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L’Amérique et le France

II. L’État, l’idéologie et la révolution

Economic republicanism and the relative autonomy of the State

Lawrence Kaplan

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1Probably no other subject in all of American history has consistently called forth such polarized interpretations as the origins of the U. S. Constitution. First came the idealized treatment verging on hagiography for the century and a quarter after its inception, and then the cynical perception of the Progressives, lasting well into the 1950s. More recently a positive version has reappeared, presenting the Constitution’s framing in terms of the creation of a virtuous republic. Done with such verve, it has become the ruling orthodoxy, continuing to dominate the field of constituional study for almost thirty years now. On a different but parallel level, we can witness the economic determinism of Charles Beard being replaced by books and monographs concentrating their focus solely on a rarified, intellectual plane. For nearly the first half of the 20th century we had economic causality ; for the last three decades we have had intellectual history. In short, one monothematic paradigm has been subsituted for another.

  • 1 A good summary of the school may be found in Robert E. SHALHOPE, "Republicanism and Early American (...)

2Since the purpose of this paper is to suggest an alternative to the current dominant framework, I would like to begin by presenting the main tenets of the "republican school" of historians1. For the most part, the emphasis in this approach is on the intentions of the Founding Fathers, those who helped put together the Constitution at Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 and then oversaw its ratification during the next year and one half. With an ideology stemming from the oppositional thought of the English Commonwealthmen during the eighteenth century, honed in the struggle for independence, the Fathers, we are told, became increasingly dissatisfied with the America which emerged from the war. Their overriding goal, that of preserving liberty, originally forced them to withstand the onslaughts of a tyrannical British monarchy, and then compelled them to take action to stem a licentious American populace dominating state governments during the Confederacy. Initially believing that the essential requisite enabling a republic to survive was the selfless character of a people who placed the "public good" before personal needs, they were rapidly disillusioned by reality.

  • 2 Harold C. SYRETT, ed. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, vol. V, New York, 1962, p. 88 ; The Federal (...)

3Republican virtue, according to the standard account, necessitated the sacrifice of individual interests to the requirements of the larger community ; but the period of the Confederacy witnessed, from the perspective of the Founders, quite the opposite phenomenon : the development of factions and special interest groups using a weak, decentralized government for their own selfish benefit. With a continental vision and a commitment to the "public good’, they salvaged the country’s liberty, transforming the American focus away from the local scene and onto a national canvas. As Alexander Hamilton and James Madison explained it, by giving more strength, vigor and stability to the center, "a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government" would be provided2.

4Disenchanted with the possibility of an entire population being imbued with civic humanism, the ingredient assumed by earlier writers (especially those who recommended small political units for republican success), it is generally recognized that the Framers became obsessed with the inevitability of factions. In all his major writings, including letters to colleagues, speeches to the Convention, in Vices of the Political System of the United States, and most notably in The Federalist n° 10, Madison endlessly demonstrated how factions served to corrupt republican liberty by sacrificing the public for private welfare. One can find similar concerns in other Federalist pronouncements. Their solution was to ensure that the reins of governmental authority, to the largest extent possible, were turned over to an elite who would refine or filter out the individualistic interests of various special groups, especially the masses.

  • 3 Especially, Gordon S. WOOD, The Creation of the American Republic, Chapel Hill, 1969. This is a maj (...)

5As the left wing of the "republican school" readily observe3, the Founders were anxious to sacrifice democracy, for they mainly feared majoritarian factions. Worthy men of talent would rule the new America, insuring that the public good was served, while the majority of the participating constituents would passively watch their programs being filtered away by the mysteries of federal government and the separation of powers. Ironically, the latter, which was designed in part to eliminate corruption, has had the opposite effect in American politics ; as log rolling and other such hard boiled parliamentary practices, necessitated by separation of powers, has characterized U. S. political life for much of its history.

  • 4 Ibid., chapters, XII, XIII ; J. G. A. POCOCK, "Virtue and Commerce in the Eighteenth Century", Jour (...)

6If the Founding Fathers were republicans rather than democrats, they were really a fresh species, who no longer had faith in the civic mindedness of the electorate. Their special type of republicanism best operated on the larger scale of national government, diluting democracry and serving to eliminate the old concept of liberty which entailed the active, meaningful participation of all citizens. The new form of government would function according to the wisdom and experience of a "natural aristocracy", uniquely qualified to convert particular interests into a higher form of public good4. Unfortunately, however, the new experiment was contaminated from the start.

