the quartet orchestrating the second american revolution 1783 1789.pdf

24 the scale of madisons editorial effort can only be

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24. The scale of Madison’s editorial effort can only be appreciated by recovering all 124 amendments proposed by the state ratifying conventions. The best place to find them is Edward Dumbauld’s The Bill of Rights and What It Means Today (Norman, Okla., 1957), 160–65. 25. Helen E. Veit et al., eds., Creating the Bill of Rights: A Documentary Record from the First Federal Congress (Baltimore, 1991), 263, 278. 26. Amendments to the Constitution, 13 August 1789, MP 12:333. 27. JM to Alexander White, 24 August 1789, MP 12:352–53; Maier, Ratification , 453. 28. For this classical view of the Bill of Rights, see Robert Rutland, The Birth of the Bill of Rights (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1955). 29. Veit, Creating the Bill of Rights , 64. 30. Amendments to the Constitution, 8 June 1789, MP 12:196–97. 31. MP 12:198–99. 32. MP 12:200–203. 33. MP 12:208. 34. Amendments to the Constitution, 17 August 1789, ibid., 344. See also Patrick T. Conley and John P. Kaminski, eds., The Bill of Rights and the States (Madison, Wis., 1992). 35. MP 12:207. See also Rosemary Zagarri, The Politics of Size: Representation in the United States, 1776–1850 (Ithaca, N.Y., 1987). 36. MP 12:201. 37. The ongoing debate over the right to bear arms in our own time is obviously a deeply divisive issue that generates much shouting, foot-stomping, and even death threats. My point here is that for judicial devotees of the “original intent” doctrine, Madison’s motives in 1789 are clear beyond any reasonable doubt. To wit, the right to bear arms derived from the need to make state militias the core pillar of national defense. In order to avoid reaching that conclusion, the majority opinion in Heller , written by Justice Antonin Scalia, is an elegant example of legalistic legerdemain masquerading as erudition. Madison is rolling over in his grave. For the history of the Second Amendment, see Michael Waldman, The Second Amendment: A Biography (New York, 2014), and Saul Cornell and Nathan Kokushanich, eds., The Second Amendment on Trial: Critical Essays on District of Columbia v. Heller (Amherst, Mass., 2013). 38. Veit, Creating the Bill of Rights , 175. 39. Ibid., 199. 40. JM to Richard Peters, 19 August 1789, MP 12:346–48. 41. Several historians have located the birth of American nationalism in the second decade of the nineteenth century. See Curtis Nettles, The Emergence of a National Economy, 1775–1815 (New
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York, 1962); Steven Watts, The Republic Reform: War and the Making of Liberal America, 1790– 1820 (Baltimore, 1987); David Waldstreicher, In the Midst of Perpetual Fetes: The Making of American Nationalism, 1776–1820 (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1997), which emphasizes the role of public rituals in creating a national ethos. 42. I have offered a fuller treatment of what we might call the Madison Problem in American Creation , 87–126. For a different view, see Gordon S. Wood, “Is There a Madison Problem?” in Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different (New York, 2006), 141–72. For the tragic consequences of Madison’s shift to a states-rights position, see Susan Dunn, Dominion of Memories: Jefferson, Madison, and the Decline of Virginia (New York, 2007).
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