Bleg: The American Revolution as a guide to modern law

The American Revolution took place because of various abuses of the rights of Americans by the British government. So when we seek to understand the rights of citizens in the nation that was created by that Revolution, one useful guide is looking at the negative example of what the Americans were revolting against. For example, Justices have looked at the revolution-provoking use general warrants (Henry v. United States, 1959),  unrepresentative government as exemplified by (but not limited to) taxation without representation (Texas v. Johnson, 1989, Rehnquist dissenting),  and violation of the right to trial by jury, via use of vice-admiralty courts (Parklane Hosiery v. Shore, 1979, Rehnquist dissenting).

More broadly, as the 2d Justice Harlan wrote in his oft-quoted dissent in Poe v. Ullman, when the Court is “supplying of content” to constitutional “liberty,” the Court should have “regard to what history teaches are the traditions from which it developed as well as the traditions from which it broke.”

Can commentators supply some additional examples, either regarding specific issues, or general Poe-like rules? Citations to Supreme Court cases are welcome, but also welcome are citations to other sources who are regarded as guides for constitutional understanding–such as Abraham Lincoln, or influential commentators.

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