See James Madison, “Vices of the Political System of the United States,” April 1787, in The Papers of James Madison, ed. William T. Hutchinson et al. (Chicago, 1962–1977, vols. 1–10; Charlottesville, VA, 1977–, vols. 11– ), 9:345–58 (hereafter Papers of James Madison, ed. Hutchinson et al.), which assessed the situation that the states faced on the eve of the Federal Convention.
George Read to John Dickinson, January 17, 1787, quoted in James Brown Scott, The United States of America: A Study in International Organization (New York, 1920), 152. Read, a Delaware delegate, also concluded that the “existence [of his] State will depend upon our preserving such rights” equal to that of the other states. Quoted in ibid., 151. See also the discussion in ibid., 150–52.
Gunning Bedford Jr., Federal Convention, June 30, 1787, in The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, ed. Max Farrand, 4 vols. (New Haven, CT, 1966), 1:492 (hereafter The Records, ed. Farrand).
See, for example, Forrest McDonald, E Pluribus Unum: The Formation of the American Republic 1776–1790 (Boston, 1965), 170. McDonald's excellent study also provides other reasons for the Bedford comment. Ibid., 170.
For similar comments by other small state leaders at the Federal Convention, see note 53 and the associated text.
The most comprehensive survey of comments by the founders on their “fears of disunion” and apprehension that the “dissensions of the States” would leave “the States open to attack by foreign power” is in Charles Warren, The Making of the Constitution (Boston, 1937), 3–54, quote on 9. For more quotes and sources, see David C. Hendrickson, Peace Pact: The Lost World of the American Founding (Lawrence, KS, 2003), 7, 308n; Peter S. Onuf, “Anarchy and the Crisis of the Union,” in To Form a More Perfect Union: The Critical Ideas of the Constitution, ed. Herman Belz, Ronald Hoffman, and Peter J. Albert (Charlottesville, VA, 1992).
See Warren, The Making of the Constitution, 717, citing report of Washington's comment in the Pennsylvania Journal, November 14, 1787; Randolph, Federal Convention, May 29, 1787, in The Records, ed. Farrand, 1:26; Hancock, Massachusetts General Court, February 27, 1788, in The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution, ed. Margaret A. Hogan, Merrill Jensen, John P. Kaminski, Richard Leffler, Gaspare J. Saladino, and Charles H. Schoenleber, 22 vols. to date (Madison, WI, 1976–), 7:1668 (hereafter Documentary History, ed. Jensen, Kaminski, Saldino et al.).
On security concerns permeating throughout the public “mood” during the period, Frederick W. Marks III, Independence on Trial: Foreign Affairs and the Making of the Constitution (Wilmington, DE, 1986), 96–142.
Regarding the legal sovereignty of the states prior to the Constitution, Louis Henkin, Foreign Affairs and the Constitution (Mineola, NY, 1972), 289–91n.
Hendrickson, Peace Pact, x–xi.
The key works here are “The Philadelphian System: Sovereignty, Arms Control, and Balance of Power in the American States-Union, Circa 1787–1861,” International Organization 49 (Spring 1995): 191–228, which he expands upon in Daniel Deudney, , Bounding Power: Republican Security Theory From the Polis to the Global Village (Princeton, NJ, 2007), esp. 161–92; Hendrickson, Peace Pact; David C. Hendrickson, Union, Nation, or Empire: The American Debate over International Relations, 1789–1941 (Lawrence, KS, 2009), quote on xii. The seminal earlier work in the area is Brown, United States of America, which has perhaps not received the attention that it deserves because of its apt though generic title.
“A Declaration of Independence for Diplomatic Historians,” Diplomatic History 22 (Winter 1998): 72, 77–78, which quotes from Madison, “Vices of the Political System,” in , Papers of James Madison, ed. Hutchinson et al., 9:351–52. For example, as discussed shortly, the states entered into agreements with foreign powers on their own accord during the Confederation, and ones such as Franklin and Vermont chose not to enter the pact formed under the Constitution and sought alliances with Britain and Spain.
Alan Ray Gibson, Interpreting the Founding: Guide to the Enduring Debates over the Origins and Foundations of the American Republic (Lawrence, KS, 2006), which cites from Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (Cambridge, 1992 ), 34. The literature has also been placed into three categories, the “consensus,”“Progressive,” and “pluralist” schools, all of which also deemphasize security in the making of the Constitution. Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 291. For other overviews of the literature on the Constitution, see “Charting the Bicentennial,” Columbia Law Review 87 (1987): 1565–1624; , “The Founding Fathers: Young Men of the Revolution,” Political Science Quarterly 76 (June 1961): 181–216; Alan Ray Gibson and , , Understanding the Founding: The Crucial Questions (Lawrence, KS, 2007); Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 281–87; “The Creation of the Constitution: Scholarship at a Standstill,” Reviews in American History 12 (December 1984): 463–77; , “The Confederation Period and the American Historian,” William and Mary Quarterly 13 (April 1956): 140–56; , “Reflections on the Founding: Constitutional Historiography in Bicentennial Perspective,” William and Mary Quarterly 46 (Summer 1989): 341–75. The following review essays were also consulted for this section: , “Foreign Relations in the Early Republic: Essays from a SHEAR Symposium,” Journal of the Early Republic 14 (Winter 1994): 453–95; Onuf, “Declaration of Independence,” 71–83; , , , , and , “Early American Foreign Relations: Opportunities and Challenges,” Diplomatic History 22 (Winter 1998): 115–20; , “A Call to Revolution: A Roundtable on Early U.S. Foreign Relations,” Diplomatic History 22 (Winter 1998): 63–70; William Earl Weeks, “New Directions,” in , Paths to Power, ed. Hogan, 8–43; Jay Winik, The Great Upheaval: America and the Birth of the Modern World, 1788–1800 (New York, 2008), 583–635.
Bailyn, Ideological Origins; Charles Beard, An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States (New York, 1913); J. G. A. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition (Princeton, NJ, 1975); Jack Rakove, Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution (New York, 1996); and Gordon Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776–1787 (Chapel Hill, NC, 1969).
Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 24–26, 290–91, quote on 25; Onuf, “Declaration of Independence,” 73; Rosenberg, “Call to Revolution,” 63–64.
See the discussion of these writers in Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 282–83, 379n, quote on 282. See also Elizabeth Kelley Bauer, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1790–1860 (New York, 1952).
St. George Tucker, View of the Constitution of the United States with Selected Writings (Indianapolis, IN,  1999), 87, quoted in Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 379n; William Rawle, A View of the Constitution of the United States of America, 2nd ed. (New York,  1970), 306, quoted in Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 379n.
John Fiske, The Critical Period of American History (New York, 1893), vi–vii. See also the discussion in Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 284–85. Although scholars of this era discuss security issues in regard to constitutional reform, Marks argues that they failed to appreciate the full range and extent of the diplomatic crises facing the founders when they met in Philadelphia in 1787. Marks, Independence on Trial, xvi-xvii.
James Brown Scott, James Madison's Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 and Their Relation to a More Perfect Union (New York, 1918); James Brown Scott, United States of America; Merle E. Curti, Peace or War: The American Struggle, 1636–1936 (New York, 1936); Clarence Streit, Union Now: A Proposal for a Federal Union of the Democracies of the North Atlantic (New York, 1939); Clarence Streit, Freedom's Frontier: Atlantic Union Now (New York, 1961). See also the discussion of these writers in Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 285–88, 380–82n.
Hamilton Holt, quoted in Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 286.
Frederick Jackson Turner, “The Significance of the Section in American History,” in The Significance of Sections in American History, ed. Frederick Jackson Turner (New York, 1932), quote on 40. See also Fulmer Mood, “The Origin, Evolution, and Application of the Sectional Concept, 1750–1900,” in Regionalism in America, ed. Merrill Jensen (Madison, WI, 1952), 5–98; David M. Potter and Thomas G. Manning eds., Nationalism and Sectionalism in America, 1775–1877 (New York, 1949); the discussion in Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 288–89.
