America’s history reflects a deep mistrust of authority. The strong, representative national government championed by the framers of the Constitution was a hard sell. Over the years, the Founding Fathers (helped along by generations of historians in search of “truth” and politicians in search of legitimacy) have been interpreted as disagreeing sharply and fundamentally about just what should be the right mix of Jeffersonian Democracy and Hamiltonian Republic. But in their own time, Franklin, Hamilton, Madison, Jay, and others put aside their differences to fight for the Constitution. They were convinced that a federal republic was preferable to more direct and decentralized versions of democracy.
From Richard C. Leone’s Foreword to Lawrence K. Grossman’s The Electronic Republic.