Book Unruly Americans and the origins of the Constitution / Woody Holton.
Publication year: 2007.
Call Number KF4541 .H54 2007
Media class: Book
Edition: 1st ed.
Publisher: New York : Hill and Wang
ISBN: 9780809080618 0809080613
Includes Pref. and Intro. by author.
Extent: xi, 370 p. ; 24 cm.
Average Americans were the true framers of the Constitution. Woody Holton upends what we think we know of the Constitution's origins by telling the history of the average Americans who challenged the framers of the Constitution and forced on them the revisions that produced the document we now venerate. The framers who gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 were determined to reverse America's post-Revolutionary War slide into democracy. They believed too many middling Americans exercised too much influence over state and national policies. That the framers were only partially successful in curtailing citizen rights is due to the reaction, sometimes violent, of unruly average Americans. If not to protect civil liberties and the freedom of the people, what motivated the framers? In Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution, Holton provides the startling discovery that the primary purpose of the Constitution was, simply put, to make America more attractive to investment. And the linchpin to that endeavor was taking power away from the states and ultimately away from the people. In an eye-opening interpretation of the Constitution, Holton captures how the same class of Americans that produced Shays's Rebellion in Massachusetts (and rebellions in ... near every other state) produced the Constitution we now revere.
Part I. The great debate. -- 1. Bricks without straw : grievances -- 2. The fault is all your own : rebuttals -- 3. To relieve the distressed : demands -- 4. Save the people : requisition. -- Part II. Virtue and vice. -- 5. Who will call this justice? : quarrels -- 6. Idle drones: economics -- 7. The fate of republican govt : redemption. -- Part III. Unruly Americans. -- 8. A revolution which ought to be glorious : disenchantment -- 9. A murmuring underneath : rebellion -- 10. Excess of democracy? : reform. -- Part IV. Reining in the revolution. -- 11. The house on fire : credit -- 12. Divide et impera : statecraft -- 13. More adequate to the purposes : revenue. -- Part V. Esau's bargain. -- 14. Take up the reins : ratification -- 15. More productive and less oppressive : taxes -- 16. As if impounded : consolidation -- Epilogue : the underdogs' constitution..