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This paper reassesses the influence of ancient confederacies on the political thought of the American founding. It suggests that James Madison drew inspiration for innovative elements of the American Constitution from the Achaean League. It also claims that attention toMadison's debts, which he tallied in both Federalist no. 18 and the earlier 'Notes on Ancient andModern Confederacies,' helps us to appreciate what Madison took to be perhaps the most innovative feature of the American founding-- not necessarily the Constitution that was established, but the manner in which its establishment was recorded and defended.
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Keywords: Achaean League; American Classicism; American Founding; Ancient Confederations; Ancient and Modern Political Science; Aristotle; Confederation; Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787; Federalism; James Madison; James Monroe; Notes on Ancient and Modern Confederacies; PlatoConfedracy; Polybius; Ratification Debates; The Federalist Papers; US Constitution

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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