the quartet orchestrating the second american revolution 1783 1789.pdf

Outcome of the looming debate was foreordained much

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outcome of the looming debate was foreordained, much like the war for independence, and once you knew that, you could afford to be patient about the bumps in the road to the ultimate destination and be graceful in your attitude toward the beleaguered and misguided opposition. The public mind is much occupied by the Plan of federal Govt. recommended by the late
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Convention…. The majority seems at present to be in its Favor. For my part I think it much better than the one we have, and therefore that we will be Gainers in the Exchange, especially as there is Reason to hope that experience and the good Sense of the People will correct what may prove to be inexpedient in it. A compact like this, which is the result of accommodation and compromise, cannot be supposed to be perfectly consonant to the wishes of any of the Parties. 18 Like Hamilton, Madison, and Washington, Jay preferred a stronger statement of federal sovereignty, but that had proved politically impossible. So be it. Unlike Madison, who loved to linger in the details, Jay tended to focus on the broad outlines of the outcome, which moved the United States from a powerless confederation of sovereign states to a more coherent and energetic federal government whose range of power would be determined in the future. Accusations by the opposition about the tyrannical tendencies of a consolidated national government could best be handled pragmatically, on a case-by-case basis, where they were likely to be exposed as paranoid delusions. Jay knew that he was likely to be elected as a delegate to the New York ratifying convention, and in the end he received more votes than any other nominee. Not a man to harbor illusions, he also realized from the start that, because of Clinton’s dominant role in New York politics, the nationalists were likely to be outgunned and outvoted in the New York convention. But he had a panoramic perspective on the ratification process. “I am inclined to think that the Constitution will be adopted in this State,” he wrote Washington, “especially if our eastern Neighbours should generally come into the Measure.” In other words, ratification in New York would depend on what happened elsewhere, creating irresistible pressure to join the union once nine states ratified. His mind began with the assumption that ratification was inevitable, then plotted the only course for it to happen in New York. Events proved him right on both counts, and no one was prepared to be more gracious in victory than Jay. 19 Unlike Jay, who had been watching from afar, Madison had spent the entire summer deeply engaged in the endless debates in Philadelphia, and he returned to his seat in the Confederation Congress both exhausted and deeply disappointed. Unlike Hamilton, who immediately shifted gears despite his personal reservations and moved into advocacy mode, Madison was temporarily paralyzed, blaming himself for the failure of the Constitution to resolve forever the sovereignty question. The opportunity to create a fully empowered national government, he wrote in code to Jefferson, had come and gone.
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