The author maintains, contrary to revisionist historians, that the issue of state sovereignty was a primary consideration in the framing of the Constitution. He traces the initial conflict of the Confederation period between those who favored a centralized government and those who opposed it, ending his study with the ratification of the new Constitution and the defeat of state sovereignty advocates. The evidence that he marshals for his conclusion is impressively documented, but his thesis suffers from his approach. He readily admits that he is a constitutional lawyer, not a historian, and as such relies on stated arguments, ""the words which were spoken on the convention floors."" His refusal to look beneath the rhetoric assures minimal impact on the balance of arguments about this most controversial of topics in the history of the period.