Madison's Constitution

In the post-Constitutional American order of 2013, one hears increasingly frequent reference among everyday conservatives to "the real Constitution." This entails popular references to the Framers, to the late 1780s, and even to the political-science classics being referenced by the Framers in the late 1780s. One rightly designates it a good thing. However, a sharp dissonance strikes the attuned ear. The dissonance is born from the erroneous presumptive congruence by these popular accounts between the foremost of such Framers -- James Madison -- and the paragon of those classical political scientists -- the Baron de Montesquieu. That is, when James Madison (with the Federalists) shaped and defended throughout 1787 the document which became our Constitution, he did not follow Montesquieu's most important admonitions, but rather presumed to "correct Montesquieu" in three cardinal ways. These "corrections" have proven both significant and unfortunate in our republic's life. Madison...(Read Full Article)

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