On liberalism, see Louis Hartz, The Liberal Tradition in America: An Interpretation of American Political Thought since the Revolution (New York, 1955). On republicanism, see “Republicanism and Early American Historiography,” William and Mary Quarterly 39 (April 1982): 334–56; , “Republicanism: The Career of a Concept,” Journal of American History 79 (June 1992): 11–38. ,
Gottfried Dietze, “The Federalist”: A Classic on Federalism and Free Government (Baltimore, 1960); Marks, Independence on Trial; “Foreign Affairs: A Winning Issue in the Campaign for Ratification of the United States Constitution,” Political Science Quarterly 86 (1971): 444–69; , “Power, Pride, and Purse: Diplomatic Origins of the Constitution,” Diplomatic History 11 (Fall 1987): 303–20. ,
Gerald Stourzh, Alexander Hamilton and the Idea of Republican Government (Stanford, CA, 1970); Gerald Stourzh, Benjamin Franklin and American Foreign Policy (Chicago, 1969 ); and the description of Stourzh's works is by Onuf, “Declaration of Independence,” 75. Paul C. Nagel, One Nation Indivisible: The Union in American Thought (New York, 1964); quotes on 12, 15. Joseph L. Davis, Sectionalism in American Politics, 1774–1787 (Madison, WI, 1977), quote on 6. For other works on sectionalism around this time, Lance Banning, “Virginia: Nation, State, and Section,” in Ratifying the Constitution, ed. Michael Allen Gillespie and Michael Lienesch (Lawrence, KS, 1989); David Hackett Fischer, Albion's Seed: Four British Pathways in America (New York, 1989); “The Myth of the ‘Middle Colonies’: An Analysis of Regionalization in Early America,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 107 (1983): 393–419; H. James Henderson, , Party Politics in the Continental Congress (New York, 1974); Donald L. Robinson, Slavery in the Structure of American Politics, 1765–1820 (New York, 1971), 443–46; Cathey D. Matson and Peter S. Onuf, A Union of Interests: Political and Economic Thought in Revolutionary America (Lawrence, KS, 1990).
Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 294.
Onuf, “Crisis of the Union,” in A More Perfect Union, ed. Belz, Hoffman, and Albert; Peter S. Onuf, “Constitutional Politics: States, Sections and the National Interest,” in Toward a More Perfect Union: Six Essays on the Constitution, ed. Neil. L. York (Provo, UT, 1988); Peter S. Onuf (and Nicholas Onuf), Federal Union, Modern World: The Law of Nations in an Age of Revolutions, 1776–1814 (Madison, WI, 1993); Peter S. Onuf, “Federalism, Republicanism, and the Origins of American Sectionalism,” in All Over the Map: Rethinking American Regions, ed. Edward L. Ayers, Patricia Nelson Limerick, Stephen Nissenbaum, and Peter S. Onuf (Baltimore, 1996), 11–37; “Liberty, Development, and Union: Visions of the West in the 1780s,” William and Mary Quarterly 43 (April 1986): 179–213; Peter S. Onuf, , Statehood and Union: A History of the Northwest Ordinance (Bloomington, IN, 1987); Peter S. Onuf, “State Sovereignty and the Making of the Constitution,” in Conceptual Change and the Constitution, ed. Terence Ball and J. G. A. Pocock (Lawrence, KS, 1988); Peter S. Onuf, “The Expanding Union,” in Devising Liberty: Preserving and Creating Freedom in the New American Republic, ed. David Thomas Konig (Stanford, CA, 1995); Peter S. Onuf, The Origins of the Federal Republic: Jurisdictional Controversies in the United States 1775–1787 (Philadelphia, 1983); Matson and Onuf, A Union of Interests.
D. W. Meinig, The Shaping of America: A Geographical Perspective on 500 Years of History, 4 vols. (New Haven, CT, 1986–2004). See also John A. Agnew, The United States in the World-Economy: A Regional Geography (New York, 1987).
Jack P. Greene, Peripheries and Center: Constitutional Development in the Extended Polities of the British Empire and the United States, 1607–1788 (Athens, GA, 1986), ix, 182.
Jack N. Rakove, “Making Foreign Policy—The View from 1787,” in Foreign Affairs and the Constitution, ed. Robert A. Goldwin and Robert A. Licht (Washington, DC, 1990), 1–19. See also “Empire, Republicanism, and Reason: Foreign Affairs as Viewed by the Founders of the Constitution,” History Teacher 26 (May 1993): 297–315; Robert V. Bruce, “The Shadow of a Coming War,” 1–28; and Carl N. Degler, “One Among Many: The United States and National Unification,” 89–120, both in , Lincoln, the War President: The Gettysburg Lectures, ed. Gabor S. Boritt (New York, 1992); “Foreign Affairs and the Constitution,” Foreign Affairs 66 (Winter 1987/1988): 284–310; , “Isolationism and Antifederalism: The Ratification Debates,” Diplomatic History 11 (Fall 1987): 337–353; , “Jefferson and the Constitution: The View from Paris, 1786–1789,” Diplomatic History 11 (Fall 1987): 321–36; , “The Constitution and United States Foreign Policy: An Interpretation,” Journal of American History 74 (December 1987): 695–717; , “Empire or Liberty: The Antifederalists and Foreign Policy, 1787–1788,” Journal of Libertarian Studies 4 (Summer 1980): 233–54; Drew R. McCoy, “James Madison and Visions of American Nationality in the Confederation Period: A Regional Perspective,” in , Beyond Confederation: Origins of the Constitution and American National Identity, ed. Richard Beeman, Stephen Botein, and Edward C. Carter II (Chapel Hill, NC, 1987), 226–60; “Sectional Conflict and Secret Compromise: The Mississippi River Question and the United States Constitution,” American Journal of Legal History 35 (April 1991): 117–71; Kenneth Stampp, “On the Concept of Perpetual Union,” in , The Imperiled Union: Essays on the Background of the Civil War, ed. Kenneth Stampp (New York, 1980), 3–36.
Charles Tilly, “Reflections on the History of European State-Making,” in The Formation of National States in Western Europe, ed. Charles Tilly (Princeton, NJ, 1975), 42; Max Edling, A Revolution in Favor of Government: Origins of the U.S. Constitution and the Making of the American State (Oxford, 2003), quote on 4. For a related work, see Don Higginbotham, “War and State Formation in Revolutionary America,” in Empire and Nation: The American Revolution in the Atlantic World, ed. Eliga H. Gould and Peter S. Onuf (Baltimore, 2005), 54–71.
James E. Lewis, The American Union and the Problem of Neighborhood: The United States and the Collapse of the Spanish Empire, 1783–1829 (Chapel Hill, NC, 1998), quotes on 8, 9.
See this article's conclusion for more on republican security theory. Deudney, Bounding Power, quote on 161; Deudney, “The Philadelphian System”; Daniel Deudney, “Binding Sovereigns: Authorities, Structures, and Geopolitics in Philadelphian Systems,” in State Sovereignty as Social Construct, ed. Thomas J. Biersteker and Cynthia Weber (Cambridge, 1996), 190–239; Nicholas Greenwood Onuf, The Republican Legacy in International Thought (New York, 1998). See also Michael Lind, “A Neglected American Tradition of Geopolitics?”Geopolitics 23 (January 2008): 181–95.
Hendrickson, Peace Pact, quote on x-xi. See also “Independence and Union: The Foundations of American Internationalism,” Orbis 49 (Winter 2005): 37–51; David C. Hendrickson, “The First Union: Nationalism versus Internationalism in the American Revolution,” in , Empire and Nation, ed. Gould and Onuf, 35–53. In particular, Hendrickson argues that “at the core of the unionist paradigm [and the making of the Constitution] was the belief that Americans had to create and perpetuate a form of political association by which republican governments committed to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ could be joined together in a workable federative system, so as to escape the anarchy of states, on the one hand, and the despotism of centralized empire, on the other. It looked toward the formation of a republican union of large extent, embracing a wide variety of peoples, interests, and ways of life, that would preserve peace within its zone and ensure protection from predators without. Though an attempt to escape from both the anarchy of states and the despotism of empire, it nevertheless sought to safeguard the two values with which each of these otherwise negative examples was closely identified: the liberty of states and the preservation of peace and order over a territory of imperial dimensions.” Hendrickson, Union, Nation, or Empire, xii–xii.
R. R. Palmer, The Age of Democratic Revolution: A Political History of Europe and America, 1760–1800, 2 vols. (Princeton, NJ, 1959); Winik, The Great Upheaval. See also Onuf and Onuf, Federal Union, Modern World; and Paul W. Schroeder, The Transformation of European Politics, 1763–1848 (Oxford, 1994).
