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Founders and Empire

Alexander Hamilton
Like many questions whose answers touch on the essential nature of our country, historians and partisans on both sides of the question of "empire" refer to the intentions of the founding fathers. The founders were classicists, and they had Rome as much on their minds as the British Empire they were seceding from, and it was from those civilizations they drew the lessons used in formulating their new nation.

Tom Donnelly argues that "to the founding fathers of the United States, the term empire was not a term of disapproval... In fact in the very first paragraph of the Federalist Papers, Hamilton writes of America being already among the most interesting empires of history."

However, there was not unanimity on the virtues of coming under one constitution, and of the empire that was being born.

Anti-Federalist Papers
At various times and in various fashions, anti-Federalists claimed that the constitution would make a king of the president, and that it favored the rich over the poor.
Anti-Federalist Papers #1
"I had rather be a free citizen of the small republic of Massachusetts, than an oppressed subject of the great American empire."
Federalist Papers #22 - Discussion of Empires
"The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE."




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