Texas Tech University

A DEFENCE OF THE CONSTITUTIONS OF GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA BY JOHN ADAMS

Publication Date: 1788

"Early edition of Adams' classic study, an elaboration upon and defense of the constitutional framework of the new American republic. Adams' work first appeared in London, then New York and Philadelphia in 1787 and in Boston in 1788. No other edition appeared until almost the end of the century.

In this work, Adams ably combated the views of Turgot and other European writers as to the viciousness of the framework of the state governments. Unfortunately, in so doing, he used phrases suggesting support of aristocracy which offended many of his countrymen, – as in the sentence in which he suggested that "the rich, the well-born and the able" should be set apart from other men in a senate. Differences of opinion with regard to the policies to be pursued by the new government gradually led to the formation of two well-defined political groups – the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans – and Adams became recognized as one of the leaders, second only to Alexander Hamilton, of the former.

The primary importance of Adam's work in the context of American history is its timing. It had a profound effect upon those gathered to frame the Constitution: "The first volume appeared in America while the convention for framing a constitution was assembling. Its timeliness gave it vogue; but it is chiefly remembered for the unjustifiable partisan interpretation given it in later years as an attempt to favor a monarchy"." #0020

 

 

 

 

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