Creating the Constitution: The Convention of 1787 and the First Congress

By Thornton Anderson | Go to book overview

3
Political Motivations

Was the purpose of the Convention primarily political or was it economic? Was it to strengthen and preserve the integrity of the recently independent confederacy or was it to defend and perpetuate the special advantages of property owners? Were the delegates more afraid of disunion and foreign intervention, or of the growing numbers and influence of less wealthy citizens?

I believe, and shall argue, that the priority concerns of the Convention, although clearly and consciously carrying economic implications, were fundamentally political.

The nature of the problems, and the proper solutions, were seen by different delegates from several divergent and often conflicting perspectives. The special circumstances and interests of the separate states strongly influenced these perspectives but did not always determine them--hence the divided votes within state delegations.

The nationalists were eager to arrest two interrelated postwar trends,

-43-

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Creating the Constitution: The Convention of 1787 and the First Congress
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents vii
  • Convention Chronology ix
  • The Delegates xi
  • Preface xiii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Ideas from England 17
  • 3 - Political Motivations 43
  • 4 - Economic Motivations 85
  • 5 - An Anti-Demoscratic Convention? 117
  • 6 - The Convention Congress 173
  • Appendixes 207
  • Works Cited 239
  • Index 251
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