Contested Conventions (häftad)
Häftad (Paperback / softback)
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Johns Hopkins University Press
228 x 158 x 19 mm
430 g
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Contested Conventions (häftad)

Contested Conventions

The Struggle to Establish the Constitution and Save the Union, 1787-1789

Häftad Engelska, 2016-08-15
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There is perhaps no more critical juncture in American history than the years in which Americans drafted the federal Constitution, fiercely debated its merits and failings, and adopted it, albeit with reservations. In Contested Conventions, senior historian Melvin Yazawa examines the political and ideological clashes that accompanied the transformation of the country from a loose confederation of states to a more perfect union. Treating the 1787-1789 period as a whole, the book highlights the contingent nature of the struggle to establish the Constitution and brings into focus the overriding concern of the framers and ratifiers, who struggled to counter what Alexander Hamilton identified as the "centrifugal" forces driving Americans toward a disastrous disunion. This concern inspired the delegates in Philadelphia to resolve through compromise the two most divisive confrontations of the Constitutional Convention-representation in the new Congress and slavery-and was instrumental in gaining ratification even in states where Antifederalist delegates comprised a substantial majority. Arguing that the debates over ratification reflected competing ideas about the meaning of American nationhood, Yazawa illuminates the nature of the crisis that necessitated the meeting at Philadelphia in the first place. Contested Conventions is a cohesive and compelling account of the defining issues that led to the establishment of the Constitution; it should appeal to history students and scholars alike.
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This informative study will fit in collections dealing with the birth of the nation at the graduate and undergraduate levels. The writing style is such that it should also appeal to a general readership. This work deserves to be in the libraries of all four-year institutions. Highly recomended. * Choice * By homing in on fears of disunion, Yazawa has written one of the best introductions to the struggle over the Constitution, to what people at the time believed was at stake, and to how exactly Federalists achieved their victory. This relatively concise, well-written, and narration-filled book should accordingly be of interest to many historians and would work well in their classrooms. * The Journal of Southern History *

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Övrig information

Melvin Yazawa is professor emeritus of history at the University of New Mexico. He is the author of From Colonies to Commonwealth: Familial Ideology and the Beginnings of the American Republic and the editor of The Diary and Life of Samuel Sewall.


IntroductionAbbreviations Used in the NotesPart OneThe Critical Period of American History1. A Union of Large and Small States2. A Union with SlaveholdersPart TwoStacking the Deck3. Massachusetts and the First Nine States4. Virginia Matters5. New York Joins the Union6. North Carolina, the Bill of Rights, and the Madisonian ExchangeEpilogueAppendixesA. The Perils of OriginalismB. Constitutional Convention: Attendance by StatesC. Chronology of RatificationIndex