For general works on U.S. foreign affairs during the 1780s, see Samuel Flagg Bemis, A Diplomatic History of the United States, 5th ed. (New York, 1965), 65–84; Jerald A. Combs, The History of American Foreign Policy, 3rd ed., 2 vols. (Armonk, NY, 2008), 1:3–20; Felix Gilbert, To The Farewell Address: Ideas of Early American Foreign Policy (Princeton, NJ, 1961); George C. Herring, From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776 (Oxford, 2008), 11–55; Reginald Horsman, The Diplomacy of the New Republic, 1776–1815 (Arlington Heights, IL, 1985); James H. Hutson, “Early American Diplomacy: A Reappraisal,” in The American Revolution and ‘A Candid World’,” ed. Lawrence S. Kaplan (Kent, OH, 1977), 40–68; “Intellectual Foundations of Early American Diplomacy,” Diplomatic History 1 (Winter 1977): 1–19; Howard Jones, , Crucible of Power: A History of American Foreign Relations to 1913 (Wilmington, DE, 2002), 1–27; Robert Kagan, Dangerous Nation (New York, 2006); Lawrence S. Kaplan, Colonies into Nation: American Diplomacy, 1763–1801 (New York, 1972); Daniel G. Lang, Foreign Policy in the Early Republic: The Law of Nations and the Balance of Power (Baton Rouge, LA, 1985); Bradford Perkins, The Cambridge History of American Foreign Relations: The Creation of a Republican Empire, 1776–1865 (New York, 1993); Leonard J. Sadosky, Revolutionary Negotiations: Indians, Empires, and Diplomats in the Founding of America (Charlottesville, VA, 2009); Paul A. Varg, Foreign Policies of the Founding Fathers (East Lansing, MI, 1963); Steven Watts, The Republic Reborn: Politics, Diplomacy, and Warfare in the Early Republic, 1783–1830 (Baltimore, 1987). For diplomatic studies focused on the Confederation's relations with American Indian nations, Britain, France, and Spain, see notes 101, 103, and 112. For historiographical articles on early U.S. diplomacy, see note 13. Diplomatic studies of the Revolution are also useful for understanding the role of foreign affairs in constitutional reform; see the lists of these works in Herring, Colony to Superpower, 966–67; Winik, The Great Upheaval, 590–91.
For works on the Confederation's difficulties, see Daniel J. Boorstin, The Americans: The Democratic Experience (New York, 1973), 327–530; Andrew C. McLaughlin, The Confederation and the Constitution, 1783–1789 (New York, 1905); Richard B. Morris, The Forging of the Union, 1781–1789 (New York, 1987); Allan Nevins, ed., The American States During and After the Revolution, 1775–1789 (New York, 1924); Jack N. Rakove, The Beginnings of National Politics: An Interpretative History of the Continental Congress (New York, 1979); Roger Sharp, American Politics in the Early Republic: The New Nation in Crisis (New Haven, CT, 1993). On rebellions, see “Shays's Rebellion and the Constitution: A Study in Causation,” New England Quarterly 42 (September 1969): 388–410; William Hogeland, , The Whiskey Rebellion: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the Frontier Rebels who Challenged America's Newfound Sovereignty (New York, 2006); “The Federalists' Cold War: The Fries Rebellion, National Security, and the State, 1787–1800,” Pennsylvania History 67 (Winter 2000): 63–103; Leonard L. Richards, , Shays's Rebellion: The American Revolution's Final Battle (Philadelphia, 2002); Thomas P. Slaughter, The Whiskey Rebellion: Frontier Epilogue to the American Revolution (New York, 2003); David Szatmary, Shays' Rebellion: The Making of an Agrarian Insurrection (Amherst, MA, 1980).
Jeremy Black, America as a Military Power: From the American Revolution to the Civil War (Westport, CT, 2002); James E. Ferguson, The Power of the Purse: A History of American Public Finance, 1776–1790 (Chapel Hill, NC, 1961); Gaillard Hunt, The Department of State of the United States: Its History and Functions (New Haven, CT, 1914); Richard Kohn, Eagle and Sword: The Federalists and the Creation of the Military Establishment in America, 1783–1802 (New York, 1975); James Kirby Martin and Mark Edward Lender, A Respectable Army: The Military Origins of the Republic, 1763–1789, 2nd ed. (Wheeling, IL, 2006); Allen R. Millett and Peter Maslowski, For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United States of America (New York, 1984); Howard Joseph Phillips, “The U.S. Diplomatic Establishment in the Critical Period, 1783–1789” (Ph.D. diss., University of Notre Dame, 1968); Francis Paul Prucha, The Sword of the Republic: The United States Army on the Frontier, 1783–1846 (New York, 1969); James Jacobs Ripley, The Beginning of the U.S. Army, 1783–1812 (Princeton, NJ, 1947); Harry M. Ward, The Department of War, 1781–1795 (Pittsburgh, PA, 1962).
Henkin, Foreign Affairs and the Constitution, quote on vii; Michael D. Ramsey, The Constitution's Text in Foreign Affairs (Cambridge, MA, 2007). Historians over the past decade have increasingly applied global frameworks to the early American period. See, for example, David Armitage and Michael J. Braddick, eds., The British Atlantic World, 1500–1800 (New York, 2002); Thomas Bender, A Nation Among Nations: America's Place in World History (New York, 2006); Joyce Chaplin, “Expansionism and Exceptionalism in Early American History,” Journal of American History 89 (March 2003): 143–55; Jack P. Greene, “Colonial History and National History: Reflections on a Continuing Problem,” The William and Mary Quarterly 64 (April 2007): 235–50; Jack P. Greene and Philip D. Morgan, Atlantic History: A Critical Appraisal (Oxford, UK, 2009); Rosemarie Zagarri, “The Significance of the ‘Global Turn’ for the Early American Republic: Globalization in the Age of Nation-Building, “Journal of the Early Republic 31 (Spring 2011): 1–37.”
On diplomatic scholars' neglect of the era, Kinley Brauer, “The Great American Desert Revisited: Recent Literature and Prospects for the Study of American Foreign Relations, 1815–61,” in Paths to Power, ed. Hogan, 395–416.
For dismissals of security and “critical period” arguments of the making of the Constitution during the 1950s and 1960s, see, for example, Merrill Jensen, The New Nation: A History of the United States during the Confederation, 1781–1789 (Boston, MA, 1981 ), esp. x–xiv, 422–428; and McDonald, E Pluribus Unum, 154. See also the discussion in Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 290–291. For a reiteration several decades later of the Federalists creating a “critical period” as propaganda to get the Constitution ratified, see “The Constitutional Tradition: History, Political Action, and Progress in American Political Thought, 1787–1793,” Journal of Politics 42 (February 1980): 2–30. The Anti-Federalists made similar claims as the event was unfolding, arguing that the idea of the Confederation breaking into war was “hobgoblin” and “imaginary—mere creatures of fancy” that were invented by “the deranged brain of Publius, a New-York writer” to secure ratification of the Constitution. Quoted in Hendrickson, , Union, Nation, or Empire, 35.
Compare the title of Marks's first work on diplomacy and the formation of the Constitution, “Foreign Affairs: A Winning Issue in the Campaign for Ratification of the United States Constitution,” with his later conclusion in an article that “the strongest driving force behind the Constitution by far was a crying weakness in the area of foreign affairs.” Frederick W. Marks III, “Power, Pride, and Purse,” 318. For the historiographical article, see Weeks, “New Directions,” in Paths to Power, ed. Hogan, quote on 16–17.
Onuf, “Declaration of Independence,” 73–74.
On the orthodox view in constitutional interpretation over the past fifty years, see Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 25. On historians structuring early America as a cohesive “nation,” see ibid., 26. Neorealism, a dominant paradigm in the IR field, views the nation-state as the primary political unit in the international system. “Realism, Neoliberalism, and Cooperation: Understanding the Debate,” International Security 24 (Summer 1999): 42–63. ,
The comment is from Drew McCoy's review of Hendrickson's Peace Pact in American Historical Review 109 (June 2004): 896–97. For works in the pipeline, see Michael C. Evans, “The Republic and its Problems: Alexander Hamilton and James Madison on the 18th Century Critique of Republics” (unpublished Ph.D. diss., University of Maryland, College Park, 2009); and Joseph M. Parent, “E Pluribus Unum: Political Unification and Political Realism” (unpublished Ph.D. diss., Columbia University, 2006). See also the following article that the authors are turning into a book: David M. Golove and Daniel J. Hulsebosch, “A Civilized Nation: The Early American Constitution, the Law of Nations, and the Pursuit of International Recognition,” New York University Law Review 85 (August 2010): 932–1066.
