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  • : Le blog de arnaud.coutant.over-blog.com
  • : Ce blog présente les articles et ouvrages d'un enseignant-chercheur en Droit public. Il fournit également des références bibliographiques concernant différents domaines juridiques.
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27 mai 2010 4 27 /05 /mai /2010 12:16

L'accès aux sources est l'un des premiers problèmes de la recherche.

Dans cette perspective, lorsqu'on s'intéresse au droit américain, certaines publications sont incontournables. Placés sous l'égide de la Library of America, les ouvrages en question facilitent l'accès à certains documents. Les discours les plus célèbres ont ainsi été reproduits dans deux tomes :







 Public speeches have profoundly shaped American history and culture, transforming not only our politics but also our language and our sense of national identity. This volume (the first of an unprecedented two-volume collection) gathers the unabridged texts of 45 eloquent and dramatic speeches delivered by 32 American public figures between 1761 and 1865, beginning with James Otis's denunciation of unrestrained searches by British customs officials-hailed by John Adams as the beginning of the American Revolution-and ending with Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address. Rich in literary allusions, vivid imagery, and emotional appeals, political oratory flourished during this period in Congress and at campaign rallies, public meetings, and reform conventions, and reached a wider audience through newspapers and pamphlets.

Included are Patrick Henry's "liberty or death" speech, George Washington's appeal to mutinous army officers, and Henry Lee's eulogy of Washington. Speeches by John Randolph and Henry Clay capture the political passions of the early republic, while three addresses by Daniel Webster-his first Bunker Hill oration, his second reply to Hayne, and his controversial endorsement of the Compromise of 1850-demonstrate the eloquence that made him the most renowned orator of his time.

Speeches by figures who did not hold office are included as well: union leader Ely Moore attacking economic aristocracy; woman's rights speeches by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Sojourner Truth; Henry Highland Garnet's incendiary call for slave rebellion; Frederick Douglass's scathing "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?" John C. Calhoun's defense of slavery, Charles Sumner's "The Crime Against Kansas," Alexander Stephens' "Corner-Stone" speech, and several speeches by Abraham Lincoln reflect the sectional conflicts that culminated in the Civil War. Each volume contains biographical and explanatory notes, and an index









 Public speeches have profoundly shaped American history and culture, transforming not only our politics but also our language and our sense of national identity. This volume (the second of an unprecedented two-volume collection) gathers the unabridged texts of 83 eloquent and dramatic speeches delivered by 45 American public figures between 1865 and 1997, beginning with Abraham Lincoln's last speech on Reconstruction and ending with Bill Clinton's heartfelt tribute to the Little Rock Nine. During this period American political oratory continued to evolve, as a more conversational style, influenced by the intimacy of radio and television, emerged alongside traditional forms of rhetoric.

Included are speeches on Reconstruction by Thaddeus Stevens and African-American congressman Robert Brown Elliott, Frederick Douglass's brilliant oration on Abraham Lincoln, and Oliver Wendell Holmes's "touched with fire" Memorial Day Address. Speeches by Robert Ingersoll and William Jennings Bryan capture the fervor of 19th-century political conventions, while Theodore Roosevelt and Carl Schurz offer opposing views on imperialism. Ida B. Wells and Mary Church Terrell denounce the cruelty of lynching and the injustice of Jim Crow; Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Carrie Chapman Catt advocate the enfranchisement of women; and Woodrow Wilson and Henry Cabot Lodge present conflicting visions of the League of Nations.

Also included are wartime speeches by George Patton and Dwight Eisenhower; an address on the atomic bomb by J. Robert Oppenheimer; Richard Nixon's "Checkers Speech"; Malcolm X's "The Ballot or the Bullet"; Barry Goldwater's speech to the 1964 Republican convention; Mario Savio urging Berkeley students to stop "the machine"; Barbara Jordan defending the Constitution during Watergate; and an extensive selection of speeches by Franklin Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan.



 À la lecture de ces différents travaux, c'est une histoire américaine vivante et marquée par des personnalités majeures qui surgit. Les grandes thématiques juridiques sont autant d'occasions d'affrontements entre des figures historiques qui par leur position ont contribué à édifier l'actuel système américain.



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17 mai 2010 1 17 /05 /mai /2010 13:56


Ce livre en deux tomes est devenu, à juste titre, un classique aux Etats-Unis.


Il renouvelle le regard posé sur la démocratie américaine.


Un incontournable pour qui veut comprendre la pensée américaine récente!







 From distinguished legal scholar Ackerman (Law & Political Science/Yale; Reconstructing American Law, 1984, etc.)--an original and insightful study of the theoretical and historical evolution of the Constitution, and its meaning in modern times. Ackerman creates analytical categories that define both America's distinctive constitutional system and its transformative constitutional experiences. He says that while the American democratic system borrowed much from European theory, Americans have created a novel constitutional system that, unlike the British or German models, distinguishes between two types of politics. In ``normal politics,'' a politically disengaged populace permits interest groups to lobby democratically elected representatives while the representatives make policy, and in ``constitutional politics,'' society mobilizes to debate matters of fundamental principle. Ackerman sees three great transformative movements of constitutional politics--the establishment of the basic framework in the 1780's, the reforms of the Reconstruction Republicans in the 1860's, and those of the New Deal Democrats in the 1930's (who effected their sweeping reinterpretation of the Constitution by means of seminal Supreme Court decisions rather than by Constitutional amendments). Each of these movements, the author says, was characterized by legal creativity bordering on illegality (the framing of the Constitution did not use the amendment process of the then-regnant Articles of Confederation, and the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments did not use the amendment process of Article Five of the Constitution), but, Ackerman argues, each was an authentic response to political crises of its time and was ultimately legitimized by the people. While Ackerman admires the Constitution, he is not blind to its faults or to its historical and imperfect compromises. However, he calls on private American citizens--those whose concern with government competes with other personal concerns--to work for the fulfillment of its egalitarian promises. A thoughtful, informative, and inspiring introduction to our national bedrock.









In the second volume in his work We the People (volume I, Foundations, appeared in 1991), a noted Yale legal historian looks at the tangled history of constitutional amendments. Two myths sustain the American people, Ackerman suggests. The first holds that the federal government consistently ignores the will of the people, whose mandate must constantly be pressed against its compromised and uncompromising leaders. The second is that our Constitution is so artfully constructed that changing it, for good or bad, is nearly impossible. Drawing on subtle legal argument and a solid command of history, Ackerman goes on to suggest that although the first scenario may seem to be accurate, the second is certainly not; governments have frequently bent the Constitution to serve their ideological ends. He examines at length the development of the 13th and 14th amendments during Reconstruction, amendments that, under the strictest interpretation of constitutional procedure, should not have been passed, since 10 of the then 37 states refused to ratify it, causing Congress to intervene with martial law in those 10 states, all of them southern. While the Southern governments had forfeited their claim to legitimacy by rebelling, Ackerman writes, the people of the Southern states had not forfeited their right to be counted as constituent parts of the Union. Congressional coercion, then, and not our hallowed system of majoritarian consent, led to constitutional modification. A similar process occurred with much New Deal legislation, save that the New Dealers turned to the people to gain assent to ``a sweeping redefinition of the aims and methods of American government''a redefinition that has given constitutional purists and conservatives fits ever since. To reform the government today, Ackerman believes, supermajority, rather than slim-majority, rule would prevent one party or a chief executive from railroading constitutional changes through Congress. Readers well grounded in constitutional law will find Ackermans arguments fascinating and provocative.





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