181 CHRONICLESnapproval of the Constitution in Massachusetts is that itnamounted to the proximate cause of that decision. In thenlast 50 years alternative explanations of these events andntheir connection have been advanced; but once refined withnobservations on the link between social unrest and bothnAnti-Federalism and Federalism, the traditional explanationnnow seems thoroughly vindicated. New Englanders hadnbelonged to a culture turned inward on itself, from thenfailure of the “Good Old Cause” to the beginnings of then”errand into the wilderness.” The Revolution broke some ofnthis down. They had been forced to send to Virginia fornhelp when General Gage occupied their metropolis. Shays’nRebellion finished their turning toward the business of thennew republic, where as inheritors of something valuablenthey might once again have a role to play and an example tonset. It took 50 years for Massachusetts Federalists to get overntheir fear of marching feet—if indeed they ever have. Yetnthere had been anxieties and complaints about democraticnexcesses in the backcountry and the Berkshires even beforenthe infant republics had, together, declared their independencenin 1776. And a reaction to these excesses gatheredninto something like a political party before the end of thenRevolutionary War in 1783. A leader of this party, JamesnBowdoin, was governor of Massachusetts when Shays’nRebellion broke out. He and his friends were responsible fornrestoring government in those Massachusetts communitiesnwhere anarchy had usurped its place.nBy 1786 Federalist sentiment was openly antidemocraticnin its Massachusetts variety. The redoubtable TheodorenSedgwick, United States Senator and Speaker of the Housenof the United States House of Representatives, wrote tonRufus King, as they contemplated the spectacle of popularnuprising against the people’s government: “Every man ofnobservation is convinced that the end of governmentnsecurity cannot be attained by the exercise of principlesnfounded on democratic equality. A war is now levied on thenvirtue, property and distinctions in the community, andnhowever there may be an appearance of a temporaryncessation of hostilities, yet the flame will again and againnbreak out.” Fisher Ames, while on the floor of the Massachusettsnratification convention itself, spoke to the sameneffect as his friend Sedgwick (but more colorfully) when hendeclared, “A democracy is a volcano, which conceals thenfiery materials of its own destruction. These will produce anneruption, and carry desolation in their way.”nAmes was quietly but ably supported by the ReverendnThomas Thacher, who warned the spokesmen for popularnresentment to remember the connection between “licentiousness”nand tyranny; who spoke of disturbances similar tonShays’ Rebellion in other American states; and who insistednthat “demagogues, in all free governments, have at first heldnout an idea of extreme liberty and have seized on the rightsnof the people under the mask of patriotism,” Federalists rangnthe changes on one important theme: that “faction andnenthusiasm are the instruments by which popular governmentsnare destroyed.” Unreasonable expectations hadnbrought on “an anarchy, and that leads to tyranny.” On thenother hand, common enemies and a concern for then”common interest” foster liberty. The Constitution was anway of preserving a known felicity, not a means of achievingna new one. If everyone at the convention recognized thatnnnthe objections of the Anti-Federalists to the documentnwould probably be raised against any replacement for it thatnwould be approved by a convention of the states, how couldnthey continue to resist the imperative to ratify?: “Do theynexpect one which will not annul the Confederation, or thatnthe persons and properties of the people shall not benincluded in the compact, and that we shall hear no morenabout armies and taxes?” Anti-Federalists might complainnthat Ames and his friends were fostering a “backlash”nreaction to popular unrest, that they encouraged the peoplento “run mad with loyalty.” But the Massachusetts traditionnof ordered liberty was ever stronger than anger with lawyersnand speculators in public debt. The dead voted yes on thenConstitution—and were powerful enough to carry the day.nShaysites, who were usually less radical than theirnopponents made them out to be and who wanted chiefly,nfor all their troublesome noise, no more than tax relief,nlower legal fees, and a better circulation of money, appearnin Federalist literature as serious “levelers” and outrightnegalitarians. There is a little evidence to support such anreading of Rhode Island Anti-Federalism, of the mob whichninterrupted a session of the New Hampshire legislature innSeptember in 1786, and of the extreme radicals who wishednto move the state capital from Boston and marched tonSpringfield to prevent the opening of the state courts innJanuary of 1787: a law which proposed that “at the end ofnthirteen years . . . there be a general abolition of debts, andnan equal distribution of property”; talk at Exeter of “holdingnall things in common”; a report of the opinion of a Shaysitenthat, as all the property of the nation had been defended bynall the people, it ought therefore “to be the commonnproperty of all”—with anyone who objected to this creedn”to be swept from the face of the earth.” Several membersnof the Massachusetts ratification convention expressed anconcern that the rights of the people might not be properlynprotected by the new Constitution. Others seemed to fearnthat the new fundamental law might cancel securitiesnprovided for in Massachusetts’ own Bill of Rights. Federalistsnresponded with clear distinctions concerning the roles ofnstate and general government. Governor Bowdoin is mostnexplicit:nWith regard to rights, the whole Constitution is andeclaration of rights, which primarily andnprincipally respect the general government intendednto be formed by it. The rights of particular Statesnand private citizens not being the object or subjectnof the Constitution, they are only incidentallynmentioned.nColonel Joseph Varnum agreed that Congress had “nonright to alter the internal regulations of a State.” He wasnsupported by the learned Theophilus Parsons, who “demonstratednthe impracticability of forming a bill, in annational constitution, for securing individual right,” and bynthe durable Sedgwick, who wrote to a friend, “Had thennational government undertaken to guaranty the severalnrights of citizenship contained in their [the states’] declaratorynbills, it would have given a right of interference whichnwould naturally tend to check, circumscribe, and finallynannihilate all state power.” Joining in this chorus is,nunexpectedly, Samuel Adams, first of the Sons of Libertyn