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The Lovers' QuarrelThe Two Foundings and American Political Development$

Elvin Lim

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199812189

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199812189.001.0001

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(p.223) Appendix III The Anti-Federalist Legacy

(p.223) Appendix III The Anti-Federalist Legacy

The Lovers' Quarrel
Oxford University Press



Jeffersonian Republican (First Anti-Federalist Moment)

Jacksonian Democratic (Second Anti-Federalist Moment)

Progressive (Third Anti-Federalist Moment)

Reagan Republican (Fourth Anti-Federalist Moment)

I. Union

Preferred to retain “a league of friendship” among small, virtuous republics.

Insisted that the Constitution was a compact between states.

Understood the Union to be a Confederacy with very limited powers given to the federal government.

Accepted a Union of individuals and advocated nationalized democracy (like the Federalists), but also encouraged local democracy and “parastate” organizations.

Advocated a “New Federalism,” called Union a “federation of sovereign states.”

II. Liberty

Committed to negative liberty, believed that rights are antecedent to powers and were therefore jealous about states’ rights, committed to equality only as a start-state condition, rejected the need for a federal government to proffer national solutions, and insisted on the codification of a Bill of Rights to keep federal power in check.

Asserted the states’ right of “interpositioning” in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, rejected the constitutionality of the proposed First Bank of the United States, advocated fiscal restraint, and understood federal powers only to be those enumerated and not implied by the Constitution.

Fierce defender of states’ rights, advocated low tariffs and frugal government, preempted the advent of the bureaucratic state by creating the “state of courts and parties,” and understood federal powers only to be those enumerated and not implied by the Constitution.

Believed in freedom from the corrupt bosses and the party state as they built an “associative” and fledging bureaucratic state and other nongovernmental institutions, codified constitutional amendments instead of stretching textual meanings interpretively.

Believed that government is the problem and not the solution, grafted the language of individual rights onto the traditional language of states’ rights, attempted to roll back the welfare state, advocated low taxes and fiscal austerity, committed to “originalism.”

III. Truth

Idealistic and conservative, steadfastly committed to principles derived from custom and experience, believed in an absolute Truth, advocated “seminaries of useful learning” so that civic principles can be cultivated.

Stood on principle with France against England in the 1790s, mounted the Counter-Revolution of 1800, celebrated the values of the yeomanry, and purchased the Louisiana Territories in part to encourage the expansion of the virtuous republic.

Unconvinced that internal improvements were necessary, vetoed the Second Bank, asserted the president’s duty to judge the constitutionality of public law, and facilitated Indian removal to cultivate a virtuous squirearchy.

Nostalgic about an era before corruption tainted the republic, distrustful of the checks and balances and the Newtonian Constitution, believed in the monolithism of the common good and the uniformity of public opinion.

Conservative and principled, cultivated the Religious Right to promote values rather than reason, trusted in the wisdom of the virtuous entrepreneurship.

IV. Republicanism

Distrustful of aristocracy and committed to classical, states-centered republicanism, pure democracy, and majority rights; preferred a mirroring theory of descriptive representation; regarded the Senate and Supreme Court as aristocratic institutions.

Understood majority as “the vital principle of republics,” embraced extra-constitutional entities like parties and public opinion, democratized presidential prerogative.

Created the Democratic Party, understood rights as majority rights; practiced the “popular arts” so that the Election of 1828 would be the precursor to modern, personal campaigns.

Possessed an unfettered faith in direct democracy and public opinion, inaugurated the Rhetorical Presidency, advocated the theory of “leadership by interpretation” that blurred the distinction between the ruler and the ruled, attacked the Supreme Court and Article 5 of the Constitution.

Oversaw the flowering of plebiscitary democracy, adopted the mirroring theory of representation, rejected liberal paternalism, objected to judicial activism.

(p.225) (p.226)