arts and sciences, and economic philosophy. Inventing Congress represents the papers from the first two conferences sponsored by the United States Capitol Historical Society in its series, "Perspectives on the History of Congress, 1789-1801."
This is a series of essays written for the specialist and not for the general reader. The subject matter, although written by prominent historians in the field, exemplifies the fact that too much history is written for only a handful of readers. In fairness, these essays are the result of a conference tightly constructed by the underwriters with little regard for the non-specialist. Those interested in the topic need to consult some of the broader studies written by some of the very same historians involved here. Save your money!
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