  • 5 Max FARRAND, ed.. The Records of the Federal Constitution, Vol. I, New Haven, 1937, p. 476.

7Curiously, the "republican school" has failed to stress the cynical nature of the compromises at the 1787 Convention, which resulted in a somewhat tarnished finished product. Every American child knows how compromises had to be engineered in order to gain near unanimity. But the character of these dealings, representing to a high degree those interest politics so derided on the state level by the Federalists, reigned supreme at Philadelphia, and would establish a precedent for later developments in national politics. Madison himself well understood the need for accommodations and concessions at the Convention, maintaining that the gravest difficulty in reaching a consensus had little to do with big state versus small state, but with disagreements between "the great southern and northern interests"5.

  • 6 Paul FINKELMAN, "Slavery and the Constitutional Convention", in Richard Beeman, et al., Beyond Conf (...)
  • 7 See for example, BEEMAN, op. cit„ Leonard W. LEVY and Dennis J. MAHONEY, eds., The Framing and Rati (...)
  • 8 Gaillard HUNT, The Writings of James Madison, vol. II, New York, 1901, p. 363 ; FARRAND, op. cot., (...)

8Pursuing this point a bit further, the subject of slavery, invariably missing from republican treatments of the Constitution, is central to understanding the cynical nature of compromise at the Convention. For at Philadelphia southern delegates agreed to support a commerce clause in return for a 20 year continuation of the slave trade, a dirty deal if there ever was one6. To be sure, most recent book-length collections of articles on the Constitution now see fit to have a single, token chapter on the "slavery issue"7. But, with minor exceptions, none of the other selections in these various volumes deem it necessary to even mention the subject, despite the fact that the perpetuation of "the peculiar institution" poisoned U. S. republicanism at the very outset of its national foundation. Interestingly enough, added to this corrupt brew was James Madison’s observation, delivered in a speech to the convention, that "where slavery exists republican theory becomes still more fallacious." Yet one almost never reads this admonition in current republican literature, which also appears prominently in his otherwise much quoted Vices of the Political System8, Perhaps the subject does not readily fit into an idealistic, intellectualized version of the Founders’ commitment to liberty and the public good. Nevertheless, no treatment of the U. S. Constitution can be regarded as comprehensive unless it integrates Blacks and slavery, as well as native Americans, into the total picture.

9Along these same lines of ignoring important segments of the U. S. population, elite republicanism has its counterpart in a style of history which largely neglects what the rank and file electorate actually believed. Intellectual historians tend to get their information from published sources, accounts of debates or surviving letter collections : in other words, what was said by articulate spokesmen or literate publicists. Missing from this approach to the historical record are the sentiments of those people who do not necessarily put their thoughts on paper. One should therefore not assume the same kinds of perceptions and objectives for all those who supported the ratification of the Constitution.

  • 9 Gordon C. WOOD, "Interests and Disinterestedness in the Making of the Constitution", in BEEMAN, op. (...)
  • 10 This thesis is put most strongly in Virtue, Commece and History, Cambridge, England, 1985.
  • 11 Jackson TURNER MAIN, The Antifederalists, Chicago, 1961.

10Interestingly, Gordon Wood now claims that we do not really know the attitudes of representative Antifederalists because research has been limited to their leaders, who were socially and sometimes ideologically "indistinguishable" from their Federalist counterparts9. What we have had these past three decades is elite history to parallel the elite republicanism of the Founding Fathers. But to limit ourselves to people’s modes of discourse or political language, as scholars like J. G. A. Pocock insist10, gives us a very skewed view of what was going on in the United States during this historical moment. Greater progress in getting beyond intellectual formulations has been made by the remnants of the old "neo-Progessive school", who resurrect economic causality when they view ratification in terms of the commercial Federalists opposing the less commercial elements in the countryside11. This approach has a claim to validity since it is consistent with today’s practice of drawing conclusions about voter attitudes from their economic, social and ethnic environments.

  • 12 Drew R. McCOY, The Elusive Republic, Chapel Hill, 1980 ; and although somewhat outside the traditio (...)

11A major criticism to be made of the mainstream of the "republican school" is the onesided nature of their emphasis on political history. The closest these historians ever get to material factors is when they discuss interest groups in the localities who manipulate state governments for their own corrupt advantage. Issues like stay laws or the promiscuous issuance of paper money, which threatened the sanctity of property, are mentioned, but are viewed in the context of interest politics, anathema to the general good so beloved of "true" republicans. There are certain exceptions to the above mentioned rule12, but no historian of this persuasion sees the centrality of economics in the creation of the American republic. This is a very serious shortcoming, for a strong case can be made for the argument that material considerations were of utmost importance to the Founding Fathers, who recognized the economic underpinnings of republican politics and could hardly conceive of either one without the other.