This section illuminates the role of security in the making of the Constitution by focusing on the debate between the small and largest state delegates at the Federal Convention, a common analytical focus of the proceedings, and it emphasizes the occasions in which the founders discussed constitutional reform. For broader discussions of the debate on foreign affairs and security during the proceedings, see Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 211–248; Perkins, American Foreign Relations, 59–68; Phillips, “U.S. Diplomatic Establishment,” 298–351. For more balanced treatments, see Carol Berkin, A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution (New York, 2002); Christopher Collier and James Collier, The Constitutional Convention of 1787 (New York, 1986); Max Farrand, The Framing of the Constitution of the United States (New Haven, CT, 1913); Clinton Rossiter, 1787: The Grand Convention (New York, 1966). For a reference to “think continentally,” see Hamilton to Washington, April 8, 1783, in Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789, ed. Paul H. Smith et al., 25 vols. (Washington, DC, 1976–2000), 20:151 (hereafter Letters, ed. Smith et al.).
The quotes cited here are from two private letters that Madison wrote, which, as will be seen throughout this article, most notably in The Federalist and in his speeches at the Virginia convention, are reflective of a primary reason that he advocated constitutional reform. Madison to Richard Henry Lee, December 15, 1784, quoted in Greene, Peripheries and Center, 186; Madison to Randolph, February, 25, 1783, quoted in Lewis, The American Union and the Problem of Neighborhood, 6. See also the discussion of his private letters in Dietze, The Federalist, 80–85.
Madison, “Vices of the Political System of the United States,” April 1787, in Papers of James Madison, ed. Hutchinson et al., 9:345–58.
Randolph “observed that in revising the federal system we ought to inquire 1. into the properties, which such a government ought to possess, 2. the defects of the confederation, 3. the danger of our situation, & 4. the remedy.” He also stated that there is “No provision [in the Articles of Confederation] to prevent the States breaking out into war.” Randolph, Federal Convention, May 29, 1787, in The Records, ed. Farrand, 1:18–23, 25.
Moreover, although the other delegates had many reservations over the Virginia Plan, they did not seriously challenge the reasons Randolph gave for constitutional reform during the remaining months of debate, suggesting that security was generally accepted at the convention as a core reason for making the Constitution. Pinckney, Federal Convention, May 29, 1787, ibid., 3:604–05; Paterson, Federal Convention, June 15, 1787, in Confederation and Constitution, 1781–1789, ed. Forrest McDonald and Ellen Shapiro McDonald (Columbia, SC, 1968), 131.
“Credentials of Members of the Federal Convention: State of New Hampshire, June 27, 1787,” quoted in Dietze, The Federalist, 47.
He also warned that without his plan the Confederation would become a “cobweb wch. could entangle the weak, but would be the sport of the strong.” Madison, Federal Convention, June 19, 1787, in The Records, ed. Farrand, 1:320.
Morris, who helped write the Constitution as a member of the Committee of Style, similarly reminded the delegates that stronger central government was needed because “this country must be united.”“If persuasion does not unite it,” he explained, referring to the deliberation at Convention, “the sword will,” and if the latter result did occur, “the scenes of horror attending civil commotion cannot be described,” and “foreign powers would be ready to take part in the confusions.” Hamilton, Federal Convention, June 29, 1787, ibid., 1:466–67, 473; Morris, Federal Convention, July 5, 1787, ibid., 1:530; and Wilson, Federal Convention, July 26, 1787, ibid., 1:426.
Madison, Federal Convention, June 15 and 19, 1787, citing comments by delegates Dickinson, David Brearly, and William Paterson of New Jersey, emphasis in original; Luther Martin, Federal Convention, June 19, 1787, ibid., 1:324; and David Brearly, Federal Convention, June 9, 1787, ibid., 1:177.
Randolph, Federal Convention, June 16, 1787, in The Records, ed. Farrand, 1:262–63.
Madison to George Thompson, January 29, 1789, in Papers of James Madison, ed. Hutchinson et al., 11:433–34.
On the security dilemma, see Ken Booth and Nicholas J. Wheeler, The Security Dilemma: Fear, Cooperation and Trust in World Politics (New York, 2008); and John J. Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (New York, 2001), 35–36.
The Great Compromise or the Connecticut Compromise was that Congress would consist of two houses with the number of members in the House of Representatives based on the population of each state, and the number of members in the Senate fixed at two representatives per state.
Madison, for example, observed that “The great danger to our general government is the great southern and northern interests of the continent, being opposed to each other.” Emphasis in original. Madison, in The Records, ed. Farrand, 1:476. Similarly, soon before the Federal Convention, disagreement amongst northeastern and southern state leaders intensified over negotiations with Spain concerning access to the Mississippi River, leading a southern leader to believe that northern leaders were “determined to pursue this business [their interest in the matter] as far as possible, either as the means of throwing the western people and territory without the Govt. of the U.S. and keeping the weight of population and Govt. here, or of dismembering the Govt. itself, for the purpose of a separate Confederacy.” Monroe to Madison, August 14, 1786, quoted in Samuel Flagg Bemis, Pinckney's Treaty: America's Advantage from Europe's Distress, 1783–1800, rev. ed. (New Haven, CT, 1960 ), 87n. Hendrickson, Peace Pact, x–xi.
Horsman, Diplomacy of the New Republic, 38–39. See also Henkin, Foreign Affairs and the Constitution; and Ramsay, Constitution's Text in Foreign Affairs.
For this and other references, see Bruce D. Porter, War and the Rise of the State: The Military Foundations of Modern Politics (New York, 1994), 253.
The U.S. Army expenditure increased from $633,000 to $2,481,000 from 1789 to 1795; the U.S. Navy expenditure increased from $1,000 to $61,000 from 1789 to 1795; and the number of active U.S. military personnel increased from 718 to 5,296 soldiers from 1789 to 1795. “Military personnel, by branch of service and sex: 1789–1995” and “Federal government expenditure, by major function: 1789–1970,” accessed on the Web site of the Historical Statistics of the United States: Millennial Edition Online, http://hsus.cambridge.org/HSUSWeb/search/searchTable.do?id=Ed26-47, http://hsus.cambridge.org/HSUSWeb/search/searchTable.do?id=Ea636-643. The quote is by “American Nationalism, American Imperialism: An Interpretation of United States Political Economy, 1789–1861,” Journal of the Early Republic 14 (Winter 1994): 488. ,
Two-thirds of the senators and representatives in the first Congress under the new government had participated in the Federal Convention or the state ratifying conventions. Perkins, History of American Foreign Relations, 72.
The following history is culled from J. G. M. Ramsey, The Annals of Tennessee (Kingsport, TN, 1926); Samuel Cole Williams, History of the Lost State of Franklin (Johnson City, TN, 1924).
Sevier to Richard Caswell, May 14, 1785, quoted in Williams, Lost State of Franklin, 72.
See the Constitution of the State of Franklin printed in ibid., 330.
Although accounts differ, it is thought that the delegates initially named their state Frankland, but later changed it to Franklin in the hope that this appellation, honoring the great American leader, would win over congressional favor.
Martin, “ ‘A Manifesto’ to the Inhabitants of the Counties of Washington, Sullivan and Greene,” April, 25, 1785, printed in Williams, Lost State of Franklin, 68–69.
Sevier may also have tried allying with the Cherokees. See “The State of Franklin,” American Historical Review 8 (January 1903): 282–83; Williams, , Lost State of Franklin, 8.
For example, in addition to the cases discussed, land-grant colonies were established in the West—perhaps most famously the Transylvania Company, which was the home of Daniel Boone—that set up provisional governments and attempted to gain admission into the union, which angered the leaders of states that had legitimate claims to the land and could have been a source of war. See the discussion in Meinig, Shaping of America, 348–63.
Ibid., 349; “Relations between the Vermont Separatists and Great Britain, 1789–1791,” American Historical Review 21 (April 1916): 547–60; , “State-Making in Revolutionary America: Independent Vermont as a Case Study,” Journal of American History 67 (March 1981): 797–815. It is also suspected that Vermonters played a role in Shays' Rebellion. Marks, , Independence on Trial, 105.
“Copy of a letter from a gentleman at the Falls of the Ohio,” December 4, 1786, quoted in Marks, Independence on Trial, 36.
