The Federal Age, 1789-1829: America in the Process of Becoming

The Federal Age, 1789-1829: America in the Process of Becoming

The Federal Age, 1789-1829: America in the Process of Becoming

The Federal Age, 1789-1829: America in the Process of Becoming

Excerpt

The first four decades of life under the federal Constitution have a compelling claim to our attention. They were the shaping years of the American republic, an age in which the Founding Fathers completed the work of independence and set about to establish a working federal system. And because the stakes of the game were so high--every political decision of the age, no matter how inconsequential, created a precedent--they were years also of intense political conflict, of paradox and polarity, when men divided bitterly over the proper means to federal union. Perhaps at no other time in our history, save alone during the period of the Civil War, has the nation been so deeply divided--or to such good effect. For out of the tempestuous controversies of the age came the foundations of our national politics and foreign policy.

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