  • 13 HUNT, vol. II, op. cit., pp. 227-229.

12James Madison, as well as Alexander Hamilton, called attention to the interrelationship between republicanism and commerce, and they most definitely believed both could best be served by the creation of a more powerful state. In the year proceeding the summoning of the Philadelphia Convention, Madison wrote letter after letter to trusted friends like Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe expressing his worries about the economic situation. One, written in March, 1786, decried the "continuance of the present anarchy of our commerce" perpetuating an unfavorable balance of trade, draining away precious metals, and resulting in all kinds of dire consequences for the hapless United States. He then went on to make a very key point : "In fact, most of our political evils may be traced up to our commercial ones, as most of our moral may be to our political"13. Two years later, in The Federalists n° 14, when summarizing the advantages of a more powerful national union, he listed as among the most crucial not only the need for a "proper antidote for the diseases of faction", but also for a "guardian of our commerce and other common interests".

13Alexander Hamilton, of course, appreciated the interconnection between commerce and republicanism as much as anyone. In n° 12 of The Federalist he introduces his essay on revenue by pointing out how :

The prosperity of commerce is now perceived and acknowledged by all enlightened statesmen to be the most useful as well as the most productive source of national wealth, and has accordingly become a primary object of their political cares.

14The same statement is made even more strongly in n° 11, an essay representing Hamilton’s most succinct paean to the commercial advantages that will inevitably come to this new nation through a vigorous national government. "A unity of commercial, as well as political interests, can only result from a unity of government", he writes, bringing economic success which "would then be the offspring of moral and physical necessity". In many ways this essay, Hamilton’s most passionate, takes its place as the counterpart of Madison’s much praised exposition of factions in n° 10. Together they make the crucial dual argument : a viable republican government will coincide with the triumph of business enterprise, while economic growth will ensure the success of republicanism.

  • 14 Charles A. BEARD, An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution, New York, 1913, ch. VI.

15Charles Beard, whose writings have been discredited and therefore ignored by recent generations of historians, was at least partially correct when he characterized the U. S. Constitution "as an economic document"14. As we just noted, many of the most articulate adherents of Federalism quite openly enumerated the commercial advantages accruing from a unified country and a powerful central government. Not only would property be made more secure by protecting the inviolability of contracts and removing the threat of paper money schemes, the establishment of a national market could only lead to an expansion of capitalist forces. Furthermore, control over revenue given to Congress would strengthen the comparative economic advantage of the country, raising an adequate funding for government while protecting a fledgling industrial base as well. In short, the Framers, through their imaginative efforts, created an economic and political environment in which bourgeois property would flourish as never before.

16Unfortunately, by concentrating on the rarified intellectual sphere mainly limited to politics, historians have helped to obfuscate an important ingredient underlying the constitutional origins of the United States. In this regard, they tend to mimic the republican rhetoric used by the Federalists, who similarly disguised reality by placing an idealistic coloring on the class character and economic basis of their rule. In the concluding section of this essay I will attempt to demonstrate how the key points in the political vocabulary of the Federalists should be reinterpreted in order to more fully appreciate their achievement.

  • 15 Lance BANNING, "The Hamiltonian Madison”, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 1984, pp. (...)

17When depicting the type of leaders they wished to rule the American republic, Federalist spokesmen like Madison deliberately shied away from the term "natural aristocracy", although that is what they really meant15. Instead, they talked about "the worthy", those possessing superior talents, connections and fortunes : the 18th century ideal of the educated and cultivated gentleman. But who, in fact, were these men soon to be entrusted with the resposibility of commanding the state? They were, as the Antifederalists never tied of observing, the elite aristocracy, in other words the upper classes or their representatives. Isaac Kramnick in a recent article cogently establishes this case :

  • 16 Isaac KRAMNICK, ’The Great National Discussion", WMQ, 3rd, Ser., January, 1998, pp. 3-32, p. 14.

The class focus of the Federalist’s republicanism is self-evident. Their vision was of an elite corps of men in whom civic spirit and love of the general good overcame particular and narrow interest. Such men were men of substance, independence and fame who had the leisure to devote their time to public life and the wisdom to seek the true interests of the country as opposed to the wicked projects of local and particular interests16.

