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A Hercules in the CradleWar, Money, and the American State, 1783-1867$
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Max M. Edling

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226181578

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226181608.001.0001

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A More Effectual Mode of Administration: The Constitution and the Origins of American Public Finance

A More Effectual Mode of Administration: The Constitution and the Origins of American Public Finance

Chapter:
(p.17) Chapter One A More Effectual Mode of Administration: The Constitution and the Origins of American Public Finance
Source:
A Hercules in the Cradle
Author(s):

Max M. Edling

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226181608.003.0002

The Constitution of the United States was first and foremost a reformed compact of union. It replaced the defunct Articles of Confederation with a working central government. In the so-called “critical period” that preceded the adoption of the Constitution in 1787 several critical issues emanating from the activities of rival North American and Atlantic powers confronted the newly independent United States. The significance of the framing and adoption of the Constitution lies in the fact that it made possible the creation of an energetic national government that could begin to address these issues. Chapter one analyzes both the reform movement that attempted to amend the Articles of Confederation and the work of the Constitutional Convention. It explains how the centralization of fiscal and financial powers that resulted from the adoption of the Constitution was central to the creation of an effective federal government.

Keywords:   Articles of Confederation, Constitution, Constitutional Convention, critical period, federal government, fiscal powers, union, United States

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