Monday, August 07, 2017

Are we really a Union?

Sandy Levinson

As I've noted before, my wife and I are publishing our own blog as part of the publication of our book Fault Lines in the Constitution (which, I also note, has received three "starred" pre-publication reviews).  Our latest addresses the extent to which the United States was a "nation" in 1787.  The aspiration in the Preamble that we be a "more perfect Union" is somewhat disingenuous, since it really wasn't clear that we were a Union at all, given tariffs placed on "foreign" commerce from other states and the (justified?) suspicion that South Carolinians and New Englanders really didn't have much in common (other, perhaps, that that some New England merchants were happy to engage in the slave trade).  As we note, at a time when California has banned travel of state employees to Texas in protest of the bigotry of the Texas legislature relating to transgendered people, it seems worthwhile to ask to what extent we really are a Union that will necessarily survive as such. 

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