170 Eccentric, Visionary, and Patriotic Proposals to Rewrite the U.S. Constitution
by John R. Vile
July 2014, 397pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-733-0
$108, £84, 94€, A148
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-734-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Since its inception, many Americans have sought to “fix” the U.S. Constitution.

This book is the most comprehensive review of all the major proposals to rewrite, revise, or even replace the U.S. Constitution, covering more than 170 proposals from the nation's beginnings to the present day.

The U.S. Constitution was carefully written by a remarkable group of men, but subsequent generations of Americans have devoted enormous time and energy to “improving” it. From colonial times to the present day, Americans of all political persuasions have campaigned to reform, remake, or replace this key document. The growth of the Internet and self-publishing has spawned a virtual explosion of such proposals. This book documents the numerous ideas for change—some practical, some idealistic, and some bordering on fanatical—that reflect America’s Constitutional heritage and could shape the nation’s future.

Re-Framers: 170 Eccentric, Visionary, and Patriotic Proposals to Rewrite the U.S. Constitution sets the stage for this review by describing various prequels to the U.S. Constitution and explaining how the final document emerged at the Constitutional Convention. The subsequent chapters examine many proposed alternatives and revisions to the Constitution from its establishment until the present, illuminating perceived strengths and weaknesses of the current document as well as the pros and cons of possible amendments. Readers ranging from lay citizens who are interested in constitutional issues to historians, political scientists, law professors, and reference librarians will all benefit from this unparalleled examination of proposed constitutional amendment.


  • Discusses more than 170 proposed major alterations in—or alternatives to—the U.S. Constitution, from the beginning of the republic to the present
  • Includes proposals from nearly every political group imaginable, including advocates of parliamentary democracy, communists, Democrats, Libertarians, Progressives, Republicans, socialists, and Tea Party members
  • Presents the major plans that preceded or were considered in the writing of the U.S. Constitution
  • Provides biographical information of individuals who made proposals to alter or replace the Constitution
  • Includes appendixes containing the full text of the U.S. Constitution and all 27 amendments to the Constitution
John R. Vile, PhD, is a professor of political science and dean of the University Honors College at Middle Tennessee State University. His published works include ABC-CLIO's The Constitutional Convention of 1787: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of America's Founding; Encyclopedia of Constitutional Amendments, Proposed Amendments, and Amending Issues, 1789–2010 (third edition); Great American Lawyers: An Encyclopedia; Great American Judges: An Encyclopedia; and many other works. Vile holds a doctorate in government from the University of Virginia.


"Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates; general readers."—Choice, January 1, 2015

"One of Professor Vile’s more interesting projects. . . a valuable resource."—Law and Politics Book Reviews, January 1, 2015
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