By Robert W. Hoffert
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Extra info for A Politics of Tensions: The Articles of Confederation and American Political Ideas
This is not only a great act of love; it is the foundation for life in community. Page xi Introduction Perhaps the surest way to jeopardize the future is to build on an inadequate understanding of the past. The consequences of a lost or distorted past increasingly limit or threaten America's future prospects. S. Constitution and have lost a consciousness of the political richness in their colonial and revolutionary experiences. This book's examination of the Articles of Confederation is not driven by an antiquarian curiosity about the Articles or by an ideological hostility to the Constitution.
For example, Americans most frequently prefer the language of a compass to that of democratic intentions: East Germany, not the German Democratic Republic; North Korea, not the Korean Democratic Republic; North Vietnam, not the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Acknowledging these other democracies is not an issue of endorsement, but of simple recognition. Just as Americans have not been attentive to the wide variety of ways in which other peoples have tried to give meaning to modern democracy, so too, they have not been sufficiently aware of the various forms and nuances they have given to democracy within their own democratic consensus.
For example, principles of decentralization, localism, and reduction in the size and dimensions of the national government are frequently attributed to the 1787 Constitution in spite of the fact that there is no single event in the entire history of the United States more purposefully contrary to these goals. The Constitution of 1787 delivered a deadly blow to decentralization, overwhelmed localism, and expanded the size, complexity, and power of the national government beyond any political, economic, or social event of the twentieth century.
A Politics of Tensions: The Articles of Confederation and American Political Ideas by Robert W. Hoffert