Original Compromise What the Constitution's Framers Were Really Thinking

ISBN-10: 0199796297
ISBN-13: 9780199796298
Edition: 2012
Authors: David Robertson
List price: $31.95
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Description: What were the Founding Fathers really thinking when they gathered in the Pennsylvania State House to draft the United States Constitution? When answering this question, most have relied on The Federalist Papers, which was first published in book  More...

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Book details

List price: $31.95
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 1/2/2013
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 336
Size: 6.38" wide x 9.45" long x 1.13" tall
Weight: 1.342
Language: English

What were the Founding Fathers really thinking when they gathered in the Pennsylvania State House to draft the United States Constitution? When answering this question, most have relied on The Federalist Papers, which was first published in book form after the close of the Convention, in 1788. To this day, the book's status is sacrosanct for most Americans. Yet as David Brian Robertson shows, the Papers represented one side of the debate and does not fully capture the political sensibilities that produced the U.S. Constitution. Robertson, drawing from the full range of contemporary sources and not just the Papers, provides a truly authoritative account of the founders' collective political reasoning during the Convention.Organized thematically, each chapter covers a crucial Constitutional issue: the respective roles of the executive, the judiciary, and the legislature; the balance between the federal government and the states; slavery; and war and peace. In virtually every instance, the process was decidedly political, fractious, and piecemeal. As much as they wanted to design the government that would best serve their people, the Founders struggled to balance their broad ideals with self-interested policies and procedures. Robertson's boldly revisionist account of the political horse-trading that dominated the Convention not only greatly enriches our understanding of the nation's founding; it also elucidates why the government they created has proven so difficult to use.

The Remedy
Was It Necessary and Timely to Reconstruct the Nation's Government?
Public Opinion and Constitutional Reform
A Republican National Government
The Requirements and Ambiguities of Republicanism
The Challenge of Reconstitution
Controlling Republican Politics: The Main Challenge
The Central Role of Political Majorities in Republican Government
Malicious Politicians
Could a Republican Government Control Republican Politics?
The Challenge of Republican Government
Broad Nationalism: The Politics of the Virginia Plan
Madison's Strategy for the Convention
Virginia's Diagnosis
Virginia's Plan for a New National Government
From Agenda to Battleground
Narrow Nationalism: The Virginia Plan's Opponents
The Virginia Plan's Threat
The Political Strategy of the Virginia Plan's Opponents
An Alternative Agenda: New Jersey's Plan
The New Jersey Plan's Consequences
Crossroads
The Politics of Building Government Institutions
Selecting U.S. Representatives
Why was the Selection of Members of Congress So Crucial?
The Direct Election of U.S. Representatives
The Struggle for Proportional Representation in the House
Apportioning House Seats Among the States
Determining House Seats in the Future
The Path of Representation in the House
Selecting U.S. Senators
Envisioning the Senate
Who Selects the Senators?
Treason and Shared Sovereignty
The Path of American Federalism
Slavery
Slavery and Representation
The Slave Trade
Fugitive Slaves
The Path of Slavery and Race in the United States
Economic Authority
Taxes and Their Limits
Commerce
Money, Credit, and Debt
Land
Economic Development
The Path of Economic Authority
National Security and Foreign Policy
The Military
Domestic Rebellion and the State Militias
War, Peace, and Treaties
The Path of National Security and Foreign Policy
The End Game
The Ratification Process
Amendments
New States
Imperfections and Signing
The Uncertainties That Remained
The Path of Constitutional Acceptance and Development
A Republic, If You Can Keep It
What Drove the Constitution's Design?
Ideas and Interests
Politics
Broad and Narrow Nationalism
The Sequence of Constitutional Choice
The Results of the Constitutional Convention
The Enduring Republic

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