Why were Federalists at the 1787 Philadelphia convention -- ostensibly called to revise the Articles of Confederation -- so intent on scrapping the old system and drawing up a completely new frame of government?
In Redeeming the Republic, Roger Brown focuses on state public-policy issues to show how recurrent outbreaks of popular resistance to tax crackdowns forced state governments to retreat from taxation, propelling elites into support for the constitutional revolution of 1787. The Constitution, Brown contends, resulted from upper-class dismay over the state governments' inability to tax effectively for state and federal purposes. The Framers concluded that, without a rebuilt, energized central government, the confederation would experience continued monetary and fiscal turmoil until republicanism itself became endangered.
A fresh and searching study of the hard questions that divided Americans in these critical years and still do today, Redeeming the Republic shows how local failures led to federalist resolve and ultimately to a totally new frame of central government.
A skilful and challenging analysis with wide-ranging implications... Brown stresses that the Federalists believed human behavior could be improved through the agency of a stronger, more energetic federal government. -- Keith Mason * History * Interesting and valuable for reminding us that tax policy was an important factor in the making of the Constitution. -- Jackson Turner Main * Journal of American History * A book for the policy 'wonks' of the 1780s. -- Jack N. Rakove * Reviews in American History *