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Programme: Liberalism in the Americas, 21 March 2012

WORKSHOP: LIBERAL CONSTITUTIONALISM IN THE AMERICAS: THEORY AND PRACTICE


Venue: Court Room, Senate House, London. Places Limited: Please register interest with deborah.toner@sas.ac.uk Description: This workshop focuses a comparative perspective on constitutional traditions across the Americas since the late eighteenth century, as well as exploring the national and transnational influences upon constitutionmaking in the region. We seek to establish what liberal concepts and institutions were prioritized at different times and in different national constitutions, and what the intellectual, political, economic and other influences were that shaped these decisions and debates from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century. Moreover, the workshop will explore how constitutional laws were interpreted and practiced in different contexts at different levels of government: executive, judicial, and legislative; national, state and local. 1.00-1.10pm Welcome and Introduction 1.10-2.40pm Panel 1: South America. Chair: Paulo Drinot (ISA) Papers by Dr Marta Irurozqui (CSIC-CCHS, Madrid); Dr Natalia Sobrevilla Perea (Kent), Dr Gabriel Negretto (CIDE). Commentator: Dr Adrian Pearce (KCL) 2.40-3.00pm Tea/coffee break 3.00-4.30pm Panel 2: US and the Atlantic World. Chair: Deborah Toner (ISA) Papers by Dr Max Edling (Loughborough); Prof. Kenneth Maxwell (Visiting Professor, Harvard), Mr Tom Cutterham (St Antonys College, Oxford). Commentator: TBC.

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LECTURE: LIBERTIES AND EMPIRES: WRITING CONSTITUTIONS IN THE ATLANTIC WORLD, 1776-1848, PROF. LINDA COLLEY (PRINCETON), 5.30-7.30PM.
Venue: Room 728, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London. Please RSVP to chloe.pieters@sas.ac.uk. Followed by a reception. Abstract: The outbreak of revolution in the Thirteen Colonies in 1776, in France in 1789, and in Haiti in 1791, famously gave rise to the creation of substantially new and highly influential written constitutions. Before 1786, no independent state possessed a single document which it termed a constitution. But in the wake of these and other revolutions, written constitutions proliferated. By 1812, there were fifty new constitutions in Europe alone. Over sixty more were drafted before 1850, many of them in Latin America. Yet the degree to which the explosion of new constitutions after 1776 was a trans-national and a trans-continental phenomenon can easily be obscured by exceptionalist and purely national historical narratives. In this lecture, Linda Colley considers the evidence for a more complex and multi-lateral history of constitutions in the Atlantic World between 1776 and 1848, and discusses their profound connections with empire as well as nationalism. This event has been kindly funded by the John Coffin Memorial Fund, and is co-sponsored by the Eccles Centre for American Studies, The British Library.