The Federal Principle in American Politics, 1790-1833
- Publish Date: 2001-05-25
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Andrew C. Lenner
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In the early republic, constitutional debates over federal-state relations were fundamental to party battles and divergent conceptions of republicanism. Then, as now, theories about the sources and nature of federal power informed public debate, policy, and judicial decisions. For John C. Calhoun, the recognition of the equality of the states by the federal government was a precondition for preserving and strengthening republican liberty.
Republicans like James Madison and Andrew Jackson felt republicanism could only flourish if state and federal authorities confined themselves to their proper spheres. Federalists like Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Wilson believed in a more expansive role for the federal government (based on the common law and the law of nations). Lenner examines the constitutional conflicts of the republic's first decade, discusses Virginia's three Republican Presidents, the political and constitutional thought of the National and Old Republicans, the nature of the Jacksonian movement, the doctrine of dual sovereignty, and the nullification crisis. In examining the conflicts of the revolutionary era, Lenner's work provides a ground-breaking overview of the culture of constitutionalism the clash of ideas about the nature and structure of Unionthat pervaded the early republic.