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Among the founders, James Madison wielded the greatest influence in drafting the Constitution of 1789. In this book, Garrett Ward Sheldon offers a concise synthesis of Madison's political philosophy in the context of the social and political history of his day. Tracing the history of Madison's thought to his early education in Protestant theology, Sheldon argues that it was a fear of the potential "tyranny of the majority" over individual rights, along with a firmly Calvinist suspicion of the motives of sinful men, that led him to support a constitution creating a strong central government with power over state laws. In this way, Madison aimed to protect individual liberties and provide checks to "spiteful" human interests and selfish parochial prejudices. Among the topics Sheldon covers are Madison's Princeton education, his contributions to the Federalist Papers, his arguments in defense of states' rights on behalf of Virginia, his views on federal power during his terms as secretary of state and president, and, in his later years, his defense of the Union against those Southerners who advocated nullification.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780801871061
ISBN-10: 0801871069
Format: Paperback
(216mm x 140mm x 9mm)
Pages: 160
Imprint: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publish Date: 1-Nov-2002
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Garrett Ward Sheldon

Garrett Ward Sheldon is the John Morton Beaty Professor of Political and Social Sciences at the University of Virginia's College at Wise. He is the author of The Political Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson, also available from Johns Hopkins.

Books By Author Garrett Ward Sheldon

Political Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson by Garrett Ward Sheldon

The Political Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson

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