Compact of the Republic
“Dave Benner’s Compact of the Republic is a very good summary of the “compact fact” of the United States Constitution. His approach to the Constitution and American law is simple: what did the founding generation say the Constitution would mean when the document was ratified in 1788? He correctly concludes that the facts point to a limited federal republic of “expressly” delegated powers. The end result is a thorough dismantling of the “Nationalist Myth” in American history.”
-Brion McClanahan, bestselling author of The Founding Fathers Guide to the Constitution
“David is an insightful and well-read advocate of the Constitution.”
-Nick Dranias, Director of Constitutional Government, Goldwater Institute
“With ample documentation and clear and engaging prose, David Benner’s Compact of the Republic more than convincingly demonstrates how the Constitution did not establish an all-powerful centralized nation. Rather, the Constitution was an agreement – a compact – amongst the people of the thirteen states to enter a union for limited and enumerated purposes. While the idea of a union of states has been forgotten today, Benner’s work is a major step in recovering this foundation of American constitutionalism.”
-Aaron N. Coleman, PhD, University of the Cumberlands, author of The American Revolution, State Sovereignty, and the American Constitutional Settlement, 1765-1800
Compact of the Republic traces the American constitutional system to the British experience and the independent actions of states. This work proves that the states developed distinct identities, and were necessary to breathe life into the United States Constitution. As such, the Constitution respected a league of states rather than a national authority.
If the Constitution had a biography, this is it.
However, this book is so much more than that. It describes how the states entered into an agreement with each other to create the federal government, and hold it to defined limitations. Furthermore, this work clarifies how the original understanding of the Constitution has been continually eroded and dismantled by an ever-expanding federal government.
The genesis of the United States Constitution was built upon centuries of tyranny inflicted by treacherous kings and highly centralized government. In many cases, this authority had to be challenged directly in order for liberty to thrive. As a result, the Constitution was born from a laborious and exhaustive understanding of the British experience that the founders lived under and observed.
In Compact of the Republic, David Benner aims to prove that the Constitution did not impose a nationalist, powerful central government, and was not ratified by “one people.” Instead, the Constitution was a multi-party compact set up by the states, where the states were the masters of their own creation. The states built the federal government, and did not intend for their creation to rule over them.
Compact of the Republic promises to become the standard argument for the compact view of the union, and throws a wrench into the wheel of contemporary legal thought.
In Compact of the Republic, historian David Benner:
*Contends that representatives were made aware that power could be resumed by the states after acts of federal overreach and usurpation
*Explores the historical foundation behind the Bill of Rights, and traces the limitations on government to malevolent actions of kings
*Proves the Constitution acknowledges the states in the plural, as a collection of societies with varied interests
*Reveals that the “elastic clauses” were clearly explained and leave no room for modern reinterpretation
*Explains how the federal judiciary now overturns state laws that they have no discretion over, to the contrary of its original scope of power
*Describes how Thomas Jefferson and James Madison believed that unconstitutional federal laws had to be opposed, nullified, and obstructed by the states
*Illustrates that ratification was only secured by convincing opponents of the Constitution that the document would produce a weak general government with limited, enumerated powers