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

Paperback | October 15, 2008

byMax M Edling

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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 fromthe 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 undulyconcentrated 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 agovernment 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 aneglected strand of the Federalist argument, making a persuasive case for rethinking the formation of the federal American state.

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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 fromthe states to the national government, thereby...

Max M. Edling is Research Fellow and University Lecturer, Uppsala University, Sweden.

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

Kobo ebook|Sep 18 2003

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.68 inPublished:October 15, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195374169

ISBN - 13:9780195374162

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Beyond Madisonian FederalismPart One: Interpreting the Debate over Ratification1. Legitimacy and Meaning: The Significance of Public Debate to the Adoption of the Constitution2. The Elusive Meaning of the Debate over Ratification3. European States, American Contexts4. The Ideological Response to State ExpansionPart Two: Military Powers5. An Impotent Congress6. Independence, Commerce, and Military Strength7. A Government of Force8. Government by Consent9. The Federalists and the Uses of Military PowersPart Three: Fiscal Powers10. Congressional Insolvency11. Unlimited Taxation, Public Credit and the Strength of Government12. The Costs of Government13. A Government for Free14. The Federalists and the Uses of Fiscal PowersConclusion: The Constitution, the Federalists, and the American State

Editorial Reviews

"Not only a pleasure to read but extremely informative and persuasively argued. I will never think about the U.S. Constitution in the old way again."--Daniel Walker Howe, author of What Hath God Wrought