- Donald T. Critchlow
‘The politics of the Constitution, 1787–89’ describes the drafting of the U.S. Constitution in 1787 and its ratification. The central actors were George Washington, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, James Wilson, Alexander Hamilton, Gouverneur Morris, Luther Martin, Edmund Randolph, and George Mason. Disillusioned with the failure of the Articles of Confederation, distrustful of direct democracy and the passions of the mob, fearful of demagogues, and terrified by centralized government that was easily corrupted, the Philadelphia delegates expressed profound optimism that the American Revolution marked the beginnings of a new epoch in human history—the establishment of a large-scale representative republican government worthy of a continent. In the end, the constitution blended republican theory and political compromise.