Today Connecticut is seen as partially a northern suburb of New York with the remainder being a southern suburb of Massachusetts. It seems to exist amoeba like with no inertia of its own other than the constant tension of halving itself and is probably held together only by the fact that there is no real difference between New York and Massachusetts. Such was not always the case and it was Connecticut that provided one of the major compromises that allowed the Constitutional convention of 1787 to successfully complete its work.
The preponderance of Antifederalist sentiment among the Connecticut delegation of course meant that there was a heavy preference for what would later be called a states rights position. In terms of limiting popular election of presidents – on the assumption that the people will never be sufficiently informed of characters – they were able to insert the electoral college. They maintained the bicameral legislature AND the election of senators [2 for each state] by the legislatures of the states.
While Collier points to the Antifederalist sentiment among the delegation it must be noted that two of its most prominent members Oliver Ellsworth and Roger Sherman were, in the first case the architect of the compromises that allowed the convention a adopt any plan and, in both cases were active after the convention had drafted the Constitution in getting it ratified by their state [5th of 13 to do so]. The argument that the Antifederalist lost was the desire to see the state governments vested with supreme authority with the national government acting as a link between the states and although they lost that argument on paper that was essentially the way the nation was governed – as a Republic – until 1860.
All politics is local : family, friends, and provincial interests in the creation of the Constitution Christopher Collier Hanover, N.H. : University Press of New England, c 2003 Hardcover. 1st. ed. and printing. xi, 224 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 203-215) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG
Since the late 1780s historians and jurists have questioned what was uppermost in the minds of the framers of the United States Constitution. In surveying the thirteen states‘ experiences as colonies and under the Articles of Confederation, one is struck more by their great diversity than by their commonalities. In this work, Christopher Collier brings to the fore an interpretation virtually neglected since the mid-nineteenth century: the view from the states, in which the creation and ratification of the new Constitution reflected a unique combination of internal and external needs.
All Politics Is Local closely analyzes exactly what Connecticut constituents expected their representatives to achieve in Philadelphia and suggests that other states’ citizens also demanded their own special returns. Collier avoids popular theory in his convincing argument that any serious modern effort to understand the Constitution as conceived by its framers must pay close attention to the state-specific needs and desires of the era.
Challenging all previous interpretations, Collier demonstrates that Connecticut’s forty Antifederalist representatives were motivated not by economic, geographic, intellectual, or ideological factors, but by family and militia connections, local politics, and other considerations that had nothing at all to do with the Constitution. He finds no overarching truth, no common ideological thread binding the Antifederalists together, which leads him to call for the same state-centered micro-study for the other twelve founding states.
To do less leaves historical and contemporary interpretations of the U.S. Constitution not simply blurred around the edges but incomplete at the core as well. Collier delights and surprises readers in proving – with his trademark impeccable historical scholarship, firm grasp of known sources, and ample new material – that in the case of Connecticut, a stalwart defender of the provincial prerogative, all politics is and was, to one degree or another, local.