The Politics of Size: Representation in the United States, 1776 1850


Product Details

Cornell University Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.56 inches | 0.96 pounds

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About the Author

Rosemarie Zagarri is Professor of History at George Mason University. She is the author of Revolutionary Backlash: Women and Politics in the Early American Republic and A Woman's Dilemma: Mercy Otis Warren and the American Revolution and the editor of David Humphreys' "Life of General Washington" with George Washington's "Remarks."


"Historians have been puzzled for two hundred years about the causes of the famous large-versus-small-state controversy that erupted during that long, hot summer in Philadelphia and found its solution in the Great Compromise that made the Constitution possible.... Rosemarie Zagarri's book solves the mystery. She argues quite cogently that the politicians and citizens of 'the small' states retained an older system of corporate or community representation... while many in the large states with rapidly growing populations had concluded that a new system of representation, based on population instead of units, was a necessary response to change."

-- "Journal of American History"

"Zagarri's book is as brilliant as it is bright. Drawing her inspiration from the principles and practice of human geography, she shows... that the demographic theory of representation was ideal for expansionism, though it ironically provided the environment in which sectionalism could arise in its ugly, antebellum form."

-- "Choice"

"Zagarri's work makes a useful contribution to the literature on representation, illuminating the role that spatial thinking played as a bridge between inherited conceptions of actual and virtual representation and more modern ideas."

-- "American Journal of Legal History"