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The Development of American Citizenship, 1608-1870
Author: James H. Kettner

ISBN: 9780807841228
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 402
Published: 17 August 2005
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.3
Description:
The concept of citizenship that achieved full legal form and force in mid-nineteenth-century America had English roots in the sense that it was the product of a theoretical and legal development that extended over three hundred years. This prize-winning volume describes and explains the process by which the cirumstances of life in the New World transformed the quasi-medieval ideas of seventeenth-century English jurists about subjectship, community, sovereignty, and allegiance into a wholly new doctrine of "volitional allegiance."

The central British idea was that subjectship involved a personal relationship with the king, a relationship based upon the laws of nature and hence perpetual and immutable. The conceptual analogue of the subject-king relationship was the natural bond between parent and child.

Across the Atlantic divergent ideas were taking hold. Colonial societies adopted naturalization policies that were suited to practical needs, regardless of doctrinal consistency. Americans continued to value their status as subjects and to affirm their allegiance to the king, but they also moved toward a new understan...

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