Unruly Americans And The Origins Of The Constitution

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1. Purpose of Book The main purpose behind the book Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution, by Woody Holton is to demonstrate the authors view on the true intent of the Framers when writing the Constitution. Although at first glance the book may seem to uphold the idea that the framers wrote the Constitution in order to protect civil liberties, Holton has a different opinion. To avoid a one sided book, the author not only looks at the framers intent, but the struggles facing the American people. This book emphasizes the alternative interpretations offered by Americans on the origins of the Constitution. Holton’s purpose with this book was to show that the framers interests involved making America more attractive to investors. In order to do so, they purposefully made the government less democratic with the writing of the Constitution. However, with the addition of the Bill of Rights, one could argue the Framers had at least a slight concern for the American people and their civil liberties. In offering alternative interpretations of the origins of the Constitution, the author accomplishes his secondary purpose, to make the reader challenge what they know about the framing of the Constitution. Holton details the rebellion of the “Unruly Americans” against the state and national governments, using Adonijah Mathews as an ultimate example of the “common man.” Mathews’ views are presented in order to contrast the views of James Madison, whom it seems the author

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