Gifts, Offices, and Corruption

Northwestern University Law Review Colloquy, Vol. 107, p. 1, 2012

25 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2012

See all articles by Zephyr Teachout

Zephyr Teachout

Fordham University School of Law

Date Written: June 11, 2012


The American founders brought an original attitude towards offices and gifts which separated them from Europe. Gifts, which were part of European diplomatic culture, were recast as corrupt influences. And offices were viewed with fear of their corrupting power, given the examples of Europe. The "corner-stone" of the new Constitution, according to one delegate, was the provision designed to prevent lucrative offices from being sold and traded for political power. This Essay, a response to Seth Barrett Tillman's challenge to my previous writing on founding era anxiety about corruption, is a partial exploration of the scope of the clauses relating to gifts and office holding.

Keywords: corruption, gifts, offices, constitutional theory

Suggested Citation

Teachout, Zephyr, Gifts, Offices, and Corruption (June 11, 2012). Northwestern University Law Review Colloquy, Vol. 107, p. 1, 2012 , Available at SSRN:

Zephyr Teachout (Contact Author)

Fordham University School of Law ( email )

140 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics