Advertisement

1776 Strikes Back—Anti-federalist Critics of the Constitution

  • Ivan JankovicEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter examines anti-federalist critique of the newly proposed Constitution. It combines the elements of the older tradition of “mixed” or ancient constitutionalism, with the typical economic arguments against mercantilism and central government’s control over the economic life. It demonstrates that anti-federalists were a diverse group of people who cherished American traditional political concepts mixed with an intuitive, and yet sometimes rather sophisticated grasp of free market economics and the dangers for economic liberty posed by the emerging mercantilist machinery of government. The chapter challenges the conventional interpretation of the weakness of the regime under the Articles of Confederation and demonstrates its superiority over the new Constitution in protecting economic liberty. It employs economic analysis to demonstrate the relevance of anti-federalist arguments for modern theories of fiscal federalism and decentralization.

References

  1. Andrews, C. (1924). The Colonial Background of the American Revolution. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Appleby, J. (2000). Inheriting the Revolution: The First Generation of Americans. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bailyn, B. (1967). The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Beard, C. (1986). An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  5. Birman, I. (1988). The Imbalance of the Soviet Economy. Soviet Studies, XL(2), 210–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Borden, M. (Ed.). (1965). The Antifederalist Papers. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Brunner, O. (1992). Land and Lordship: Structures of Governance in Medieval Austria (Translation and Introduction by H. Kaminsky & J. van Horn Melton). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  8. Buchanan, J., & Tullock, G. (1999). The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy. Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund Inc.Google Scholar
  9. Calhoun, J. C. (1992). Selected Writings and Speeches (L. Cheek, Ed.). New York: Regnery.Google Scholar
  10. Cohen, J. E. (1986). American Journal of Political Science, 30(4), 689–708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cornell, S. (1999). The Other Founders: Dissenting Tradition in America 1788–1828. Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  12. DiLorenzo, T. (2008). Hamilton’s Curse. New York: Crown Forum.Google Scholar
  13. Ford, P. L. (Ed.). (1892). Essays on the Constitution of the Unites States. Brooklyn, NY: Historical Printing Club.Google Scholar
  14. Frohnen, B. (Ed.). (1999). The Antifederalists; Selected Writings and Speeches. New York: Regnery.Google Scholar
  15. Gillete, C. (1987, February). Equality and Variety in the Delivery of Municipal Services. Harvard Law Review, 100(4), 946–968.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hamilton, A. (1957). On Public Credit, Commerce and Finance. New York: Liberal Arts Press.Google Scholar
  17. Hammond, B. (1957). Banks and Politics in America, from the Revolution to the Civil War. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Henderson, V. (1985, April). The Tiebout Model: Bring Back the Entrepreneurs. Journal of Political Economy, 93(2), 248–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Holcombe, R. (1991). Constitutions as Constraints: A Case Study of Three American Constitutions. Constitutional Political Economy, 2(3), 303–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jankovic, I. (2016). Men of Little Faith; the Country Party Ideology in England and America. American Political Thought, 5(2), 183–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jefferson, T. (1967 [1943]). Complete Jefferson (S. K. Padover, Ed.). New York: Books for Libraries Press.Google Scholar
  22. Jensen, M. (1963). The Articles of Confederation: An Interpretation of the Social- Constitutional History of the American Revolution, 1774–1781. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  23. Jensen, M. (1968). The Founding of a Nation. New York: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar
  24. Kenyon, C. (1955). Men of Little Faith: The Anti-federalists on the Nature of Representative Government. The William and Mary Quarterly, 12(1), 3–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kenyon, C. (Ed.). (1966). Antifederalists. Boston: Northeastern University Press. Google Scholar
  26. Kramnick, I. (1992). Bolingbroke and His Circle. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Lim, T. E. (2014). The Lovers’ Quarrel: The Two Foundations and American Political Development. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Main, J. T. (1961). The Antifederalists; Critics of the Constitution 1781–1788. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  29. McDonald, F. (1958). We the People: The Economic Origins of the Constitution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  30. McDonald, F. (1982). Alexander Hamilton: A Biography. New York: Norton and Company.Google Scholar
  31. McDonald, F. (2000). States’ Rights and the Union, Imperio in Imperii, 1776–1876. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press.Google Scholar
  32. Rose, C. M. (1990). The Ancient Constitution vs. The Federalist Empire: Antifederalism from the Attack on ‘Monarchism’ to Modern Localism. Northwestern University Law Review, 84, 74.Google Scholar
  33. Siemers, D. (2003). Antifederalists: Men of Great Faith and Forbearance. Lahnam, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  34. Sobel, S. R. (1999). In Defense of the Articles of Confederation and the Contribution Mechanism as a Means of Government Finance: A General Comment on the Literature. Public Choice, 99, 347–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Storing, H. (Ed.). (1981). Complete Antifederalists (Vols. I–III). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  36. Tiebout, C. (1956, October). A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures. The Journal of Political Economy, 64(5), 416–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wood, G. S. (1969). The Creation of the American Republic 1776–1787. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MaryBismarckUSA

Personalised recommendations