Bemis, Diplomatic History, 80–81; Bemis, Pinckney's Treaty, 109–25; Marks, Independence on Trial, 35. U.S. settlers in the southwest also attempted to instigate war between Spain and the United States to force open the Mississippi River for trade, which was under the former state's control. Patrick Griffin, American Leviathan: Empire, Nation, and Revolutionary Frontier (New York, 2007), 196.
See note 36 for works on Shays' Rebellion.
Describing a few of these uprisings, Winik writes, “Maryland's Charles County courthouse was forcibly shut by angry rabble. In South Carolina, judges fled the Camden courthouse under a cloud of destruction and plunder. In Virginia, a fulminating mob torched the King William County courthouse.” Winik, The Great Upheaval, 61.
Deudney, Bounding Power, 165.
Ibid., 166. As Hamilton noted in The Federalist, this seems to be the most likely way in which the Confederation would have splintered: “The entire separation of the States into thirteen unconnected sovereignties,” he wrote, “is a project too extravagant and too replete with danger to have many advocates. The ideas of men who speculate upon the dismemberment of the empire, seem generally turned towards three confederacies; one consisting of the four northern, another of the four middle, and a third of the five southern States. There is little probability that there would be a greater number.” Federalist No. 13, quoted in Stourzh, Alexander Hamilton, 115. On “sub-confederation” configurations, see McCoy, “Madison and American Nationality,” 235; Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 177–93.
Military coup, however, was a less likely source of conflict because the army was disbanded soon after hostilities with Britain ended. “The Inside History of the Newburgh Conspiracy: America and the Coup d'Etat,” William and Mary Quarterly 27 (April 1970): 188–220. ,
Marks, Independence on Trial, 3.
“Sum Veras,”Morning Herald, September 23, 1785, quoted in Charles R. Ritcheson, Aftermath of Revolution: British Policy toward the United States (New York, 1969), 421n.
Winik writes, “The thirteen states acted like thirteen independent countries. . . . New York laid onerous import duties on simple rowboats crossing with produce from New Jersey; it taxed lumber from Connecticut too. Pennsylvania followed suit (indeed, Pennsylvania and Connecticut literally waged a twenty-year war over land). So did Massachusetts, which was selling goods with inflated prices to Connecticut and New Hampshire. Rhode Island tried to stick out-of-state creditors with its debts, as did Maryland.” See the discussions in Marks, Independence on Trial, 3–52; Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 177–94; Winik, The Great Upheaval, 55–58, quote on 5.
“National Security and U.S. Immigration Policy, 1776–1790,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 29 (Summer 2008): 48. ,
John Sullivan, quoted in Winik, The Great Upheaval, 57.
See citations in Dietze, The Federalist, 53–54, 73–75, 80–87; Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 51–52, 177–193.
Jefferson to Richard Henry Lee, July 12, 1785, http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=756&chapter=86371&layout=html&Itemid=27. Similarly, The Federalist cited “the revolt of a part of the State of North Carolina” as a reason for constitutional reform. Federalist No. 6, in The Federalist, ed. Jacob E. Cooke (Middletown, CT, 1961), 35.
Washington to Henry Knox, December 5, 1784, in The Papers of George Washington: The Confederation Series, ed. W. W. Abbot and Dorothy Twohig (Charlottesville, VA, 1992), 2:171.
Hamilton to James Duane, September 3, 1780, in The Works of Alexander Hamilton, federal ed., 12 vols., ed., Henry Cabot Lodge. (New York, 1904), 1:217. See also discussion in Dietze, The Federalist, 90–93; Hamilton, “Impressions as to the New Constitution,” September 1787, in Works of Alexander Hamilton, ed. Lodge, 1:422–23.
Warren, The Making of the Constitution, 23–30. For example, in regard to “sub-confederations,” Theodore Sedgwick, a Massachusetts convention delegate, wrote on August 6, 1786 (Letters, ed. Smith et al., 23:437–38) that “It well becomes the eastern and middle States, who are in interest one, seriously to consider what advantages result to them from their connection with the Southern States. . . . Even the appearance of a union cannot in the way we now are long be preserved. It becomes us seriously to contemplate a substitute. . . . No other substitute can be devised than that of contracting the limits of the confederacy to such as are natural and reasonable.” Hamilton similarly suspected that Governor George Clinton of New York was conspiring to break up the union. Hamilton to Gouverneur Morris, May 19, 1788, quoted in Edward Millican, One United People: The Federalist Papers and the National Idea (Lexington, KY, 1990), 61.
See Monroe to Madison, September 3, 1786, in Letters, ed. Smith et al., 23:546. See also Monroe to Patrick Henry, August 12, 1786, and Monroe to Jefferson, August 19, 1786, ibid., 23:463–66, 499–501; and the discussion in Edmund Cody Burnett, The Continental Congress (New York, 1941), 654–58.
See the editorial note in Papers of James Madison, ed. Hutchinson et al., 8:372 for discussion on what Monroe may have meant by these comments. Per the instruction of the Federal Convention, each state was to hold a special convention in which popularly elected delegates were to debate and vote on the Constitution, and if nine of the thirteen states decided to ratify the new government it would then take effect.
Bowdoin, Massachusetts convention, January 23, 1788 and February 1, 1788, in Documentary History, ed. Jensen, Kaminski, Saldino et al., 6:1320, 1393; Ellsworth, the Connecticut convention, January 4, 1788, ibid., 15:244; for Hamilton's references to security at the New York convention, see the discussion in “The New York State Ratifying Convention: On Federalism,” Polity 9 (Autumn 1976): 103–05; Madison, Virginia convention, June 7, 1788, in , Documentary History, ed. Jensen, Kaminski, Saldino et al., 9:1030–31; Randolph, Virginia convention, June 10, 1788, ibid., 9:1094–95; Wilson, Pennsylvania convention, December 11, 1787, ibid., 2:583; Cushing, Massachusetts convention, February 4, 1788, ibid., 6:1437; Nicholas, Virginia convention, June 10, 1788, ibid., 9:1133; Johnson, Connecticut convention, January 4, 1788, ibid., 15:248–49; Thacher, Massachusetts convention, February 4, 1788, ibid., 6:1419. The referenced Hancock speech was technically not delivered until a few minutes after the Massachusetts convention. See Hancock, Massachusetts General Court, February 27, 1788, ibid., 7:1668. See also comments by delegate David Ramsay on the South Carolina convention in the Charleston Columbian Herald, June 5, 1788, ibid., 18:161. For more Ramsay comments, Burnett, The Continental Congress, 641.
Ellsworth, Connecticut convention, January 4, 1788, in Documentary History, ed. Jensen, Kaminski, Saldino et al., 15:244.
Cushing, Massachusetts convention, February 4, 1788, ibid., 6:1437. Thacher, a little-known delegate from Boston, and suggesting that leaders of all backgrounds were concerned over security, posed the following questions: “What then will be the probable effects if this Constitution be rejected?”“Have we not reason to fear . . . civil war?”“Are we not in danger from other states when their interests or prejudices are opposite ours?” Thacher, Massachusetts convention, February 4, 1788, ibid., 6:1419.
Madison and Randolph, Virginia convention, June 7, 1788 and June 10, 1788, ibid., 9:1029–31, 1094–95. Madison explained that “the great desideratum which has not yet been found for Republican Governments,” like for the examples he mentioned during his Virginia convention speech, “seems to be some disinterested & dispassionate umpire in disputes between different passions & interests in the State.” Madison to Washington, April 16, 1787, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch8s6.html. George Nicholas, a prominent Charlottesville lawyer-farmer and Virginia convention representative, furnished a more modern example as to why his state should “ratify the new government.”“There is a country which affords strong examples,” he explained, “which may be of great utility to us. I mean Great-Britain. England, before it was united to Scotland, was almost constantly at war with that part of the island. . . . Their hatred and animosities were stimulated by the interference of other nations. Since the Union, both countries have enjoyed domestic tranquility the greatest part of the time. . . . This is a convincing proof that Union is necessary for America, and that partial Confederacies would be productive of endless dissentions and unceasing hostilities between the different parties.” Nicholas, Virginia convention, June 10, 1788, in Documentary History, eds., Jensen, Kaminski, Saldino et al., 9:1133.
Bowdoin, Massachusetts convention, January 23 and February 1, 1788, ibid., 6:1320, 1393.
Deudney, Bounding Power, 163; Marks, Independence on Trial, 169–70.
Dietze, The Federalist, ii. See also Millican, One United People.
Emphasis in original. Federalist No. 3, in The Federalist, ed. Cooke, 13–14.
