The Constitution As a Coup Against Public Opinion

54 Pages Posted: 9 May 2019

Date Written: March 15, 2019


This article, which draws upon material from my book, "The Framers’ Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution" (Oxford University Press 2016), investigates how and why the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 wrote a constitution that was far more nationalizing and antipopulist than most Americans probably anticipated or desired. The article also seeks to shed light on how the Federalists managed to convince the nation, through a reasonably democratic ratifying process, to approve a constitution that was, in significant part, designed to reduce popular influence upon the federal government.

Suggested Citation

Klarman, Michael J., The Constitution As a Coup Against Public Opinion (March 15, 2019). William & Mary Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: or

Michael J. Klarman (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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