The book presents a concise history of the 235-year development of the Constitution since its ratifcation. Although few amendments have been added, informal changes have more often characterized more than two centuries of constitutional developments due to tranformations in executive power, civil rights and civil liberties, and the national economy. The Constitution’s flexibility has allowed the American republic to evolve through several distinct stages. During the first years in the new republic, Americans attempted to finetune their document while organizing a stable, workable government. The slave republic lasted until the end of the Civil War and Reconstruction when new developments in the economy, society, and politics established the free market republic. With the World Wars I and II, the Great Depression, and New Deal, the United States entered the social welfare republic. In today’s executive republic, there are echoes of the free market and social welfare, especially the rise and consolidation of presidential power.
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