This, the concise edition of Liberty and Union, is an abridged constitutional history of the United States, designed for short single-semester courses, comprising the key topics from Volumes 1 and 2.

Written in a clear and engaging narrative style, it successfully unites thorough chronological coverage with a thematic approach, offering critical analysis of core constitutional history topics, set in the political, social, and economic context that made them constitutional issues in the first place. Combining a thoughtful and balanced narrative with an authoritative stance on key issues, the authors deliberately explain the past in the light of the past, without imposing upon it the standards of later generations.

Authored by two experienced professors in the field, this concise edition presents seminal topics while retaining the narrative flow of the two full original volumes. An accessible alternative to dense scholarly works, this textbook avoids unnecessary technical jargon, defines legal terms and historical personalities where appropriate, and makes explicit connections between constitutional themes and historical events. For students in a short undergraduate or postgraduate constitutional history course, or anyone with a general interest in constitutional developments, this book will be essential reading.

Useful features include:

  • Full glossary of legal terminology
  • Recommended reading
  • A table of cases
  • Extracts from primary documents
  • Companion website


Useful documents provided:

  • Declaration of Independence
  • Articles of Confederation
  • Constitution of the United States of America
  • Chronological list of Supreme Court justices

chapter I|24 pages

I English and Colonial Origins

chapter II|16 pages

II Independence and Nationhood

chapter III|23 pages

III A More Perfect Union

chapter IV|22 pages

IV Launching the New Government

chapter V|19 pages

V Jeffersonian Republicanism

chapter VI|25 pages

VI John Marshall and Judicial Nationalism

chapter VII|20 pages

VII Majority Rule and Sectional Rights

chapter VIII|17 pages

VIII More Power to the States

chapter IX|27 pages

IX Slavery and the Constitution

chapter X|28 pages

X The Crisis of the Union

chapter XI|20 pages

XI Reconstructing the Nation

chapter XII|19 pages

XII Promises Betrayed

chapter XIII|27 pages

XIII Property Rights and Judicial Activism

chapter XIV|30 pages

XIV Progressivism and the New Nationalism

chapter XV|14 pages

XV World War I and the Constitution

chapter XVI|28 pages

XVI Normalcy and Reaction

chapter XVII|20 pages

XVII The New Deal Revolution

By• Roosevelt Takes Charge 361

chapter XVIII|25 pages

XVIII The New Constitutionalism

chapter XIX|18 pages

XIX World War II and the Constitution

chapter XX|28 pages

XX The Era of the Cold War

chapter XXI|18 pages

XXI Earl Warren Takes the Helm

chapter XXII|14 pages

XXII A Decade of Change and Progress

chapter XXIII|16 pages

XXIII The New Judicial Activism

chapter XXIV|16 pages

XXIV Nationalizing Criminal Due Process

chapter XXV|12 pages

XXV An Era of Discord and Crisis

chapter XXVI|15 pages

XXVI Progress on First Amendment Rights

chapter XXVII|15 pages

XXVII Civil Rights and Affi rmative Action

By• School Busing 542

chapter XXVIII|16 pages

XXVIII Protecting Individual Liberty

chapter XXIX|17 pages

XXIX Criminal Due Process after Warren

chapter XXX|12 pages

XXX Civilizing the Death Penalty

chapter XXXI|11 pages

XXXI Politics and the Constitution

chapter XXXII|15 pages

XXXII The New Millennium

chapter XXXIII|17 pages

XXXIII The Roberts Court

chapter I|4 pages

Glossary of Legal Terms

chapter II|6 pages

Declaration of Independence

chapter III|8 pages

Articles of Confederation

chapter IV|18 pages

The Constitution of the United States