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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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Drafting Commercial Agreements

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A Revolution in Favor of Government

Max M. EdlingUppsala University and Visiting Fellow, Department of History, Cornell University

ISBN13: 9780195148701
ISBN: 0195148703
Published: September 2003
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Format: Hardback
Price: £71.00

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Edling argues that during the Constitutional debates, the Federalists were most concerned with building a state able to act vigorously in defence of American national interests. By transferring the powers of war-making and resource-extraction from states to the national government, the US Constitution created a nation-state invested with all the important powers of Europe's 18th-century ""fiscal-military states."" However, the political traditions and institutions of America were incompatible with a strong centralized government based on the European pattern.;To secure the Constitution's adoption, the Federalists needed to build a very different state. The administration they designed made limited demands on citizens and entailed sharp restrictions on the physical presence of the national government in society. The Constitution was the Federalists' promise of the benefits of government without its costs. The Federalists proposed statecraft rather than strong central authority as the solution to governing.