Federalist No. 6, ibid., 28. Kenneth Waltz references this quote in Man, the State and War: A Theoretical Analysis (New York, 1959), 237.
Federalist No. 7, in The Federalist, ed. Cooke, 43.
Louis XVI, “Instructions for Comte de Moustier,” October 10, 1787, in The Emerging Nation: A Documentary History of the Foreign Relations of the United States under the Articles of Confederation, 1780–1789, 3 vols., ed. Mary A. Giunta [hereafter FRUS, ed. Giunta] (Washington, DC, 1996), 3:624. See also Samuel Flagg Bemis, “John Jay,” in The American Secretaries of State and Their Diplomacy, ed. Samuel Flagg Bemis (New York, 1958), 262; Kagan, Dangerous Nation, 55–56.
Bemis, Diplomatic History, 65, 82–83. One French leader noted that Congress “is not in any position” to prevent the Confederation “from falling to the power of the first occupier.” Comte de Moustier to Comte de Montmorin, February 8, 1788, in Documentary History, ed. Jensen, Kaminski, Saldino et al., 16:82. For studies on Confederation-French relations, see Henry Blumenthal, France and the United States: Their Diplomatic Relations, 1789–1914 (Chapel Hill, NC, 1970); Crane Brinton, The Americans and the French (Cambridge, MA, 1968); Donald C. McKay, The United States and France (Cambridge, MA, 1951); Orville T. Murphy, Charles Graview, Comte de Vergennes: French Diplomacy in the Age of Revolution, 1719–1787 (Albany, NY, 1982); Beckles Willson, America's Ambassadors to France, 1777–1927: A Narrative of Franco-American Diplomatic Relations (London, 1928); Elizabeth B. White, American Opinion of France from Lafayette to Poincare (New York, 1927); Marvin R. Zahniser, Uncertain Friendship: American-French Diplomatic Relations through the Cold War (New York, 1975).
Kaplan, Colonies into Nation, 180; E. Wilson Lyon, Louisiana in French Diplomacy, 1759–1804 (Norman, OK, 1934), 62; Morris, Forging of the Union, 209.
For general works on U.S. foreign affairs during the 1780s, see note. 35. On Confederation-British relations, see Harry C. Allen, Great Britain and the United States: A History of Anglo-American Relations, 1783–1952 (New York, 1995); Samuel Flagg Bemis, Jay's Treaty: A Study in Commerce and Diplomacy (New York, 1923); Alfred Leroy Burt, The United States, Great Britain, and British North America from the Revolution to the Establishment of Peace after the War of 1812 (New York, 1961); Charles S. Campbell, From Revolution to Rapprochement: The United States and Great Britain, 1783–1900 (New York, 1974); Ritcheson, Aftermath of Revolution; Reginald Stuart, United States Expansionism and British North America, 1775–1871 (Chapel Hill, NC, 1988); J. Leitch Wright, Britain and the American Frontier, 1783–1815 (Athens, GA, 1975). On Confederation-Spanish relations, see Bemis, Pinckney's Treaty; Lewis, American Union; J. C. A. Stagg, Borderlines in Borderlands: James Madison and the Spanish-American Frontier, 1776–1821 (New Haven, CT, 2009); Arthur P. Whitaker, The Spanish-American Frontier, 1783–1795: The Westward Movement and the Spanish Retreat in the Mississippi Valley (New York, 1927).
The Count of Aranda, “On the Independence of the Colonies (1783),” in Early Modern Spain: A Documentary History, ed. Jon Cowans (Philadelphia, 2003), 234–35.
Comte de Moustier to Comte de Montmorin, February 8, 1788, in Documentary History, ed. Jensen, Kaminski, Saldino et al., 16:82. See also Francisco Rendón to José de Gálvez, January 30, 1784, in FRUS, ed. Giunta, 2:293.
Lord Sheffield, quoted in Perkins, American Foreign Relations, 57.
Ritcheson, Aftermath of Revolution, 34.
Sir John Temple dispatch dated October 4, 1786, quoted in Ritcheson, Aftermath of Revolution, 422n.
Bemis, Diplomatic History, 69–73; Bemis, “Vermont Separatists”; Burt, British North America, 42–55, 82–106; Marks, “Power, Pride, and Purse,” 309; Ritcheson, Aftermath of Revolution, 39 (quoting William Eden to Charles Fox, September 24, 1783); McDonald and McDonald, eds., Confederation and Constitution, 62.
Herring, Colony to Superpower, 38, 46; Horsman, Diplomacy of the New Republic, 34; Marks, Independence, 5–12, 21–36, 19–21, 52–95; Marks “Power, Pride, and Purse,” 310–11; Whitaker, The Spanish-American Frontier, 1–15.
Phineas Bond to Evan Nepean, November 16, 1788, in FRUS, ed. Giunta, 3:870–874; John Duncan Brite, “The Attitude of European States toward Emigration to the American Colonies and the United States 1607–1820” (Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 1937); Totten, “Security and U.S. Immigration Policy," 59–61.
This brief description focuses on federal policy toward Indians, but recent studies show that “policy was driven more by the actions of frontiersmen, fur traders, speculators, slaveholders, and pioneers than by diplomats.” Weeks, “Early American Foreign Relations,” in Paths to Power, ed. Hogan, 38. On Confederation-Indian relations, see Gregory E. Dowd, A Spirited Resistance: The North American Indian Struggle for Unity, 1789–1839 (Baltimore, 1992); Griffin, American Leviathan; Reginald Horsman, Expansion and American Indian Policy, 1783–1812 (East Lansing, MI, 1967); Dorothy V. Jones, License for Empire: Colonialism by Treaty in Early America (Chicago, 1982); James M. Merrell, “Declarations of Independence: Indian-White Relations in the New Nation,” in The American Revolution: Its Character and Limits, ed. Jack P. Greene (New York, 1987); Walter H. Mohr, Federal Indian Relations (Philadelphia, 1933); Francis Paul Prucha, American Indian Policy in the Formative Years: The Indian Trade and Intercourse Acts, 1780–1834 (Cambridge, MA, 1962); Francis Paul Prucha, The Great Father: The United States Government and the American Indians, 2 vols. (Lincoln, NE, 1984); Daniel K. Richter, Facing East from Indian Country: A Native History of Early America (Cambridge, MA, 2001); Sadosky, Revolutionary Negotiations; Peter Silver, Our Savage Neighbors: How Indian War Transformed Early America (New York, 2008); Alan Taylor, The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution (New York, 2006); Richard White, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650–1815 (Cambridge, 1991).
Horsman, Expansion and American Indian Policy, 3–15, quote on 22.
The violence on the frontier was often brutal. See the Report of the Secretary at War to Congress, July 10, 1787, in The Territorial Papers of the United States, ed. Clarence Carter, 28 vols. (Washington, DC, 1934–75), 2:31.
Marks, Independence on Trial, 20, 23, 34–36. See also John W. Caughey, McGillivray of the Creeks (Norman, OK, 1938); “Alexander McGillivray, 1783–1789,” North Carolina Historical Review 5 (July 1928): 289–309. ,
Horsman, Expansion and American Indian Policy, 36.
On the Confederation's commercial relations, see Bemis, Diplomatic History, 65–70, quote on 66.
For example, an Algerian corsair seized American schooners in 1785 and enslaved their crews. Congress was unable to pay the amount demanded for their release, afford the tribute required by the Barbary powers to stop pirating, or pay to charter a navy to protect American shipping in the Mediterranean. Stories of the atrocities done to captured sailors circulated around the Confederation, stirring up fear amongst Americans and further slowing trade to the region. Bemis, Diplomatic History, 68. See also Robert J. Allison, The Crescent Obscured: The United States and the Muslim World, 1776–1815 (New York, 1995); R. W. Irwin, The Diplomatic Relations of the United States with the Barbary Powers, 1776–1816 (Chapel Hill, NC, 1931); Michael L. S. Kitzen, Tripoli and the United States at War (Jefferson, NC, 1993), 10–13; Marks, Independence on Trial, 36–45.
Marks, Independence on Trial, 3–52; Ramsay, Constitution's Text in Foreign Affairs, 39–45.
Perkins, American Foreign Relations, 55. Summarizing their impotence, one member of the foreign policy committee during the Revolutionary War complained that “there is really no Such Thing as a Comtee of foreign affairs existing, no Secretary or Clerk. . . . The Books and Papers of that extinguished Body lay yet on the Table of Congress or rather are locked up in the Secretary's private Box.” James Lovell to Arthur Lee, August 6, 1779, in The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, ed. Francis Wharton (Washington, DC, 1889), 3:288.
