The Origins of the Federal Republic: Jurisdictional Controversies in the United States, 1775-1787

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Historians have emphasized the founding fathers' statesmanship and vision in the development of a more powerful union under the federal constitution. In The Origins of the Federal Republic, Peter S. Onuf clarifies the founders' achievement by demonstrating with case studies of New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Virginia that territorial confrontations among the former colonies played a crucial role in shaping early concepts of statehood and union and provided the true basis of the American federalist system.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Conceptually sophisticated and immensely illuminating."—Journal of American History

"He shows a mastery of the sources: primary, secondary, and, most impressively, documentary histories."—William and Mary Quarterly

"An important explanation of why the Union was unstable during the early nineteenth century."—Reviews in American History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812211672
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/1983
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter S. Onuf is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor of History, University of Virginia. He is the author of Jefferson's Empire: The Language of American Nationhood and coeditor of Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson: History, Memory, and Civic Culture.

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Table of Contents

List of Maps
Pt. 1 The Early American State System
1 Congress and the States: Conflict Resolution in the New Nation 3
2 From Colony to Territory: Changing Concepts of Statehood 21
Pt. 2 State-Making
3 State and Citizen: Settlers Against the Pennsylvania Charter 49
4 Virginia and the West 75
5 An Unbounded State: New York, Vermont, and the Western Lands 103
6 The New State of Vermont: Revolution Within a Revolution 127
Pt. 3 Origins of the Federal Republic
7 New States and the New Nation: American Territorial Policy in the "Critical Period" 149
8 Constitutional Crisis 173
9 Making a "Miracle": The Reconstitution of American Politics 186
Notes 211
Index 275
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