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This concise, accessible text provides students with a history of American constitutional development in the context of political, economic, and social change. Constitutional historian Michael Benedict stresses the role that the American people have played over time in defining the powers of government and the rights of individuals and minorities. He covers important trends and events in U.S. constitutional history, encompassing key Supreme Court and lower-court cases. The volume begins by discussing the English and colonial origins of American constitutionalism. Following an analysis of the American Revolution's meaning to constitutional history, the text traces the Constitution's evolution from the Early Republic to the present day. This third edition is updated to include the election of 2000, the Tea Party and the rise of popular constitutionalism, and the rise of judicial supremacy as seen in cases such as Citizens United, the Affordable Care Act, and gay marriage.