the quartet orchestrating the second american revolution 1783 1789.pdf

Representation because of the actual superiority of

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representation because of the actual superiority of their populousness, and the southern by their expected superiority on this point.” He was only guessing, of course, and largely because of slavery the population of the southern states fell even further behind that of their northern counterparts. But he was expressing a common misconception of the moment. And however misguided, it exposed the tactical level at which his mind was working. 5 Madison’s cautious confidence was also buoyed by his ongoing analysis of the state delegations to the convention. His calculations, like those of Jay and Knox, grouped the delegates into three categories: first, those who wished to replace the Articles, the radical faction he favored; second, those who wished to revise the Articles, the moderates; and third, those who wished no change at all, the conservatives. His big discovery was that the last group had chosen to boycott the convention. The only exception was the New York delegation, where Hamilton’s efforts to have Jay selected were blocked by Governor George Clinton’s upstate supporters, despite Jay’s status as New York’s most prominent statesman. This meant that Hamilton, the ultranationalist, would be outvoted by two conservative colleagues opposed to any and all changes in the Articles. Apart from New York, however, the delegates seemed to be evenly divided between radicals and moderates. 6 How Madison managed to gather this valuable information remains a bit of a mystery. Obviously, modern technology was not available to communicate with his network of contacts in the different states. And while his correspondence reveals the conclusions he reached about each of the state delegations, it does not provide the evidence on which those conclusions were based. He was in New York, serving in the moribund Confederation Congress, which could do no business because it lacked a quorum. Most likely Madison used the time to interrogate his colleagues about political developments in their respective states in conversations that, for obvious reasons, never found their way into the historical record. This was backroom politics in the nose-counting tradition that most Virginian gentlemen would have found distasteful and slightly offensive. But it came to Madison naturally, and he was very good at it. Like a poker player counting cards, he was deciding how to play his hand in Philadelphia. According to his calculations, the odds for radical change seemed about even, much better than most observers believed. The theoretical side of Madison’s mind began operating at full power in April 1787. Jefferson had recently sent him several crates of books by English, Scottish, and French writers, a “literary cargo” that represented the most up-to-date European wisdom in the intellectual tradition soon to be called the Enlightenment. Historians interested in undermining the Beardian interpretation of the Constitution have
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