The rule of law may be the most significant and influential accomplishment of Western political thought. Nowhere expressed, yet evident throughout, the United States Constitution depends on this core concept, the first principle on which the American legal and political system was built.
Made up of the various structural concepts embodied in the Constitution of the United States, constitutionalism comprises one of our most important first principles. The rule of law and constitutionalism are important concepts not because they are old, or unique, or exclusively ours for that matter, but because all together they form the architecture of freedom.
In this monograph, noted professor of constitutional history at the University of Maryland Herman Belz tells the story of the development of these principles and explains how they were established in the United States.