Reply To: Revolution to Constitution: Radical or Conservative


Jensen there echoes the old Beardian distinction between country/Antifederalist debtors and court/Federalists creditors that Forrest McDonald exploded decades ago.

It certainly is true that in Virginia at least there was a marked drop-off in the quality of state-level officials when the Revolution began and prominent Virginians went off to lead the army, sit in Congress, work as diplomats, etc. Many members of the old elite complained about unlettered men dressed in buckskin showing up to sit in the General Assembly, which never would have happened before. You see a bit of push-back against it in Madison’s tenth Federalist essay, where he says that larger districts will produce higher-class representatives.