Liberty and Union


This is the companion website for Liberty and Union: A Constitutional History of the United States, Volume 2.

On this site you will find links to the following types of resource:

  • Supreme Court cases
  • Digitized letters, speeches, and papers of historical figures
  • Statutes
  • Political and legal treatises
  • Online galleries of photographs, artwork, and documents
  • Audio files of Supreme Court oral arguments
  • Video files

Each set of links is organized chronologically and by chapter, and beside each is an icon to indicate the type of resource to be found—text/document, images, audio, or video.

About the book

This, the second of two volumes of Liberty and Union, is a comprehensive constitutional history of the United States from the Progressive Era of the early twentieth century to the most recent decisions of the Supreme Court on contemporary constitutional issues.

Written in a clear and engaging narrative style, it successfully unites thorough chronological coverage with a thematic approach, offering critical analysis of core constitutional history topics, set in the political, social, and economic context that made them constitutional issues in the first place. Combining a thoughtful and balanced narrative with an authoritative stance on key issues, the authors deliberately explain the past in the light of the past, without imposing upon it the standards of later generations.

Authored by two experienced professors of History and Law, this textbook has been thoughtfully constructed to offer an accessible alternative to dense scholarly works—avoiding unnecessary technical jargon, defining legal terms and historical personalities where appropriate, and making explicit connections between constitutional themes and historical events. For students in an undergraduate or postgraduate constitutional history course, or anyone with a general interest in constitutional developments, this book will be essential reading.

Edgar J. McManus is Professor Emeritus of History at Queens College, City University of New York.

Tara Helfman is Assistant Professor at Syracuse University College of Law.

What experts are saying about Liberty and Union, Volume 2:

“Although history is often characterized as ‘argument without end,’ McManus and Helfman’s comprehensive yet accessible conclusion to their two-part constitutional history of the
United States may well come to be seen as the definitive study of the topic for generations. Clear, concise, lucid, and compelling, McManus and Helfman not only explain how larger societal trends were influencing the evolution of everyday Americans’ understanding of constitutionalism and our constitutional values, but they also introduce us to the key personalities and critical legal concepts that both enabled and reflected the changes that have come to define the last century of American constitutional history. Anyone from the most amateur student of American history to the most seasoned constitutional lawyer has much to learn from this delightful denouement to Liberty and Union.”
—Professor Stephen I. Vladeck, American University Washington College of Law
“This valuable book shows how the only nation in the world to define itself entirely by a written constitution has been shaped by that document throughout its history. It views constitutional issues from the sweeping perspective of the historical events that generated them, and also offers a website that allows the reader to satisfy any desire for detail that the broader view may create. Edgar J. McManus and Tara Helfman have given us a welcome addition to the library of any student of constitutional history.”
—Michael B. Mukasey, Attorney General of the United States, 2007–2009; Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1988–2006