Ex Uno Plura

State Constitutions and Their Political Cultures

By James T. McHugh

Subjects: Philosophy Of Law
Series: SUNY series in American Constitutionalism
Paperback : 9780791457504, 350 pages, July 2003
Hardcover : 9780791457498, 350 pages, August 2003

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Table of contents



Table of Cases

1. Introduction. American Constitutionalism and Political Culture

2. Alaska. Frontier Autonomy

3. California. Diverse Microcosm

4. Georgia. Southern Republicanism

5. Hawaii. A Multi-Ethnic Heritage

6. Louisiana. Constitutional Patriarchy

7. Utah. A Liberal Theocracy

8. Vermont. A Republic Apart

9. Wyoming. Communitarian Ideal

10. Conclusion



Explores the foundations of various state constitutional traditions.


State constitutions have become increasingly important in light of recent trends in jurisprudence that favor decentralizing the American federal system. Ex Uno Plura uses a political culture approach to explore eight state constitutional traditions. McHugh argues that state jurisprudence is not merely a reflection of the process, values, and decisions found at the federal level, especially through the influence of the Fourteenth Amendment. A close examination of separate state constitutions, including their origins, sociopolitical cultures, and jurisprudence, reveals historically, culturally, and philosophically unique characteristics, each of which will contribute to the ongoing debate concerning American judicial federalism. The states included are Alaska, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming.

James T. McHugh is Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Legal Studies Program at Roosevelt University. He is the author of Comparative Constitutional Traditions, The Essential Concept of Law, and the coauthor (with James S. Pacy) of Diplomats Without a Country: Baltic Diplomacy, International Law, and the Cold War.