Elbridge Gerry, August 13, 1787, in The Records, ed. Farrand, 2:268. See also George Mason, August 8, 1787, ibid., 2:216; Pinkney, August 9, 1787, ibid., 2:235; Pierce Butler, August 9, 1787, ibid, 2:236.
Thomson to Franklin, August 13, 1784, in FRUS, ed. Giunta, 2:426–427. See also his letter to Jay, September 18, 1784, ibid., 3:35. Franklin similarly commented that “Britain will long be watching for advantages, to recover what she has lost.” Franklin to Thomson, May 13, 1784, quoted in Stourzh, Benjamin Franklin, 246.
On British covert operations, see “The Hidden War: British Intelligence Operations during the American Revolution,” The William and Mary Quarterly 47 (January 1990): 115–38. ,
King to Gerry, June 18, 1786, in Confederation and Constitution, ed. McDonald and McDonald, 46.
King to Gerry, June 18, 1786, ibid, 46. Henry Knox commented that with an “entire deficiency of funds an indian war of any considerable extent and duration would most exceedingly distress the United States.” Quoted in Horsman, American Indian Policy, 36. The total income of the national treasury could not even cover one-third of the annual interest on the Confederation's debt. Marks, Independence on Trial, 139.
Jay to Jefferson, December 14, 1786, in The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, 4 vols., ed. Henry P. Johnston. (New York, 1970 ), 3:222–23. Hugh Williamson, a Federal Convention delegate, similarly commented that “There is hardly . . . one external mark by which you can deserve to be called a nation. You are not in a condition to resist the most contemptible enemy. . . . Like a dark cloud, without cohesion or firmness, we are ready to be torn asunder and scattered abroad by every breeze of external violence, or internal commotion.” Williamson to James Duane, February 25, 1788, in Documentary History, ed. Jensen, Kaminski, Saldino et al., 16:226.
Jefferson to James Monroe, November 11, 1784, http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=756&chapter=86353&layout=html&Itemid=27.
Madison to Jefferson, June 30, 1789, http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=875&chapter=63879&layout=html&Itemid=27. Many founders repeatedly made similar comments in private correspondence. See, for example, Franklin to Thomson, May 13, 1784, quoted in Stourzh, Benjamin Franklin, 246; Grayson to Madison, March 22, 1786, in Letters, ed. Smith et al., 23:205–06; Jefferson to Monroe, November 11, 1784, in FRUS, ed. Giunta, 2:498; Madison to Jefferson, September 7, 1784, ibid., 2:435–36; Thomson to Franklin, August 13, 1784, ibid., 2:426, Washington to Henry Knox, March 3, 1788, quoted in Marks, Independence on Trial, 50. See also private comments by Adams, Jay, and other leaders in Dietze, The Federalist, 74–75; Hutson, “Early American Diplomacy,” in The American Revolution, ed. Kaplan, 57–58.
Ames, Massachusetts convention, February 5, 1788, in Documentary History, ed. Jensen, Kaminski, Saldino et al., 6:1447; Bowdoin, Massachusetts convention, January 23, 1788, ibid., 6:1320; Dana, Massachusetts convention, January 18, 1788, ibid., 6:1250; Ellsworth, Connecticut convention, January 4, 1788, ibid., 15:24; Innes, Virginia convention, June 25, 1788, ibid., 10:1520–21; Marshall, June 10, 1788, ibid., 9:1120–1121; McKean, Pennsylvania convention, December 10, 1787, ibid., 2:545; Randolph, Virginia convention, June 6, 1788, ibid., 9:978–79; Sherman, “A Citizen of New Haven: Observations on the New Federal Constitution,” appeared in the Connecticut Courant, January 7, 1788, ibid., 15:280–81; Thacher, Massachusetts convention, February 4, 1788, ibid., 6:1419–20; Wilson, Pennsylvania convention, December 11, 1787, ibid., 2:583.
Of all the leaders who spoke on this reason for reform, Bowdoin, the former Massachusetts governor, said it most elegantly: “If we consider the objects of the power they are numerous and important; and as human foresight cannot extend to many of them, and all of them are in the womb of futurity, the quantum of the power cannot be estimated. Less than the whole, as relative to federal purposes, may, through its insufficiency, occasion the dissolution of the Union, and a subjugation or division of it among foreign powers.”“Their attention is drawn to the United States; their emissaries are watching our conduct, particularly upon the present most important occasion; and if we should be so unhappy as to reject the federal Constitution proposed to us, and continue much longer our present weak, unenergetic federal government, their policy will probably induce them to plan a division or partition of the states among themselves, and unite their forces to effect it. But, however that may be, this is certain—that the respectability of the United States among foreign nations, our commerce with them on the principles of reciprocity, and our forming beneficial treaties with them on those principles, their estimation of our friendship and fear of losing it, our capacity to resent injuries, and our security against interior as well as foreign attacks, must be derived from such a power.” Bowdoin, Massachusetts convention, January 23, 1788, ibid., 6:1320; Madison, Virginia convention, June 6, 1788, ibid., 9:992; Marshall, Virginia convention, June 10, 1788, ibid., 9:1120–21; Randolph, Virginia convention, June 6, 1788, ibid., 9:978–79. See also Washington's Circular Letter to the Governors, June 8, 1783, in Confederation and Constitution, ed. McDonald and McDonald, 40.
See Federalist No. 2, 3, 4, and 5. The Federalist, ed. Cooke.
Emphasis in original. Federalist No. 2 and 3, in The Federalist, ed. Cooke, 12, 14. Expanding on this claim in a later paper, and perhaps offering the best articulation of the foreign threat, Publius explained why stronger union was needed in an increasingly interconnected global community: “Though a wide ocean separates the United States from Europe; yet there are various considerations that warn us against an excess of confidence or security. On one side of us and stretching far into our rear are growing settlements subject to the dominion of Britain. On the other side and extending to meet the British settlements are colonies and establishments subject to the dominion of Spain. . . . The improvements in the art of navigation have . . . rendered distant nations in a great measure neighbours. . . . These circumstances combined admonish us not to be too sanguine in considering ourselves as intirely out of the reach of danger.” Federalist No. 24, ibid., 155–56. On the eighteenth-century global community, Winik, The Great Upheaval.
Ritcheson, Aftermath of Revolution, 92.
Federalist No. 4. The Federalist, ed. Cooke.
Gibson, Interpreting the Founding, 96.
Deudney, Bounding Power, esp. 161–92; Deudney, “Philadelphian System”; Hendrickson, Peace Pact; Onuf and Onuf, Federal Union, Modern World. See also the works by Peter Onuf in note 26 that repeatedly stressed the importance of security, sectionalism, and the international system in early America when few scholars were focusing on these issues. On “paradigm shift,” see note 44.
Rosenberg, “Call to Revolution,” 69.
Onuf, “Declaration of Independence,” 72, 77–78, which quotes from Madison, “Vices of the Political System,” in Papers of James Madison, ed. Hutchinson et al., 9:351–52.
For works on units within the Confederation, see, for example, Banning, “Virginia: Nation, State, and Section,” in Ratifying the Constitution, ed. Gillespie and Michael; Onuf, “Constitutional Politics: States, Sections and the National Interest,” in A More Perfect Union, ed. York.
On foreign policy models, see Michael J. Hogan and Thomas G. Paterson, eds., Explaining the History of American Foreign Relations (New York, 1991); Valerie M. Hudson, Foreign Policy Analysis: Classic and Contemporary Theory (Lanham, MD, 2007); Fareed Zakaria, From Wealth to Power: The Unusual Origins of America's World Role (Princeton, NJ, 1998), 13–43.
America during this period existed not as a unified nation but in various forms of federative state-systems that consisted of largely independent states at different stages of cooperation and conflict with one another, united together by the exigencies of the greater international community. Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 263–65. The large literature on federal political orders will be helpful with examining the types of state-systems emerging during early America. See, for example, Daniel J. Elazar, Federalism as Grand Design: Political Philosophers and the Federal Principle (Lanham, MD, 1987); Murray Forsyth, Unions of States: The Theory and Practice of Confederation (Leicester, UK, 1981); Frederick K Lister, The Later Security Confederations: The American, “New” Swiss, and German Unions (Westport, CT, 2001); and Ronald L. Watts, “Federalism, Federal Political Systems, and Federations,” Annual Review of Political Science 1 (1999): 117–37.
