Law’s Culture: Conservatism and the American Constitutional Order


Law’s Culture: Conservatism and the American Constitutional Order


Bruce P. Frohnen, Ohio Northern University College of Law, 2004, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol. 27, p. 459, 2003-2004


This article argues that most contemporary analysts, whether claiming allegiance to the ideological left or right, misunderstand the nature and especially the fundamentally cultural character of American constitutionalism. Beginning with an explication of American “cultural” conservatism as presented by thinkers such as Russell Kirk, the author proceeds to an analysis of the bases of the American constitutional order emphasizing the role of history in the formation of its structures and normative traditions in their maintenance and enforcement.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 30

[CR] An excellent analysis of Kirk’s view of the Constitution that the document was intended to protect from democratic excesses, i.e. the majority voting for themselves the proceeds of other’s labor through taxes and social programs.

John C. Calhoun notes that taxation divides the community into two great antagonistic classes, those who pay the taxes and those who benefit from them (1850) (OLL)

About the Author

I am a Southerner, a father, husband, and Christian and retired active duty Army field grade officer; I served for just over thirty years. I spent four years of my youth at The Citadel in Charleston. I am neither a theologian nor a professional historian. I do however ask many questions and endeavor to find answers and I believe, or at least hope, that I think critically and with the understanding that God provides.

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