The Lovers Quarrel: The Two Foundings and American Political Development

Hardcover | July 29, 2014

byElvin Lim

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The United States has experienced Two Foundings, not one. The framers of the second Constitution, the Federalists, were not operating in an ideational or institutional vacuum; rather, the document they drafted and ratified was designed to remedy the perceived flaws of the Articles ofConfederation and Perpetual Union. To decouple the Two Foundings is to appreciate that there is no "original meaning," only original dissent. Because, on the insistence of the Anti-Federalists, prior and democratically sanctioned understandings of federalism and union had to be negotiated andpartially grafted onto the new Constitution, the Constitution's Articles and the Bill of Rights do not cohere as well together as have conventionally been understood. Rather, they represent two antithetical orientations toward power, liberty, and republicanism. The Anti-Federalist and Federalist altercation over the necessity of the Second Founding generated coherent and self-contained philosophies that would become the indigenous core of American political thought that has been reproduced and transmitted across two centuries. The Second Founding, or the"founding" we have come to know as the only one we had, would become a template for the unique species of politics and political debate that is prototypically American. American political development has occurred only after the political entrepreneurs of each generation locked horns in a Lovers'Quarrel about the relative priority of the principles of one of the Two Foundings, and succeeded in justifying and forging a durable expansion or contraction of federal authority.

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The United States has experienced Two Foundings, not one. The framers of the second Constitution, the Federalists, were not operating in an ideational or institutional vacuum; rather, the document they drafted and ratified was designed to remedy the perceived flaws of the Articles ofConfederation and Perpetual Union. To decouple the Tw...

Elvin Lim is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Wesleyan University and author of The Anti-Intellectual Presidency (OUP, 2008).

other books by Elvin Lim

Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:July 29, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199812187

ISBN - 13:9780199812189

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Table of Contents

1. The Lovers' Quarrel: A Tale of Two Foundings2. Federalists v. Republicans3. Anti-Federalism and the Howls of Jacksonian Democracy4. The Civil War and Publius Redux5. Anti-Federalism and the Progressive Creative Destruction6. The New Deal and the Nationalized Rhetoric of the Small Republic7. Anti-Federalism and the Reagan Revolution8. Epilogue: The Modern Tea Party vs. Obama, and BeyondAppendix I: A Defense of APD defined as Durable Shifts in Federal AuthorityAppendix II: The Federalist LegacyAppendix III: The Anti-Federalist LegacyNotesIndex