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.
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(228mm x 152mm x 17mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - David Brian Robertson
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.