the quartet orchestrating the second american revolution 1783 1789.pdf

In the course of his campaign to recruit washington

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In the course of his campaign to recruit Washington to the cause, he had promised that the upcoming convention in Philadelphia would not be satisfied with temporary solutions, an implicit commitment to replace rather than merely revise the Articles. That, in turn, meant an entirely new political framework would be required to replace the current confederation. Like an assiduous student preparing for a final exam, Madison focused his formidable energies on designing the political architecture for a truly national government that would set the agenda in Philadelphia. His duties as a delegate in the Confederation Congress became abiding irrelevancies. Everything now depended on what happened in Philadelphia. 36 And that, in turn, depended to a great degree on the presence of America’s most indispensable character. After some last-minute second thoughts about the wisdom of it all, Washington rode out of Mount Vernon in early May. His very presence certified the significance of the occasion, as did his willingness to risk his reputation in order to rescue the American Revolution from its own excesses. As for what he referred to as a “remedy,” that was Madison’s department. And one would be hard pressed to find anyone else on the planet with his unique combination of political savvy, psychological intensity, and cerebral power. This would be his finest hour. 37
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Chapter 5 MADISON’S MOMENT I am afraid you will think this project, if not extravagant, absolutely unattainable and unworthy of being attempted. James Madison to Edmund Randolph APRIL 8, 1787
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M adison had a bimodal mind that was capable of functioning with great agility in a complicated political context, then ascending above the fray to a higher level of political theory, the latter a talent that has earned him a reputation as one of America’s preeminent political philosophers. Both sides of the Madisonian mind were operating at full speed in the spring of 1787, though the tactical side dictated the agenda for the theoretical side, meaning that Madison thought less like a philosopher than a lawyer preparing his case. 1 His client, in this instance, was a fully empowered federal government operating directly on the citizenry of the United States rather than indirectly through the states. His opponent was the state-based confederation embodied in the Articles, which had to be exposed under cross-examination as an ineffectual body that must be displaced rather than merely reformed. Unlike a detached philosopher, Madison drew conclusions that were politically preordained, and as he sifted through the piles of evidence, he was not searching for truth so much as building his case in preparation for the looming debate in Philadelphia. The only acceptable verdict was a clear shift in sovereignty from the state to the national level.
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