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Influence and Emulation in the Constitutional Republic of Letters

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 October 2011

Extract

I am glad that the Review has provided a Forum for advancing discussion of the “rapidly evolving field of Second Amendment scholarship,” as Richard Uviller and William Merkel so aptly describe it. The field is evolving so rapidly, in fact, that I had no chance to consult their excellent book on the subject when writing this article. Having now had the luxury—and great benefit—of reading it in preparing my reply to their comments, I can only cheer them on for the way that book and their remarks in the Forum advance the common goals we seek: to replace an ahistorical quotation-hunting with a meticulous examination of “the collateral expressions of the founders and their contemporaries to find the most likely purposes and assumptions underlying the text” of the Second Amendment.

Type
Forum: Response
Copyright
Copyright © the American Society for Legal History, Inc. 2004

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References

1. Uviller, H. Richard and Merkel, William G., The Militia and the Right to Bear Arms, Or, How the Second Amendment Fell Silent (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2002), 2.Google Scholar

2. Brock, William R., Scotus Americanus: A Survey of the Sources for Links Between Scotland and America in the Eighteenth Century, (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1982), 171.Google Scholar

3. Hall, David D., “Learned Culture in the Eighteenth Century,” in The Colonial Book in the Atlantic World, ed. Hall, David D., vol. 1 of A History of the Book in America, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 433.Google Scholar

4. In addition to the work of Caroline Robbins cited in my article, see Sainsbury, John, The Disaffected Patriots: London Supporters of Revolutionary America, 1769–1782, (London and Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1987)Google Scholar; Bonwick, Colin, English Radicals and the American Revolution, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1977)Google Scholar; Steele, Ian K., The English Atlantic, 1675–1740: An Exploration of Communication and Community, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986).Google Scholar

5. Hall, “Learned Culture,” 416.

6. Colley, Linda, Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707–1837, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992), 12.Google Scholar

7. Richards, Eric, “Scotland and the Uses of the Atlantic Empire,” in Strangers in the Realm: Cultural Margins of the First British Empire, ed. Bailyn, Bernard and Morgan, Philip D. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991), 84.Google Scholar

8. Ronald Syme estimates one hundred at Edinburgh as against seventy at each of the other two (Colonial Elites: Rome, Spain, and the Americas, [London: Oxford University Press, 1958], 56).

9. Steele, English Atlantic, 118, 141.

10. James N. Green, “English Books and Printing in the Age of Franklin,” in Hall, History of the Book, 285–88.

11. Manuscript of Legal Commonplace Book, Library of Congress, item #828, citing Dei Delitti e delle Pene, [Of Crimes and Punishments] (1766), chap. 40.

12. Ibid. (My translation.) Nevertheless, the omitted words (and the rest of an omitted thirty-nine word passage) have been inexplicably attributed to Jefferson. See Barnett, Randy E. and Kates, Don B., “Under Fire: The New Consensus on the Second Amendment,” Emory Law Journal, 45 (1996): 1215.Google Scholar

13. Jefferson's “Second Draft” of Virginia Constitution, 1776, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Boyd, Julian P. et al., 28 vols. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950–), 1: 353.Google ScholarJefferson to Daniel D. Tompkins, 15 August 1808, in The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Lipscomb, Andrew A. and Bergh, Albert Ellery, 20 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, 1905), 12: 132.Google Scholar

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