James D. R. Philips is visiting lecturer at the University of Sydney's Law School.
Two Revolutions and the Constitution demonstrates that the American constitutional system-- federalism, checks and balances, etc.--drew on the colonists' understanding of British laws and government, although the final product grew from what the Founders felt they had learned about effective governance in the course of the American Revolution and the desperate War of Independence. This important book teaches about the building blocks of history. It demonstrates how ideas spring from experience and events, and from what historical actors concluded were earlier mistakes, in this instance the presumed flaws in the first state and national constitutions.--John Ferling, author of Winning Independence: The Decisive Years of the Revolutionary War, 1778-1781 Two Revolutions and the Constitution: How the English and American Revolutions Produced the American Constitution is an analysis of a crucial turning point in history. How did the principle of a republic arise in two nations amid an era of monarchies, and how were those principles codified into a founding document? Written with meticulous attention to detail, yet thoroughly accessible to readers of all backgrounds, Two Revolutions and the Constitution is an utterly fascinating chronicle of advances in liberty and representative government in both England and its New World colonies, from the Magna Carta onward. Two Revolutions and the Constitution is highly recommended for both public and college library history collections.--Midwest Book Review An important book which explains hitherto unrecognized connections between early English Republicans and their common law concepts and the foundations of the United States Constitution. It analyzes the struggles against royalism in both countries, and why America seceded and succeeded with help from British legal history.--Geoffrey Robertson, international human rights lawyer, and author of The Tyrannicide Brief: The Story of the Man Who Sent Charles I to the Scaffold Two Revolutions and the Constitution strikes a much-deserved blow at 'American Exceptionalism, ' a misguided and self-congratulatory myth that persists in our profession. Philips offers a clear and persuasive account of the English roots of America's constitution and the government that it created. Bravo!--Carol Berkin, professor of history and author of A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution A fascinating book for an age which has seen the Capitol stormed and the U.K. at the brink of destruction: there has never been a better time to remind ourselves of how exactly these first, deeply-related, Anglo-American revolutions unfolded.--James Hawes, author of The Shortest History of England