Here, in a single volume, is a selection of the classic critiques of the new Constitution penned by such ardent defenders of states' rights and personal liberty as George Mason, Patrick Henry, and Melancton Smith; pro-Constitution writings by James Wilson and Noah Webster; and thirty-three of the best-known and most crucial Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. The texts of the chief constitutional documents of the early Republic are included as well. David Wootton's illuminating Introduction examines the history of such American principles of government as checks and balances, the separation of powers, representation by election, and judicial independenceincluding their roots in the largely Scottish, English, and French new science of politics. It also offers suggestions for reading The Federalist, the classic elaboration of these principles written in defense of a new Constitution that sought to apply them to the young Republic.
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