  • 17 See Hamilton’s definition of "justice" in The Federalist n° 70.
  • 18 The Federalist, n° 11.

18When the term "general good" is examined, it does not equal the tendency towards democracy implied by Rousseau’s "general will". Rather, it connotes the best interest of the state and economy as understood by the Federalists. Since neither historians nor Federalist contemporaries define this concept in substantial detail, we have to draw our conclusions from negative statements about confederation government, mainly on the state level, and also from underlying assumptions. Although sometimes couched in words like "justice" and "liberty"17, general welfare would most certainly require the sanctity of property and all this connotes : firmness of contract, a stable and dependable uniform currency, and the reliable payment of debts, both public and private. It would entail providing security against foreign incursions, economic and military in nature, and protection against internal insurrection of the Shays variety, as well as against slave rebellions. Finally, the government would be able to oversee westward settlement, leading to the creation of an American empire. In sum, the new Federal institutions would best marshall what Hamilton called "our unequalled spirit of enterprise"18, thereby providing the necessary environment for the expansion of American capitalism.

  • 19 G. HUNT, The Writings of James Madison, vol. V, New York, 1904, p. 267 ; Syrett, op. cit., p. 88.

19Although economic considerations remained uppermost in the minds of the Framers, it has to be remembered that the work at Philadelphia entailed a political remedy for the nation’s ills. That is why the defenders of the new Constitution conceived their arguments largely in political terms when they spelled out the advantages of the new federal government. A major failing of the confederation, "the real danger to America and to liberty", according to Madison, "lies in the defect of energy and stability in the present establishment of the United States", (His emphasis). Or, as Hamilton put it in more positive terms to the New York ratifying convention, the purpose of creating new institutions was to put into practice the "principle of strength and stability in the organization of our government, and vigor in its operations"19. From heights more commanding than previously, this new energy and vigor would enable the sovereign state to curtail selfish individual interests by maintaining a substantial degree of impartiality.

  • 20 HUNT, ed., vol. II, op. cit., p. 346.

20Since competing factions cause such difficulties in republics, there is an urgent need for placing the state above the battle, neutral enough to decide what measures are in the general interest. The Founders came back to this formulation time and again. In a significant letter written to Washington just a month before the Philadelphia convention got under way, James Madison spoke as follows of the main failing of previous republics : "The great desideratum which has not yet been found for Republican Governments seems to be some disinterested and dispassionate. Umpire in disputes between different passions and interests in the state"20. The concept of a "neutral" govemement appeared most prominently in his Vices of the Political System, composed at around this very time. And a year and one half later, in a letter written to Edmund Pendleton, he made the very same point :

  • 21 Ibid., vol. V, pp. 277-278. His emphasis.

A certain degree of impartiality or the appearance of it, is necessary in the most despotic Governments. In Republics this may be considered as the vital principle of the Administration. And in a federal Republic founded on local distinctions involving local jealousies, it ought to be attended to with a still more scrupulous exactness21.

  • 22 The Federalist, n° 7.

21A prime goal of the delegates at Philadelphia was to give life to the general principle of government neutrality by creating specific federal institutions, shielded from majoritarian principles while reflecting the desired aim of impartiality. This became a main theme of The Federalist as well. In one of the first essays he composed in defense of the Constitution, Hamilton expressed the fear that disputes over western lands potentially threatened the peace unless there was an "umpire or common Judge to interpose between the contending parties"22. In disputes within states "what better umpires" asks Madison in n° 43, "could be desired by two violent factions, flying to arms and tearing a State to pieces, than the representatives of confederate States, not heated by the local flame?" The need to set up institutions rising above special interests, i.e., not allowing factions to be judges in their own causes is, of course, expressed most strongly in Madison’s classic n° 10.

  • 23 Neil MULLIN, "Judicial Supremacy, Edwin Meese, and the Relative Autonomy of the State", in Jules Lo (...)

22The two institutions ultimately entrusted with "umpire" status were the Senate and the Supreme Court. It is in the former body, where filtration of talent entailed the most responsible kinds of decisions, that the Framers initially placed their greatest reliance. This is generally recognized. In addition, The Federalist n° 78 by Hamilton called attention to the special impartial role expected for the Supreme Court. Quite precisely, he spelled out the powers to be exercised, including the review of legislation and the ultimate determination of the Constitution’s meaning. The lifetime tenure of these justices, he argued, "is the best expedient which can be devised in any government, to secure a steady, upright and impartial administration of the laws." This anticipation of a vital status for the Court, the ultimate defender of neutrality, waited for the quintessential Federalist, John Marshall, to bring it to fruition some 15 years later23.

