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Expressly political literature in the period of the Revolution and early republic attempts to balance, synthesize, or overcome the contradiction between the language of universal freedom and the nascent and evolving national institutions of domination, exploitation, and general unfreedom. In the early republic’s modern, specifically capitalist form of national law, the literary vehicle is inseparable from the emergent institutional form, and this essay argues that the early republic thus initiates a considerably new phase in the nexus of rhetorical expression and social power. Through readings of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, and key texts from the ratification debate, the essay traces the invention of a state machinery uniquely suited not primarily to overt domination over citizen-subjects, but rather to their exploitation by private actors formally extrinsic to the state – an apparatus writ small, in the grammar, syntax, and distinctive diction of the primary political texts.
The first in a four-volume set, The Cambridge World History of Violence, volume I provides a comprehensive examination of violence in prehistory and the ancient world. Covering the period through to the end of classical antiquity, the chapters take a global perspective spanning sub-Saharan Africa, the Near East, Europe, India, China, Japan and Central America. Unlike many previous works, this book does not focus only on warfare but examines violence as a broader phenomenon. The historical approach complements, and in some cases critiques, previous research on the anthropology and psychology of violence in the human story. Written by a team of contributors who are experts in each of their respective fields, this volume will be of particular interest to anyone fascinated by archaeology and the ancient world.