The Origins of the Federal Republic
Jurisdictional Controversies in the United States, 1775-1787University of Pennsylvania Press
Historians have emphasized the founding fathers' statesmanship and vision in the development of a more powerful union under the federal constitution. In The Origins of the Federal Republic, Peter S. Onuf clarifies the founders' achievement by demonstrating with case studies of New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Virginia that territorial confrontations among the former colonies played a crucial role in shaping early concepts of statehood and union and provided the true basis of the American federalist system.
"Conceptually sophisticated and immensely illuminating."—Journal of American History
"He shows a mastery of the sources: primary, secondary, and, most impressively, documentary histories."—William and Mary Quarterly
"An important explanation of why the Union was unstable during the early nineteenth century."—Reviews in American History