Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution / Edition 1

Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution / Edition 1

by Woody Holton
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0809080613

ISBN-13: 9780809080618

Pub. Date: 10/02/2007

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Average Americans Were the True Framers of the Constitution

Woody Holton upends what we think we know of the Constitution's origins by telling the history of the average Americans who challenged the framers of the Constitution and forced on them the revisions that produced the document we now venerate. The framers who gathered in Philadelphia

Overview

Average Americans Were the True Framers of the Constitution

Woody Holton upends what we think we know of the Constitution's origins by telling the history of the average Americans who challenged the framers of the Constitution and forced on them the revisions that produced the document we now venerate. The framers who gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 were determined to reverse America's post–Revolutionary War slide into democracy. They believed too many middling Americans exercised too much influence over state and national policies. That the framers were only partially successful in curtailing citizen rights is due to the reaction, sometimes violent, of unruly average Americans.

If not to protect civil liberties and the freedom of the people, what motivated the framers? In Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution, Holton provides the startling discovery that the primary purpose of the Constitution was, simply put, to make America more attractive to investment. And the linchpin to that endeavor was taking power away from the states and ultimately away from the people. In an eye-opening interpretation of the Constitution, Holton captures how the same class of Americans that produced Shays's Rebellion in Massachusetts (and rebellions in damn near every other state) produced the Constitution we now revere.

Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution is a 2007 National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780809080618
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
10/02/2007
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.62(w) x 8.89(h) x 1.26(d)

Table of Contents


Preface     ix
"Evils Which...Produced This Convention": Introduction     3
The Great Debate
"Bricks Without Straw": Grievances     21
"The Fault Is All Your Own": Rebuttals     46
"To Relieve the Distressed": Demands     55
"Save the People": Requisition     65
Virtue and Vice
"Who Will Call This Justice?": Quarrels     85
"Idle Drones": Economics     96
"The Fate of Republican Govt": Redemption     108
Unruly Americans
"A Revolution Which Ought to Be Glorious": Disenchantment     127
"A Murmuring Underneath": Rebellion     145
"Excess of Democracy"? Reform     162
Reining In the Revolution
"The House on Fire": Credit     179
"Divide et Impera": Statecraft     199
"More Adequate to the Purposes": Revenue     213
Esau's Bargain
"Take Up the Reins": Ratification     227
"More Productive and Less Oppressive": Taxes     239
"As If Impounded": Consolidation     254
Epilogue: The Underdogs' Constitution     272
Notes     279
Acknowledgments     355
Index     357

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >