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The Constitution and America's Destiny

The Constitution and America's Destiny

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David Brian Robertson
Cambridge University Press
Edition: Illustrated, 8/22/2005
EAN 9780521845557, ISBN10: 0521845556

Hardcover, 304 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.1 cm
Language: English
Originally published in English

In this ambitious study, Robertson explains how the US Constitution emerged from an intense battle between a bold vision for the nation's political future and the tenacious defense of its political present. Given a once-in-a-lifetime chance to alter America's destiny, James Madison laid before the Constitutional Convention a plan for a strong centralized government that could battle for America's long-term interests. But delegates from vulnerable states resisted this plan, seeking instead to maintain state control over most of American life while adding a few more specific powers to the existing government. These clashing aspirations turned the Convention into an unpredictable chain of events. Step-by-step, the delegates' compromises built national powers in a way no one had anticipated, and produced a government more complex and hard to use than any of them originally intended. Their Constitution, in turn, helped create a politics unlike that in any other nation.

1. Politics and the constitution
2. The policy crisis of the 1780s
3. James Madison's strategy for the constitutional convention
4. The political landscape of the constitutional convention
5. Who governs? Constituting policy agency
6. What can be governed? Constituting policy authority
7. How is the nation governed? Constituting the policy process
8. Our inheritance
the constitution and American politics.