Emphasis added. Hendrickson, Union, Nation, or Empire, xii; and Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 272. He continues, “It was the imperious needs associated with the construction of an American system based on internationalist ideals that, more than any other factor, dictated separation and ‘no entangling alliances’ with the European system. Internationalism was, in this sense, a potent auxiliary and abettor to traits normally seen as either ‘unilateralist’ or ‘isolationist’ ” (ibid., 272). Following this line of reasoning, describing early U.S. leaders as “isolationists” is misleading because they were constantly forced to confront the internationalist imperatives of the American state-system. In fact, within the early American system “there emerged doctrines of the balance of power, of intervention (and nonintervention), of the equality of states, [and] of defense against aggression” by state leaders when dealing with leaders from other parts of the union, which are doctrines and policies traditionally created and employed by leaders of nation-states in the global community vis-à-vis other nation-states. Hendrickson, Union, Nation, or Empire, xii.
Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 21.
Viewing early America with this perspective also invites a rethinking of the intellectual origins of early American diplomacy. Hendrickson argues that an “internationalist” (also referred to as a “Whig” or “Grotian”) tradition of thought more ably captures the “context or contours” of early American diplomatic thought than the traditional “realist” or “idealist” classifications. Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 21, 169–76, 268–71, 351n. On the realist-idealist debate, see ibid.; “Benjamin Franklin and the Nature of American Diplomacy,” International History Review 3 (August 1983): 346–63; , “Tom Paine's New World Order: Idealistic Internationalism in the Ideology of Early American Foreign Relations,” Diplomatic History 19 (September 1995): 569–82. ,
Marks, Independence on Trial; and Marks, “Power, Pride, and Purse.”
According to Marks, shortly before the Federal Convention convened, “a two-front war was virtually certain [with Indian nations].” Marks, “Power, Pride, and Purse,” 310. Similarly, studies examining the effect, if any, on constitutional reform of states little studied such as Prussia and Russia, may discover diplomatic events behind the creation of the new government or clarify nuances of the document.
Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 25–26, 266.
Hendrickson, Union, Nation, or Empire, xii.
Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 22.
McCoy, “Visions of American Nationality”; Totten, “Security and U.S. Immigration Policy.”
On neglect of the role of the international system in American political development, see Ira Katznelson and Martin Shefter, eds., Shaped by War and Trade: International Influences on American Political Development (Princeton, NJ, 2002). On how the international system affects U.S. domestic policy, see “Review Article: The International-National Connection,” British Journal of Political Science 19 (1989): 237–59; , “The Second Image Reversed: The International Sources of Domestic Politics,” International Organization 32 (Autumn 1978): 881–911; Katznelson and Shefter, eds., , Shaped by War and Trade.
Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 267. Helpful here may be works by IR scholars that use domestic variables to examine early American foreign policy. Miriam Fendius Elman, “The Foreign Policies of Small States: Challenging Neorealism in Its Own Backyard,” British Journal of Political Science 25 (April 1995): 171–217; Dov H. Levin and Benjamin Miller, “Why Great Powers Expand in Their Own Neighborhood: Explaining the Territorial Expansion of the United States 1819–1848,” International Interactions 37 (2011): 229–62; Scott A. Silverstone, Divided Union: The Politics of War in the Early American Republic (Ithaca, NY, 2004); Scott A. Silverstone, “Federal Democratic Peace: Domestic Institutions and International Conflict in the Early American Republic,” Security Studies 13 (Spring 2004): 48–102; Zakaria, From Wealth to Power.”
On the democratic peace theory, see Bruce Russett and John Oneal, Triangulating Peace: Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organization (New York, 2001), 43–76. On Indian governments around this time, see “A Security Regime among Democracies: Cooperation among Iroquois Nations,” International Organization 48 (Summer 1994): 345–85; Jerry D. Stubben, , Native Americans and Political Participation (Santa Barbara, CA, 2006), chap. 1; and David E. Wilkins, American Indian Politics and the American Political System, 2nd ed. (Lanham, MD, 2007), chap. 5. See also Deudney, “Philadelphian System,” 204n.
“Biological Warfare in Eighteenth Century North America: Beyond Jeffery Amherst,” Journal of American History 86 (March 2000): 1552–80; Elizabeth A. Fenn, , Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775–1782 (New York, 2001); Herring, Colony to Superpower, 36, 39; Morris, The Forging of Union, 195; William R. Polk, Violent Politics: A History of Insurgency, Terrorism & Guerrilla War, From The American Revolution to Iraq (New York, 2007), 1–19. Marks explains that by August 1786 there were “thirty Americans languishing in North African prison camps [controlled by Barbary pirates], roughly equivalent in today's terms to 3,000 persons in the hands of terrorists.” Marks, “Power, Pride, and Purse,” 316.
The Scott observation is paraphrased in Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 258–59.
David Armitage, The Declaration of Independence: A Global History (Cambridge, MA, 2007), 106.
The founders also made this observation. Madison, for example, commented that “were it possible by human contrivance so to accelerate the intercourse between every part of the globe that all its inhabitants could be united under the superintending authority of an ecumenical Council, how great a portion of human evils would be avoided. Wars, famines, with pestilence as far as the fruit of either, could not exist; taxes to pay for wars, or to provide against them, would be needless, and the expense and perplexities of local fetters on interchange beneficial to all would no longer oppress the social state.” Quoted in Ralph Ketchum, James Madison: A Biography (Charlottesville, VA, 1990), 632, 725n; Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 314n. See also Franklin to Ferdinand Grand, October 22, 1787, and James Wilson's comment in his Summation and Final Rebuttal, December 11, 1787, quoted in Hendrickson, Peace Pact, 24.
Deudney, Bounding Power. See also, Deudney, “Philadelphian System,” which Deudney wrote a decade before his landmark work on republican security theory and which contains the seed of his theory; Onuf, The Republican Legacy; Lind, “Neglected American Tradition of Geopolitics?” For comparisons of the early American system and the European Union, see, for example, Sergio Fabbrini, Compound Democracies: Why the United States and Europe Are Becoming Similar (Oxford, 2007); Andrew Glencross, “E Pluribus Europa? Assessing the Viability of the EU Compound Polity by Analogy with the Early US Republic” (unpublished Ph.D. diss., European University Institute, 2007); Andrew Glencross and Alexander H. Trechsel, eds., EU Federalism and Constitutionalism: The Legacy of Altiero Spinelli (Lanham, MD, 2010); David C. Hendrickson, “Of Power and Providence: The old U.S. and the new E.U.,” Policy Review 135 (Feburary/March 2006): 23–42.
For example, ancient leaders sought to protect their polity from the sword and spear, while contemporary leaders seek to protect their polity from globally-projected military forces.
Deudney, Bounding Power, 2. Further clarifying what he means by “republic,” Deudney writes, “Republics have been historically precarious and rare, generally poor, and massively compromised. They now constitute a zone of peace, freedom, and prosperity far greater than any other in history. For most of history republics were confined to small city-states where they were insecure and vulnerable to conquest or internal usurpation, but over the last two centuries they have expanded to continental size through federal union and emerged victorious from the violent total world conflicts of the twentieth century. . . . The American-led free world overcame the reversals of the 1930s and early 1940s, expanded with the reconstruction of Western Europe and parts of East Asia as capitalist, liberal, constitutional and federal democracies, and has built a dense network of international institutions. This ‘compound of federations, confederations, and international regimes’ now constitutes a political order more like the domestic spheres of earlier republics than the prototypical Realist state system of hierarchies in anarchy.” Deudney, Bounding Power, 2, quoting from “The West Unique, Not Universal,” Foreign Affairs 75 (NovemberDecember 1996): 43. ,
Deudney, Bounding Power, 20.
Ibid., 161–62. Many IR scholars view the nation-state as the primary unit of the international system, a vantage point which republican security theory and the early American case of thirteen semi-sovereign actors suggest is flawed. Deudney, Bounding Power, 5–8.
For Deudney's application of his model to the early American period, see ibid., 161–92.
For helpful comments on earlier drafts, I would like to thank Daniel Donovan, John W. Church, Daniel Kotin, Deborah W. Larson, Peter S. Onuf, Marc Trachtenberg, and an anonymous reviewer. I would also like to thank the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at U.C. San Diego for support while completing this article.