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All Politics Is Local 9781584652908

All Politics Is Local

Family, Friends, and Provincial Interests in the Creation of the Constitution

ISBN-10: 158465290X
ISBN-13: 9781584652908
AUTHOR:
PUBLISHER: University Press of New England
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Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access codes, CDs, DVDs)
Product Description: Since the late 1780s historians and jurists have questioned what was uppermost in the minds of the framers of the United States Constitution. In surveying the thirteen states’ experiences as colonies and under the Articles of Confederation, one is struck more by their great diversity than by their commonalities. In this groundbreaking historical work, Christopher Collier brings to the fore an interpretation virtually neglected since the mid-nineteenth century: the view from the states, in which the creation and ratification of the new Constitution reflected a unique combination of internal and external needs. All Politics Is Local closely analyzes exactly what Connecticut constituents expected their representatives to achieve in Philadelphia and suggests that other states’ citizens also demanded their own special returns. Collier avoids popular theory in his convincing argument that any serious modern effort to understand the Constitution as conceived by its framers must pay close attention to the state-specific needs and desires of the era.

Challenging all previous interpretations, Collier demonstrates that Connecticut’s forty antifederalist representatives were motivated not by economic, geographic, intellectual, or ideological factors, but by family and militia connections, local politics, and other considerations that had nothing at all to do with the Constitution. He finds no overarching truth, no common ideological thread binding the antifederalists together, which leads him to call for the same state-centered micro-study for the other twelve founding states. To do less leaves historical and contemporary interpretations of the U.S. Constitution not simply blurred around the edges but incomplete at the core as well.

Collier delights and surprises readers in proving—with his trademark impeccable historical scholarship, firm grasp of known sources, and ample new material—that in the case of Connecticut, a stalwart defender of the provincial prerogative, all politics is and was, to one degree or another, local.

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PUBLICATION DATE:
PAGES: 244
CATEGORY: History, Political Science
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