the quartet orchestrating the second american revolution 1783 1789.pdf

23 in the end madison believed that the verdict would

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23 In the end, Madison believed that the verdict would be decided not by arguments but by the makeup of the state ratifying conventions, where the vast majority of delegates would vote their interests, which could not be changed by the eloquence of one side or the other. So he put on his other hat as backroom politician and began to assemble a state-by-state assessment of the likely voting blocs. Again, this was the kind of nitty-gritty politics that a Virginia statesman was supposed to regard as an affront to his dignity, but Madison found it invigorating. 24 “The presumptive evidence is pretty strong with regard to New England,” he concluded, meaning he predicted a sweep of all the states with the exception of Rhode Island, “whose folly and fraud have not yet finished their career.” Reports from Pennsylvania suggested that it was not going to be a runaway victory, as he initially expected, but a clear victory nonetheless. New Jersey and Delaware could be safely counted in the win column, as could Maryland, unless Virginia faltered, which might then bring both Maryland and North Carolina in its train. Virginia looked likely to Madison but still problematic because of the opposition of Henry, Mason, and perhaps Randolph. New York would be very difficult because of Clinton’s control of the upstate counties. Given the obvious political significance of Virginia and New York, the strategy should be to achieve the nine-state goal before their conventions met and thereby present their delegates with a fait accompli. 25 All in all, Madison calculated that “the present appearance is in favor of the new Constitution.” The momentum of the ratification process worked to the advantage of the “Pros” and the disadvantage of the “Antis,” because pressure would build as each early state ratified, and quite fortuitously, the most questionable states would come at the end of the ratification sequence. Also, the supporters of ratification were united, “while the adversaries differ as much in their opposition as they do from the thing itself.” 26 At the same time that he was counting delegates in his obsessive Madisonian mode, his thought process, or perhaps his way of thinking about the ratification process, was beginning to change as he read the newspaper essays and editorials from multiple states. It gradually dawned on him that if he had gotten what he wanted at the Philadelphia convention, the prospects for ratification of the Constitution would have been remote in the extreme. In a long and quite extraordinary letter to Jefferson, the fullest and clearest exposition of what the Constitutional Convention had achieved that Madison ever wrote, he
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described the hybrid creature that the Constitution had created as part confederation and part nation. The delegates had, willy-nilly, managed “to draw a line of demarcation which would give to the General Government every power requisite for general purposes, and leave to the states every power which might be most beneficial to them.”
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