23 The genius of the Founding Fathers is often celebrated, but one of their most brilliant accomplishments has not received the appreciation it deserves. And this neglect is a product of an inherent limitation of the "republican school", because what was achieved was not fully spelled out in the language of the day. In calling for an autonomous, "neutral state" run by an elite corps of "specially qualified" individuals, the Federalists produced an imaginative solution to a fundamental political problem facing ruling classes in a democratic/capitalist society. That is, how to maintain hegemony amidst a potential weakness caused by the mutually contradictory interests of individual capitalist groupings which inevitably arise under capitalism. This inherent vulnerability is greatly exacerbated by the ever present danger that a self-aware majority, benefiting from this lack of capitalist unity, could gain political power in a country committed to parliamentary government.

24It is interesting to note how the situation emerging from the aftermath of the American Revolution brought these issues into sharp relief. The war had been inaugurated under the auspices of a democratic rhetoric, and a number of democratic practices, especially on the state level, had in fact been introduced to an unprecedented extent. All these developments, combined with the breakdown of central authority, gave birth to the divisive environment decried by Federalist writers. The events of the day helped to call forth a frankness regarding the nature of economic interest and class struggle never again repeated by upper class spokesmen on the North American continent. But the Federalist resolution contained enough elements of mystification that some of the chief implications of what the new government accomplished remained disguised.

25The neutral institutions established by the Federal Constitution, and administered by the ruling elites, divorced individual economic interests from the operation of political power. By making the state relatively autonomous, the central government could now perform the essential function of serving as a unifying factor in a society divided by class. For, as Madison realized, different capitalist elements had their own short term agendas and were incapable of overcoming internal fractioning. The autonomous state served to unify the dominant classes, while the long range interests of this entire class could be effectively pursued. These interests included the perpetuation of capitalism as a system, as well as preserving those capitalist class relations, including chattel slavery, which constituted "the American way of life", and undertaking the economic expansion of an American empire.

  • 24 Bob JESSOP, The Capitalist State, New York, 1982, p. 107.

26The neutrality (autonomy) of the capitalist state in the U. S., which ostensibly pursues the political general welfare, is in reality following the agenda of the bourgeoisie as a composite. The nature of this political solution is uniquely relevant to a democratic nation in that herein a sovereign state presents itself as the representative of the common good against all particular interests, while at the same time promoting capitalist hegemony. Since the relatively autonomous state can occasionally place limits on the dominant classes’ economic power without necessarily threatening their political power, it can make the claim that it represents the dominated as well. Thus, the American state can fulfill the role of "an ideal collective capitalist" under the guise of democratic legitimation and "popular will"24. It can accomplish this task by obscuring its institutional class bias. The late Marxist theorist Nicos Poulantzas explained this aspect extremely well :

  • 25 Nicos POULANTZAS, Political Power and Social Classes, English trans. London, 1968, p. 214. His emph (...)

One of the particular characteristics of dominant bourgeois ideology is, in fact, that it conceals class exploitation in a specific manner, to the extent that all trace of class domination is systematically absent from its language. It is true that its very status forbids any ideology to present itself as the ideology of class-domination25.

  • 26 This point is somewhat different than the one made by Gordon C. Wood in his Creation, op. cit., tha (...)
  • 27 I would like to thank my colleague, David Jaffee, for his help in the preparation of this article.

27It is not necessary to take a skeptical view of the Founding Fathers’ political language when evaluating their creation of a hegemonic capitalist state in terms of the best interest of the entire country. We have no reason to question their sincerity or their commitment to "a more perfect union". Nor, in their own terms, was their republican ideology employed in bad faith. Nevertheless, so successful was their achievement that it became sanctified by usage and patriotically romanticized to serve more cynical causes in the future. Before long political rhetoric became impoverished26 and, by the twentieth century, devoid of real meaning. The Federalist contribution to the deterioration of political language began with their own class assumptions about what was good for the country. One can understand how they produced a particular political ideology. Nonetheless, there is no valid reason why today’s generation of historians should not expose the limitations of an earlier ruling class. It would clarify the historical record and might very well enhance political awareness in our own day27.

