School of Law News

Tsai Explores Lessons from the Indian Stream Republic

Posted Friday, March 4, 2011

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Robert Tsai, professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law, spoke as part of the Clason Speaker Series on March 3. Tsai's speech, "Lessons from the Indian Stream Republic," explored the lessons of popular sovereignty and the role of constitutions in society thanks to the groundbreaking example of the Indian Stream Republic of 1832, in what is now New Hampshire.

"I'm interested in how the settlers became transformed into founding fathers of a micro republic. In this story, the allegiances of the people became fluid and different groups of citizens arrived at different understandings about constitution, and even which constitution might govern their hearts and minds. It's a tale in which popular sovereignty, as practiced by the pioneers, was empowering and creative but also risky and ultimately dangerous," said Tsai.

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