After Americans won independence, they faced challenges that threatened the existence of their infant nation. These pressures motivated a change in government structure from the loose confederacy of states formed during the Revolutionary War under the Articles of Confederation to a more united nation under a new constitution. Saul Cornell addresses specific clauses of the United States Constitution shaped by the experience of the war and the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. He closes with approaches in constitutional interpretation today.
Professor Cornell is the author of two prize-winning works in American legal history. He is one of the nation’s leading authorities on early American constitutional thought. His work has been widely cited by legal scholars, historians, and has been cited by the U.S Supreme Court and several state supreme courts. Professor Cornell has also been a leading advocate of using new media to teach history and is the author of a new American history text book, Visions of America. This path breaking book uses visual materials to illustrate the competing visions that have shaped American history.