Notes

1 A good summary of the school may be found in Robert E. SHALHOPE, "Republicanism and Early American Historiography", WMQ, 3 rd. Ser., 1982, pp. 334-356. A variation on the theme of republicanism posits the dichotomy between court and country. See in this regard, James H. HUSTON, "Country, Court and Constitution : Antifederalism and the Historian", WMQ, 3rd. Ser., 1981, pp. 337-368.

2 Harold C. SYRETT, ed. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, vol. V, New York, 1962, p. 88 ; The Federalist, New York, 1937, n° 10.

3 Especially, Gordon S. WOOD, The Creation of the American Republic, Chapel Hill, 1969. This is a major theme of the final two parts of the book.

4 Ibid., chapters, XII, XIII ; J. G. A. POCOCK, "Virtue and Commerce in the Eighteenth Century", Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 1972, pp. 119-134 ; The Machiavellian Moment, Princeton, 1975, ch. XV.

5 Max FARRAND, ed.. The Records of the Federal Constitution, Vol. I, New Haven, 1937, p. 476.

6 Paul FINKELMAN, "Slavery and the Constitutional Convention", in Richard Beeman, et al., Beyond Confederation, Chapel Hill, 1987, pp. 188-225. These compromises on slavery are particularly troublesome considering that many of the delegates regarded the institution as evil.

7 See for example, BEEMAN, op. cit„ Leonard W. LEVY and Dennis J. MAHONEY, eds., The Framing and Ratification of the Constitution, New York, 1987. The recent WMQ issue devoted to the Constitution has no articles on slavery and there is barely a footnote mention of the subject. WMQ, 3rd. Ser., July, 1987.

8 Gaillard HUNT, The Writings of James Madison, vol. II, New York, 1901, p. 363 ; FARRAND, op. cot., p. 318. Although Madison’s wording is somewhat ambiguous, especially, the use of the terms "republican theory", I would tend to agree with Jack N. Rakove that Madison was most likely referring to the dangers represented by slave rebellions in republics with weak central governments. See his "The Great Compromise", WMQ, 3rd, Serr., July, 1987, pp. 424-457, p. 453 fn=68. Presumably, the Founding Fathers would take measures to eliminate this "vice".

9 Gordon C. WOOD, "Interests and Disinterestedness in the Making of the Constitution", in BEEMAN, op. cit., pp. 69-109, p. 93.

10 This thesis is put most strongly in Virtue, Commece and History, Cambridge, England, 1985.

11 Jackson TURNER MAIN, The Antifederalists, Chicago, 1961.

12 Drew R. McCOY, The Elusive Republic, Chapel Hill, 1980 ; and although somewhat outside the tradition, also see Joyce Appleby, Capitalism and a New Social Order, New York, 1984. Both books, however, focus on the period after ratification.

13 HUNT, vol. II, op. cit., pp. 227-229.

14 Charles A. BEARD, An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution, New York, 1913, ch. VI.

15 Lance BANNING, "The Hamiltonian Madison”, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 1984, pp. 3-28.

16 Isaac KRAMNICK, ’The Great National Discussion", WMQ, 3rd, Ser., January, 1998, pp. 3-32, p. 14.

17 See Hamilton’s definition of "justice" in The Federalist n° 70.

18 The Federalist, n° 11.

19 G. HUNT, The Writings of James Madison, vol. V, New York, 1904, p. 267 ; Syrett, op. cit., p. 88.

20 HUNT, ed., vol. II, op. cit., p. 346.

21 Ibid., vol. V, pp. 277-278. His emphasis.

22 The Federalist, n° 7.

23 Neil MULLIN, "Judicial Supremacy, Edwin Meese, and the Relative Autonomy of the State", in Jules Lobel, ed., A Less Than Perfect Union, New York, 1988, pp. 195-210.

24 Bob JESSOP, The Capitalist State, New York, 1982, p. 107.

25 Nicos POULANTZAS, Political Power and Social Classes, English trans. London, 1968, p. 214. His emphasis.

26 This point is somewhat different than the one made by Gordon C. Wood in his Creation, op. cit., that the Founding Fathers disguised their dislike of democracy in order to get the Constitution ratified. See esp., pp. 562-563. I would, however, agree with John Patrick Diggins that their views on democracy were well publicized. "Between Bailyn and Beard", WMQ, 3rd. Ser., July, 1987, pp. 563-568 ; pp. 565-566.

27 I would like to thank my colleague, David Jaffee, for his help in the preparation of this article.

Auteur

City University of New York

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