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Birth of the Nation The Federal Congress, 1789-1791
978-0-945612-14-8 • Paperback
November 1989 • $28.95 • (£17.95)
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Pages: 128
Size: 7 x 10
By Charlene Bangs Bickford and Kenneth R. Bowling
 
History | Reference
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Birth of the Nation is the first comprehensive treatment of the work of the critically important Congress which converted the words of the Federal Constitution of 1787 into action and brought to a close the American Revolution.
Charlene Bangs Bickford is co-editor and director of the First Federal Congress Project and is former president of the Association for Documentary Editing. Kenneth R. Bowling is co-editor of the First Federal Congress project and has publisheds several articles on the political issues which divided Americans during the decade following the Revolutionary War
Chapter 1 Foreword
Chapter 2 Acknowledgements
Chapter 3 Sessions of the First Federal Congresses
Chapter 4 Introduction
Chapter 5 A New Beginning: Congress Convenes in New York City
Chapter 6 Setting Precedent: Organizing Itself
Chapter 7 An Imperial Presidency?
Chapter 8 The First Federal Revenues
Chapter 9 Shaping the Executive Branch
Chapter 10 Defining the Judiciary
Chapter 11 The Bill of Rights
Chapter 12 Locating the United States Capital
Chapter 13 Funding the Revolutionary War Debt
Chapter 14 The Compromise of 1790 and its Reaffirmation in 1791
Chapter 15 "Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way"
Chapter 16 The Senate and Foreign Policy
Chapter 17 Political Parties in the First Congress
Chapter 18 Conclusion
Chapter 19 Notes
Chapter 20 Members of the Senate and House of Representatives
Chapter 21 Index
Birth of the Nation is an impressive piece of serious scholarship. . . . Bickford and Bowling have produced a volume consistently easy and enjoyable to read. Procedural details and constitutional implications seem alive and relevant rather than of merely antiquarian interest. The introductory chapter, moreover, provides perhaps the best short discussion I have read concerning the constitutional issues and developments from 1774 to 1790.
Raymond C. Bailey; The Journal of Southern History


It is the best available introduction to the men and measures of the First Congress and it can be read with great profit by all who study and teach American history or American government.
Patrick J. Furlong; Journal of the Early Republic


"scholarly and interesting..."
The Washington Post


The finest short account of the origins of Congress that I have read. It could only have been written by scholars who have devoted years to the study of the First Congress as authors Bickford and Bowling have done.
Raymond W. Smock, Historian of the U.S. House of Representatives


Both intelligent general readers and specialists in American history will enjoy and learn from this incisive account of the First Federal Congress. . . . Birth of the Nation is a valuable and a necessary book.
Richard B. Bernstein, Historian, New York City Commission on the Bicentennial of the Constitution


The book is a marvelous summary of what was arguably the most important two years in congressional history. . . . Birth of the Nation is simply chock-full of interesting examples that amply demonstrate just how important that first Congress was and just how little many of us—even many historians—know about that Congress.
James T. Currie; The Public Historian


 
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