Open Access Dissertation
Date of Award
DEFINING THE REPUBLIC
WILLIAM J. NICHOLS
Advisor: Dr. Jeffrey Grynaviski
Major: Political Science (Political Theory)
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
The “Great Divergence” between Alexander Hamilton and James Madison is one of the most well-known events in the early history of the United States. Together, Hamilton and Madison wrote most of The Federalist, and each was pivotal in securing the acceptance of the Constitution in their state ratifying conventions. That within just a few years of the establishment of the new form of government each had worked so hard to achieve, they became bitter political enemies, is an often remarked upon, but little studied event.
In this dissertation I compare Hamilton and Madison on several different topics, and show they all along had underlying differences of opinion as to what they expected the United States would eventually be like. That they “diverged” is not the result of a change by either individual after the Constitution was ratified, but rather the result of unspoken and unexplored assumptions each had long before they worked together on The Federalist.
Nichols, William Joseph, "Defining The Republic" (2016). Wayne State University Dissertations. 1468.