Republican Democracy from Reconstruction through 1920

in Free Expression and Democracy in America

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780226240664
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226240749 | DOI:
Republican Democracy from Reconstruction through 1920

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The republican democracy simultaneously empowered and constrained a free government of the people. State governments retained their police powers but could not pass laws that were, as it was sometimes phrased, either arbitrary or unreasonable. The transition from the antebellum world lay in the national insistence on republican democracy at the state level and in the definition of “the people.” But Reconstruction era legal changes were ambiguous and could provoke disagreement. Republicans undoubtedly intended to broaden the scope of republican democratic principles by including African Americans within the mandate for equality, yet the Reconstruction amendments and statutes had severe limits.

Keywords: republican democracy; free government; police powers; Reconstruction

Chapter.  22894 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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