Jeffrey Tulis: The Anti-Federal Appropriation
Posted: May 7, 2014
Jeffrey Tulis, with Nicole Mellow, recently published "The Anti-Federal Appropriation" in the journal American Political Thought.
Abstract: The Anti-Federalists lost the battle to defeat the Constitution but won back through interpretation what they lost in constitutional construction. To counter Anti-Federalists’ accurate depictions of the proposed constitution as one that would radically alter the existing regime, The Federalist adopted a rhetorical structure that facilitated an opposing political tradition layered over the constitutive logic of the Constitution. Our analysis of the developmental logic embedded in founding political thought, the rhetoric used to defend that political logic, and the subsequent appropriation of Federalist rhetoric by the losers of this debate illustrates the mutual dependence of American political development and political thought.