Cover: Our More Perfect Union: From Eighteenth-Century Principles to Twentieth-Century Practice, from Harvard University PressCover: Our More Perfect Union in E-DITION

Our More Perfect Union

From Eighteenth-Century Principles to Twentieth-Century Practice

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details


$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674498488

Publication Date: 01/01/1950

460 pages


Related Subjects

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

  • Preface
  • I. “To Form α More Perfect Union”
    • Prelude to World Federation?
    • The Three Principles of the American Federal Union
    • Reason and Nature in the Political Order
  • II. The Political Principles of 1787
    • Federalism
    • Natural Limits to the Power of Numerical Majorities
    • The Separation of Powers
  • III. The Ordeal of the Constitution
    • The Unexpected Durability of the Constitution
    • The Political Effects of the Growth of Cities
    • The Political Effects of the Growth of Class Consciousness
    • The Political Effects of the Dislocation of Sectionalism
  • IV. The Unplanned Institution of Organized Partisanship
    • The Unsolved Problem of Partisanship and Factiousness
    • The Perennial Struggle between "Ins" and "Outs"
    • The Techniques of Major-Party Leadership
    • The Record of the Major Parties
    • The Puzzle of the Irrational Bipartisan System
  • V. The Natural Limits to Partisan Power
    • The Problem of Factional Coordination
    • The Presidential Election of 1948
    • The Normal Alignment of Parties
    • The Shifting and Incidence of the Balance of Power
    • The Strategic Position of the Urban Middle Class
  • VI. Majority Rule in the House of Representatives
    • The Influence of Partisanship in the House of Representatives
    • The Legislative Process under the Congressional Caucus System
    • The Legislative Process under the Delegate Convention System
    • The Legislative Process under the Direct-Primary System
    • Party Government versus Popular Government
  • VII. The Role of the Senate in the Legislative Process
    • Guardian of Minority Interests
    • Guardian of the Interests of the Rich
    • Guardian of the Interests of the States
    • Senatorial Arrogation of Legislative Power
    • Party Government versus Constitutional Government
  • VIII. Presidents and Congresses
    • The Constitutional Theory of the Presidency
    • The Actual Relations between Presidents and Congresses
    • The Principal Types of Party Government
    • The Superiority of Presidential over Congressional Leadership
    • The Separation of Powers under the Party System
    • The Special Problem of Presidential Power over Foreign Relations
  • IX. Judges and Legislators
    • The Jeffersonian Theory of Judicial Power
    • The Hamiltonian Theory of Judicial Power
    • The Impact of Partisanship on the Judicial Process
    • The Struggle for Judicial Supremacy
    • The Role of Judges in the System of Checks and Balances
  • X. Judges and Administrators
    • The Constitutional Theory of Administration
    • The Actual Relations between Judges and Administrators
    • The Record of the Republican Court
    • The Record of the Democratic Court
    • Unsolved Problems in Judicial Review of Administration
  • XI. The Supreme Court and the States
    • Conflicting Theories of Federalism
    • Judicial versus Political Guardianship of the Federal System
    • Judicial Censorship of Legislative Policy
    • Jeffersonianism versus Hamiltonianism
    • The Adjudication of Interstate Disputes
  • XII. To Perfect the More Perfect Union
    • A Critique of Madison's Three Principles
    • The Paramount Principle of the Political Mean
    • The Quest for Greater Perfection
    • The Dominant Influence of Middle-Class Parties
    • The Clew to a Still More Perfect Union
  • Notes
  • Index

Awards & Accolades

  • 1951 Bancroft Prize, Columbia University
Bitter Reckoning: Israel Tries Holocaust Survivors as Nazi Collaborators, by Dan Porat, from Harvard University Press

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket: What Stars Are Made Of: The Life of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, by Donovan Moore, from Harvard University Press

The Most Famous Astronomer You’ve Never Heard Of

Despite her pioneering contributions to science, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin has not always been recognized as one of the most influential scientists of the twentieth century. In What Stars Are Made Of, Donovan Moore sets out to change this, with the first full biography of this trailblazing scientist. To celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we are pleased to highlight five

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library ( extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.