Jensen, Merrill (1905–1980)

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JENSEN, MERRILL (1905–1980)

Author and editor of many books on American colonial and revolutionary history, Merrill Monroe Jensen is best known for his challenge of the traditional interpretation of the articles of confederation as an inadequate form of government whose weaknesses required that it be replaced by the Constitution of 1787. Jensen argued in his most influential books, The Articles of Confederation (1940) and The New Nation (1950), that the american revolution was as much a political and social upheaval as the winning of independence from Great Britain and that the Articles of Confederation were the logical result of the democratic philosophy of the declaration of independence and the state constitutions of the 1770s. Jensen also contended that the Articles' weaknesses were exaggerated both by the Federalists of 1787–1788, who actually supported the Constitution as a check on the democratic tendencies of which the Articles were the clearest expression, and by most historians.

Richard B. Bernstein

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Jensen, Merrill (1905–1980)

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