The Economic and Intellectual Influences in The Debate over Ratification of the U.S. Constitution Rick Riley PSC 499 Fall 2009 Economic Interests http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/images/vc3.8.jpg The Competing Schools of Thought on Constitutional History Economic Model • Charles A. Beard, Jackson T. Main • Progressive/Liberal • Constitution was designed to benefit Founders economically • Anti-Federalists and Federalists divided along class lines Intellectual Model • Forrest McDonald • Conservative • Constitution had ideological roots • Anti-Federalists had localist tendencies • Federalists were Nationalists McDonald V.S. Beard State by State http://amhist.ist.unomaha.edu/module_files/fx12_states_fight_over_ratification_of_the_constitution.jpg Early Ratification States State Farmer Delegates Security Holding Delegates Delaware 77% 6 members Georgia 50% 1 Member New Jersey 64% 34% • New Jersey, Delaware, Georgia • All ratified unanimously • Beard: farming interest not given enough time to organize, security holders dominated. • McDonald: large number of farmer delegates • Small number of personality interests Southern Opposition States • Virginia and North Carolina • Large number of farmers • Holders of Confiscated British wealth in Virginia • Public security holders support Constitution • Debtors divided in North Carolina http://www.gutenberg.org/files/22461/22461-h/images/i5.jpg Agrarian Dominated States • Connecticut, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire • Beard: personality groups dominated conventions • McDonald: over half of Delegates were farmers in all states • Majority of debtors vote for ratification Personality States • Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island • Eastern Regions: strong Federalist cities • Western Regions: majority Anti-Federalist • Few members of realty interest, yet, strong opposition http://www.anythinganywhere.com/commerce/coins/coinpics/usa-early.html Massachusetts Coins Jackson T. Main’s Class Model • Federalists were in high leadership positions • Anti-Federalists in lower class • Disproven in many states McDonald’s Economic Groups • Beard’s economic interests too rigid • Economic interest were complex • Four primary interest groups -farmers, manufacturers, merchants, professionals • Numerous subgroups Farmers • Subsistence -permanent group -potentially commercial -all from isolated areas • Commercial -Slave holding: divided, depending on situation -non-slave holding: mainly Anti-Federalists http://www.hnet.uci.edu/mclark/HumCore/CoreF2005/WebCoreF05/F05CrevLec.html Manufacturers • Service Industries -Tied to customer’s interests • Stable producers -Nothing at stake • Capitalists -Heavily Federalist for economic reasons http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~prsjr/occupations/occup-idx.htm Mercantile Interests • retail • foreign trade agents • shipping merchants • non-shipping merchants http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/albany/streets.html Return of The Experiment, By L.F. Tantillo, Depicts Albany, NY in 1787 Professionals • Physicians -Not affected • Lawyers -Constitution elevates them -some with political careers • Public Office Holders -Support based on stability of situation Intellectual Influences http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/Images/federalist.jpg McDonald’s Two forms of Republicanism http://www.alexanderhamiltonexhibition.org/gallery/images/pic_gouverneur_morris.jpg Gouverneur Morris http://www.artexpertswebsite.com/pages/artists/artists_l-z/sully/Sully_PatrickHEnry.jpg Patrick Henry Puritanistic Republicanism • Influenced by ancient republics and Great Awakening • Prominent in New England • Private behavior important to public virtue • Community before the Individual • Virtues: Industry, Frugality, Work Ethic • Prominent Founders: John Adams (Federalist, MA.), Richard Henry Lee (AntiFederalist, VA) http://www.reclaimamericaforchrist.org/john%20adams.JPG John Adams Agrarian Republicanism • • • • • • John Taylor of Caroline http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=t000086 Influences: 17th and18th Century theorists and The Anglo Saxon Myth. Prominent in the South Property ownership and right to bear arms. Rights of the individual over community Vigilance and jealousy of power Prominent Founders: John Taylor of Caroline (VA, Anti-Federalist), Patrick Henry (Va, Anti-Federalist) Views of History http://www.historycentral.com/bio/nn/WytheGeorge.jpg http://www.anistor.gr/english/enback/ahamilton.jpg Alexander Hamilton Robert Yates Views of History • Federalists • Anti-Federalists • • • “new science of politics” Hamilton, “Federalist No.9,” • “The science of politics, like most other sciences, has received great improvement.” • • Historical patterns of human nature. Robert Yates, “Brutus” “It is a truth confirmed by the unerring ages that every man, and every body of men, invested with power, are ever deposed to increase it, and to acquire superiority over every thing that stands in their way.” Interpretations of Montesquieu http://csmh.pbworks.com/f/Baron%20de%20Montesquieu.jpg Baron de Montesquieu Interpretations of Montesquieu • Federalists • Anti-Federalists • • • • • Ruling elite Madison, “Federalist No. 51” Protection from insurrection Hamilton, “Federalist No.9” http://www.mackinac.org/media/images/2005/povertyjames.jpg Madison • “Moderate governments” and states rights George Clinton, “Cato’s Letter III” http://www.liberty-page.com/defenders/revolution/georgeclinton.jpg Clinton Level of Contact with Outside World • Federalists lived in areas were contact with outside world was common • Anti-Federalists tended to be from isolated areas • This divide consistent in most cases • Exceptions Conclusion http://teachingamericanhistory.org/ratification/federalpillars.html Conclusion • Multiple and diverse influences • Economic models of Beard, Main discredited by fact, but not in all cases • Diversity of influences Bibliography • • • • • • • • • Beard, Charles A. 1960. An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States of America. New York. MacMillan Epstein, David, F. 1984. The Political Theory of the Federalist. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press Frohen, Bruce. 1999. The Anti-Federalists: Selected Writings and Speeches. Washington, D.C.:Regnery Publishing. Main, Jackson Turner. 1961 The Anti-Federalist Critics of the Constitution, 1781-1789. ChapelHill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press McDonald, Forrest. 1979. E Pluribus Unum, The Formation of the American Republic 1776-1790. Indianapolis: Liberty Press McDonald, Forrest, 1992. We The People, the Economic Origins of the Constitution. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers McDonald, Forrest, 1985. Novus Ordo Seclorum, the Intellectual Origins of the Constituion. Lawrence, K.S.: University Press of Kansas Rakove, Jack, N. 1997. Original Meanings, Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution. New York: A.A. Knopf. White, Morton, 1987. Philosophy, the Federalist, and the Constitution. New York.: Oxford University Press .