The Constitution and America's Destiny

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9780511610622: The Constitution and America's Destiny

David Brian Robertson explains how the U.S. 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.

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Book Description:

This book explains the politics behind the design of the U.S. Constitution. James Madison diagnosed the nation's problems and proposed a much stronger national government to remedy them, which was met with some opposition from state delegates. By systematically analyzing the way the framers negotiated each provision of the Constitution, forging political compromises about who would govern America, what authority these leaders would have, and how they would use that authority, Robertson reveals the enduring effect of those decisions on American politics past and present.

About the Author:

David Brian Robertson is Professor of Political Science and Fellow in the Public Policy Research Center at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. He is the author of Capital, Labor, and State: The Battle for American Labor Markets from the Civil War to the New Deal, The Development of American Public Policy: The Structure of Policy Restraint (with Dennis R. Judd), numerous journal articles, and editor of Loss of Confidence: Politics and Policy in the 1970s. He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Policy History and he edits CLIO, the newsletter of the Politics and History section of the American Political Science Association. Professor Robertson has received the Governor's, Chancellor's, and Emerson Electric Awards for Teaching Excellence. He is the political analyst for KSDK Television (NBC in St. Louis) and is a frequently quoted political observer.

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