A Revolution in Favor of Government: Origins of the U. S. Constitution and the Making of the American State

A Revolution in Favor of Government: Origins of the U. S. Constitution and the Making of the American State

by Max M. Edling
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0195374169

ISBN-13: 9780195374162

Pub. Date: 07/08/2008

Publisher: Oxford University Press

In this trenchant new interpretation of America's origins, Max Edling shows that the Federalists were primarily concerned with building a government that could act vigorously in defense of American interests. The Constitution transferred the powers of war-making and resource-extraction from the states to the national government, thereby creating a nation-state

Overview

In this trenchant new interpretation of America's origins, Max Edling shows that the Federalists were primarily concerned with building a government that could act vigorously in defense of American interests. The Constitution transferred the powers of war-making and resource-extraction from the states to the national government, thereby creating a nation-state invested with all the important powers of Europe's eighteenth-century 'fiscal-military states.'A strong centralized government such as this, however, challenged the American people's deeply ingrained distrust of unduly concentrated authority. To secure the Constitution's adoption in the face of this inherent suspicion, the Federalists had to balance the formation of a powerful national government with the strong current of anti-statism in the American political tradition. They did so, Edling argues, by designing a government that would be powerful in times of crisis, but which would make only limited demands on the citizenry and have a sharply restricted presence in society. Taking advantage of a newly published letterpress edition of the constitutional debates, A Revolution in Favor of Government recovers a neglected strand of the Federalist argument, making a persuasive case for rethinking the formation of the federal American state.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195374162
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
07/08/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
558,871
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Beyond Madisonian Federalism
Part One: Interpreting the Debate over Ratification
1. Legitimacy and Meaning: The Significance of Public Debate to the Adoption of the Constitution
2. The Elusive Meaning of the Debate over Ratification
3. European States, American Contexts
4. The Ideological Response to State Expansion
Part Two: Military Powers
5. An Impotent Congress
6. Independence, Commerce, and Military Strength
7. A Government of Force
8. Government by Consent
9. The Federalists and the Uses of Military Powers
Part Three: Fiscal Powers
10. Congressional Insolvency
11. Unlimited Taxation, Public Credit and the Strength of Government
12. The Costs of Government
13. A Government for Free
14. The Federalists and the Uses of Fiscal Powers
Conclusion: The Constitution, the Federalists, and the American State

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >