British and American Foundings of Parliamentary Science, 1774–1801: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

British and American Foundings of Parliamentary Science, 1774–1801

1st Edition

By Peter J. Aschenbrenner


180 pages

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Hardback: 9781472472656
pub: 2017-09-18
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315570051
pub: 2017-09-28
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Upon declaring independence from Britain in July 1776, the United States Congress urgently needed to establish its credentials as a legitimate government that could credibly challenge the claims of the British Crown. In large measure this legitimacy rested upon setting in place the procedural and legal structures upon which all claims of governmental authority rest. In this book, Aschenbrenner explores the ways in which the nascent United States rapidly built up a system of parliamentary procedure that borrowed heavily from the British government it sought to replace. In particular, he looks at how, over the course of twenty-five years, Thomas Jefferson drew upon the writings of the Chief Clerk of the British Parliament, John Hatsell, to frame and codify American parliamentary procedures. Published in 1801, Jefferson’s Manual of Parliamentary Practice for the Use of the Senate of the United States presents rules, instances, citations and commentary as modern readers would expect them to appear, quoting Hatsell and other British authorities numerous times. If the two nations suffered any unpleasant relations in the First War for American Independence - Aschenbrenner concludes - one would be hard pressed to detect it from Jefferson’s Manual. Indeed, direct comparison of the House of Commons and the Continental Congress shows remarkable similarities between the ambitions of the two institutions as they both struggled to adapt their political processes to meet the changing national and international circumstances of the late-eighteenth century.

Table of Contents

Introduction: "A Manufacturer Making the Tools He Was to Work With"

1. "Orders Indispensably Necessary"

2. "This John Milton Deserves Hanging"

3. "The Eternal Rules of Justice and Reason Ought to Be a Law"

4. "I Have Begun a Sketch"

5. "The Average Price of Peace and War"

6. "The Tactics of Political Assemblies Form the Science"

7. "Each One in This Beautiful Political Order"

About the Author

Peter J. Aschenbrenner holds a research appointment at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana in the Department of History as an adjunct professor.

About the Series

International Relations and the European Atlantic World, 1660-1830

Demonstrating the centrality of international relations to global developments, this new series offers a platform for the publication of scholarly research based upon a variety of historical approaches and contrasting geographical and chronological perspectives. It includes not only traditional archive-based studies but also more conceptual works drawing on the perspectives of International Relations theory, in order to encourage a rethinking of the subject and thus of approaches to global history.

Covering the long-eighteenth century, it will draw together studies from a variety of historically based disciplines (cultural, political, literary, visual and military) to explore subjects fundamental to the political, economic and cultural development of the Atlantic world. In particular, it will underline the fundamental role of the Atlantic Ocean acting as conduit for ideas and exchange, both within Europe and on a global scale. Books in the series will further understanding of how theory and practice of European international relations related to the wider world, and how diplomacy actually functioned in a rapidly changing political environment. The relationship between policy and strategy in the European Atlantic system, the role of commerce - both as business and ideology - will all be covered, with specific reference to the great events of the period including Anglo-French relations, the French and American revolutions, developing notions of colonialism and imperialism, and the Napoleonic Wars and their aftermath.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Renaissance