cover of book

The Rise of the Representative: Lawmakers and Constituents in Colonial America
by Peverill Squire
University of Michigan Press, 2017
Cloth: 978-0-472-13039-9 | eISBN: 978-0-472-12292-9
Library of Congress Classification JK1021.S7 2017
Dewey Decimal Classification 328.7309033

Representation is integral to the study of legislatures, yet virtually no attention has been given to how representative assemblies developed and what that process might tell us about how the relationship between the representative and the represented evolved. The Rise of the Representative corrects that omission by tracing the development of representative assemblies in colonial America and revealing they were a practical response to governing problems, rather than an imported model or an attempt to translate abstract philosophy into a concrete reality. Peverill Squire shows there were initially competing notions of representation, but over time the pull of the political system moved lawmakers toward behaving as delegates, even in places where they were originally intended to operate as trustees. By looking at the rules governing who could vote and who could serve, how representatives were apportioned within each colony, how candidates and voters behaved in elections, how expectations regarding their relationship evolved, and how lawmakers actually behaved, Squire demonstrates that the American political system that emerged following independence was strongly rooted in colonial-era developments.

See other books on: Colonial Period (1600-1775) | Legislative Branch | Legislators | Rise | States
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