The Constitution and America's Destiny (Hardback)
  • The Constitution and America's Destiny (Hardback)
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The Constitution and America's Destiny (Hardback)

(author)
£58.00
Hardback 304 Pages / Published: 22/08/2005
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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.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521845557
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 620 g
Dimensions: 236 x 159 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Madison was the American Moses, creating a People by handing down Commandments. But Madison was a patriarch with many rivals and, although he had a vision, he could not inscribe on stone exactly what he thought would govern his imperfect people. As David Robertson deftly shows, Madison's vision nonetheless guided him through the thicket of deliberations upon what became the American Constitution. Contrasting this vision with what others would call preferences, Robertson persuasively contends that Madison strongly influenced the Constitutional Convention precisely because he could see beyond the details and nuances of the moment." Richard Bensel, Cornell University
"Robertson adroitly guides us through the politics that shaped the Constitution, then shows us how the Constitution shaped-and-shapes-America. The result is the finest institutional analysis of America's first institution. Meticulous. Elegant. Fascinating. Brilliant." James Morone, author of Hellfire Nation: the Politics of Sin in American History and The Democratic Wish
"In this extraordinarily useful book, David Brian Robertson shows us no less than how the U.S. Constitution was made. It does no disservice to the American Founders to insist, as Robertson does here, that they were, perhaps above all, politicians. By situating this diverse group of political geniuses within the complex web of policy problems, political agendas, and clashing interests at a decisive political moment, Robertson provides a compelling account of how strategies shifted, compromises were reached, and constitutional agreements were forged. As an added bonus, he then explains how those agreements shaped a politics that remains distinctive to the present day. The Constitution and America's Destiny is an accessible and important study in how constitutions come to be, and how, in turn, they live." Ken I. Kersch, Princeton University

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