Was the adoption of the U.S. Constitution a liberal or conservative act?

Jul 2019
555
New Jersey
#31
While Hamilton certainly was more pro-British than some others, I haven't read of much support for the idea that he was a monarchist. Seems like a contradiction in terms.
He was known as "a Tory without a King". At the Constitutional Convention (June 18) he backed a President for life (chosen by the legislature) with sweeping powers - in effect, an elective monarchy.
 
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Sep 2019
110
Seattle
#32
I think his most compelling point is based on the fact that we ended up with a strong executive in 1789, plus the many quotations by patriots to the effect that America must be governed by a king. It's an extremely well-sourced book, so I'd recommend picking it up from your library (or buying it outright, if you can). I don't have the book on me atm, so I can't quote from it or anything, but I definitely would say that there's something to what he's saying.

That being said, there obviously was a strong Presbyterian republicanism at play as well, so the question becomes how we quantify these two seemingly contradictory ideas and the net effect they had on the Revolution.
Interesting...I'll pick it up and possibly start a new thread on the subject after I've read it. Humans are complex creatures...with any number of cause and effect channels toward historical events...providing the equal complexity of multi-variate analysis. Wrote a paper once on the Cuban Missile Crisis and JFK, pointing out that I would not address his relationship with Marilyn Monroe in the paper, although I was reasonably sure it must have had SOME effect.
 
Likes: Abraham95

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,149
Lisbon, Portugal
#33
You're getting very touchy here for no good reason. Nobody made any policy judgements here.

The fact remains that, at least in one respect, proponents of limited government (no welfare state, state rights, etc) are closer to the founders' intention. In that sense, the founders were more like the conservatives of our time than the progressives. That's all.
Ok, sorry, but isn't normal and expected that any political views and policies from the 18th century would be considered conservative nowadays?
 

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,149
Lisbon, Portugal
#34
But why would you apply modern definitions to historical events? That seems akin to judging history by today's standards.
That's also true, but historians and political scientists usually name the political ideology and ideas of government stemming from the Enlightenment movement as "Liberal", and the Founding Fathers and their Constitution clearly fits the bill of the first true "Liberal State", to exist.

And for example, during the first half of the 19th century in Europe, the supporters of the French revolution and all or some of its ideals (which were also inspired by the American revolution, and also both revolutions were influenced by many of the same political thinkers) as Liberal, while the supporters of the Absolutist Monarchs were named as Conservative.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,422
Las Vegas, NV USA
#35
I think his most compelling point is based on the fact that we ended up with a strong executive in

That being said, there obviously was a strong Presbyterian republicanism at play as well, so the question becomes how we quantify these two seemingly contradictory ideas and the net effect they had on the Revolution.
Specifically regarding presidential powers, do you mean the veto and the appointment of the federal judiciary and cabinet members? I agree these are important powers. The veto can only be overridden by 2/3 of both houses of Congress. Officials who are appointed are subject to the consent of the Senate. Federal judges are appointed for life and can only be removed by impeachment and trial in the Senate.Other officials can be dismissed at the president's pleasure. This includes the Attorney General who the president can fire at will. There is nothing in the constitution that clearly prevents the President to direct the AG to have someone arrested for personal reasons. One President already fired several AGs for not firing an official. IMO the AG should be given the same protection as federal judges for their term.
 
Likes: Futurist
Jun 2017
398
maine
#36
He was known as "a Tory without a King". At the Constitutional Convention (June 18) he backed a President for life (chosen by the legislature) with sweeping powers - in effect, an elective monarchy.
This is the theory of Victor Parrington and is cited on several monarchist web discussion groups. Martha Washington was in favor of this also.
 
Likes: Futurist

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
4,088
Caribbean
#37
which was Against the concept of a State sanctioned religionr.
And before the Revolution had finished, most of the States adopted Constitutions sanctioned religion by establishing religion or religious tests for office. Sometimes I wonder if the US has written history, or it's just a grab-bag of ideas.

The OP is a hard question to answer. What do those terms mean? Liberal and conservative? Based on what most people believe those terms mean today, ask yourself, which group likes the Revolutionaries, admires their work, and quotes them fondly?
 
Jul 2019
555
New Jersey
#39
Specifically regarding presidential powers, do you mean the veto and the appointment of the federal judiciary and cabinet members? I agree these are important powers. The veto can only be overridden by 2/3 of both houses of Congress.
These powers plus the president’s abilities in foreign affairs and as Commander in Chief.
 

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
4,088
Caribbean
#40
While Hamilton certainly was more pro-British than some others, I haven't read of much support for the idea that he was a monarchist. Seems like a contradiction in terms.
It's in his papers. Though, some of his faction were even more pro-British (to the point of wanting to secede, hook-up with Canada and reunite with Britain). The fell out with Hamilton, because he was too moderate. They are loosely referred to as the Essex Junto. Doesn't everyone know that? lol After Hamilton died, Pickering became the unofficial leader. These guys were so "British" that later, they refused to participate in Mr. Madison's War. Some newspapers called Pickering the Lord of Essex, to satarize their monarchical ambitions. These guys were so "British" that later, they refused to participate in Mr. Madison's War. And the British knew all this, invading things south of New England.

But where they liberal or conservative? I have no idea. lol
 
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