The Government Class Book, by Andrew Young (1865) is now available for purchase for $12.00 in 8 x 11 paperback. The download is $4.00.
The book is formatted tightly to reduce the number of pages. That is, there is very little margin space for notes. Later editions might add one or two pages for notes depending on the index. Speaking of the index, I added a quick one. I plan to revise it in later editions.
I have not read the entire work yet. However, it appears to go into much more detail concerning citizenship than just the Constitution. It covers many legal terms used and from where they are derived.
As a sample, the first section is entitled Principles of Government. In Chapter Two of that section, Rights and Liberty, defined, we read:
Sec.3. The rights here mentioned are natural rights. They are so called because they are ours by nature or by birth; and they can not be justly taken from us or alienated. Hence they are also called inalienable. We may, however, forfeit them by some offense or crime. If, for example, a man is fined for breaking a law, he loses his right to the money he is obliged to pay. By stealing, he forfeits his liberty, and may be justly imprisoned. By committing murder, he forfeits his right to life, and may be hanged.
You won’t find that in text books at NAU today.
Under the topic of Laws, defined we find:
Sec.7. If, as has been said, the laws of the Creator form a perfect rule of conduct for all mankind, and ought in all cases to be obeyed, then all human law ought to agree with the divine law. If a human law is contrary to the divine law, or if it requires us to disobey the commands of God, it is not binding, and should not be obeyed. So the Scriptures teach. They speak approvingly of men who disobeyed human authority, and who gave as the reason, that it was their duty to obey God rather than men; and they furnish many examples of good men who submitted to severe punishment, even to death, rather than do what they knew to be contrary to the divine will.
Sec.8. But although the divine will as revealed in the Scriptures, is a perfect rule or law for all mankind, and although human laws ought to conform to the divine law, yet it would be impossible to govern the people of a state by that law alone. The divine law is broad, and comprehends rules to teach men their whole duty; but it does not specify every particular act of duty. Much of it consists of general principles to which particular acts must be made to conform. It requires men to deal justly with each other; but men do not always agree as to what is right. Human laws, therefore, become necessary to declare what shall be considered just and right between man and man.
The manual has the distinct advantage of having been written closer to the signing of the Constitution so there was less time to twist the concepts on which the Constitution was founded. The section quoted above describes that our laws are based on the Holy Scripture. It does not dwell on that, however. It simply goes on to describe the rules and definitions of citizenship in a clear language understandable today.
I, also, note that the information is freely available on the Internet. I do not make a “killing” on any classic reprints in my catalog. Only enough to, hopefully, get paid a little for my efforts.
I am waiting, now, on the hard copy of A View of the Constitution of the United States by William Rawle. This is another excellent work on the Constitution written before Harvard turned to the New World Order.