Essential Antifederalist / Edition 2

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At the pivotal moment in the history of the United States of America, ratification of the Constitution was championed by James Madison, John Jay and Alexander Hamilton in a series of newspaper articles known as the Federalist Papers. In answer to these arguments and as a way of pointing up flaws and weaknesses in the Constitution itself, a number of political thinkers (who mostly used pseudonyms) argued against ratification through articles and speeches which have collectively come to be known as the "Antifederalist Papers." This edited collection of readings from Antifederalist thought was first published in 1985. Here presented with a completely revised and updated interpretive essay from the editors and expanded to cover the period of the founding from 1776-91, this book is the most complete one-volume collection of its kind.

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Editorial Reviews

Presidential Studies Quarterly
A review of the original Constitutional debate and especially Antifederalist criticisms help bring focus to other, less-often discussed issues that may have some bearing on the study of the contemporary presidency.
American Spectator
The most comprehensive one-volume access to Antifederalist thought, this volume offers a selected anthology of readings excerpted from the body of Antifederalist writing.
Independence National Historical Park
This work is solid with all of the major essays by Antifederalist . . . an excellent selection because it can be readily digested by the general public. They will understand who the antifeds were and what they wrote.
Colleen Sheehan
The Revised Edition of The Essential Antifederalist continues the original, important contribution to the history and thought of the founding, now with an importantly expanded interpretive essay comprehensively reviewing recent scholarship, very helpful apparatus, such as an index, and readier identification of individual entries. This is a MUST for teaching the founding.
John Koritansky
[This] book is a real service to our profession. The readings [the editors] have selected are very useful ones.
Eugene W. Hickok
[This book] has been designed specifically for classroom use and provides a coherent expression of some of the principle themes of Antifederalists.
Leonard W. Levy
A compact yet comprehensive and judiciously balanced introduction to Antifederalist thought, perfect for teaching purposes and essential for adoption.
Forrest McDonald
A splendid collection of documents, in highly useable form. An excellent and convenient tool for teaching.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742521889
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/2002
  • Edition description: 2ND
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 378
  • Product dimensions: 0.84 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

William B. Allen is professor of political science at Michigan State University. A Ph. D. from Claremont Graduate School, Allen is author of The Federalist Papers: A Commentary, Let the Advice Be Good: A defense of Madison's Democratic Nationalism, and editor of All Cloudless Glory: A Biography of George Washington by Harrison Clark. Gordon Lloyd is the John M. Olin Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University. A Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate School, Lloyd is the co-editor ofThe Essential Bill of Rights: Original Arguments and Fundamental Documents, as well as the author of numerous articles on federalism and the founding.

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Table of Contents

Interpretative Essay
Ch. 1 Origin of Antifederalist Thought 1
Z 5
John Lansing, George Mason, and Luther Martin, 20 June 1787 7
Luther Martin, 27-28 June 1787 12
George Mason, Objections 16
Richard Henry Lee, Letter to Edmund Randolph, 16 October 1787 19
Elbridge Gerry, Objections 24
Cato, Letter III 26
An Old Whig, Essay VII 30
Pennsylvania Minority Report 33
Robert Yates and John Lansing, Reasons of Dissent 47
Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Alexander Donald, 7 February 1788 49
Agrippa, Letters XV and XVI 50
Sidney, Essay II 60
A Plebian 63
Ch. 2 Antifederalist Views of Federalism 75
Federal Farmer, Letters I and XVII 78
Centinel, Letter I 96
Brutus, Essays I and V 105
Agrippa, Letter IV 122
Maryland Farmer Essay III, Part One 124
Patrick Henry, Virginia Ratifying Convention, 4-5 June 1788 127
Virginia Ratifying Convention Amendment Proposals 140
Ch. 3 Antifederalist Views of Republicanism 145
Richard Henry Lee, Letter to George Mason, 1 October 1787 148
Federal Farmer, Letters, II, III, IV and XII 149
Old Whig, Essay IV 171
Brutus, Essays II, IV, XI, XII, XV 174
Cato, Letters V and VII 200
James Monroe, Observations on the Constitution 211
Virginia Ratifying Convention, 18 June 1788 219
Melancton Smith, New York Ratifying Convention, 20 June 1788 224
John Lansing, New York Ratifying Convention, 24 June 1788 230
Ch. 4 Antifederalist Views of Capitalism and Democracy 233
Centinel, Letters, III, IV, VII, VIII 236
A Georgian 249
Brutus, Essay III 251
Cato, Letter VI 257
Agrippa, Letters VII, IX, XII, XIV 260
Federal Farmer, Letters VII, IX 274
Maryland Farmer, Essay III, Part II; and Essay VII, Part I 281
Mercy Otis Warren, The American Revolution 288
App. I Virginia Declaration of Rights and Constitution 299
App. II Articles of Confederation 307
App. III Draft Constitution of 1787 314
Bibliography 329
Index 333
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