Adam Tate

Adam Tate is an associate professor of history at Clayton State University in Morrow, Georgia.

This Republic of Federalism

Timothy Sandefur’s The Conscience of the Constitution contributes to the debate over the best way to limit the powers of the United States government in order to secure liberty. Sandefur, a lawyer and legal scholar, believes that Conscience“American constitutional history has always hovered in the mutual resistance of two principles: the right of each individual to be free, and the power of the majority to make rules.” (1) For Sandefur adherence to the natural rights theory of Declaration of Independence manages the tension between the two principles.

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The Fallacies of Marshallian Nationalism

The Fallacies of States' rights

In this spirited polemic, Prof. Sotirios Barber defends the American nationalist constitutional tradition, particularly the thought of John Marshall, from the attacks of both states’ rights advocates (who he calls “dual federalists) and process federalists, those who believe national power should be used in expansive ways to protect individual rights without working to establish one specific American society. Barber uses Marshall’s 1819 decision in McCulloch v. Maryland as the starting point for nationalist analysis. Hence, he mentions only briefly the important clashes between nationalists and their opponents during the first three decades of the Early Republic. In explaining the rationale…

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Are My Federalists His Antifederalists?

Gordon Lloyd has spent much of his career studying the Founding period.  One of the many fruits of his diligent work has been his four excellent websites designed to teach the Philadelphia Convention, the Federalist-Antifederalist debates, the Ratification Conventions, and the Bill of Rights to students. To say that Lloyd knows the Founding well is an understatement.  In his essay, Lloyd argues that a return to the thought of the Founders, who envisioned a federal republic, is a potential solution to confronting the Neo-Progressives who promote a national democracy, a “centralized Administrative State,” an imperial presidency, and an activist judiciary.  He…

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We Are All Federalists, We Are All Antifederalists

Gordon Lloyd persuades us to arm our resistance to bureaucratic, total government today by appealing to the Antifederalists of the founding era. “The constitutional impediments to the completion of the Progressive national democracy project actually rest on promoting the Antifederalist rather than the Federalist features of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.” Presumably, Lloyd means…

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