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considerate or selfish opposition of a few States." This remark was intended as a warning to New Jersey and Delaware,' who were apparently giving signs of uneasiness and disaffection. It is an evidence that the leaders of the convention feared the obstinate objection to some essential portion of their plan.
On June 6 arose again the question of choosing the members of the first branch of the legislature; and in the ensuing discussion certain fundamental ideas were brought forward. Once more distrust of democracy disclosed itself. Charles Pinckney wished an election by state legislatures, since the people were unfit for the work. "In Massachusetts," said Gerry, "the worst men get into the Legislature. Several members of that Body had lately been convicted of infamous crimes."; Wilson, on the other hand, contended that the government ought to possess not only the force but the mind or sense of the people at large; the opposition to be expected to the new system would not come from the citizens of the states but from their governments. “ The State officers were to be the losers of power.” Mason too believed, as before, in popular election. “Under the existing Confederacy," he said, “Congress represent the States and not the people of the States: their acts operate on the States, not on the individuals. The case will be changed in the new plan of Government. The people will be represented; they ought therefore to choose the Representatives."! Dickinson thought it essential that one branch of the legislature should be drawn immediately from the people and the other chosen by the state legislatures. After due discussion, the convention refused to alter its decision in favor of popular election for the first branch.
* Madison, Writings (Hunt's ed.), III., 96. ? Ibid., 1oo.
The next day (June 7) it was resolved that the second branch should be chosen, as Mr. Dickinson wished, by the state legislatures. In the course of the discussion serious questions came to the surface, for some of the large-state men saw that an election by state legislatures meant either a surrender of proportional representation or a very large and cumbersome second branch, inasmuch as each state would need to have at least one member. They had hoped for some method of election disregarding state boundaries. Notwithstanding the efforts of Madison and Wilson, the resolution received the unanimous vote of the states.
Before June 1, as we have seen, a resolution had been adopted providing that the national legislature should have the right to veto all state laws contravening the treaties or the Articles of Union. Pinckney was dissatisfied with this; it did not go far enough for him, and he advocated granting authority to veto all laws that should be judged improper. The proposition was seriously debated, and was favored by Madison, who “could not but regard an indefinite power to negative legislative acts of the States as absolutely necessary to a perfect System.” Evidently the leaders did not yet see fairly and without obscurity the principles of the system they must work out. They had not yet followed to its end the logic of their own propositions. They did not see how difficult, not to say impossible, it would be to make the negative an effective means of union and order. To give the national legislature such a power to veto laws contravening the Constitution was to lay the foundation for bitter antagonism and probable strife; for such a method of correction implied friction between governments, continual affronts to state pride. But to carry out Pinckney's plan and to give the right to veto all laws deemed improper, whether contravening the Constitution or not, was not only to bestow on the central legislature dangerous authority, but to establish a relation resting not so much on law as on judgment, desire, and caprice. Those who were anxious to solve the great problem of the time and to discover suitable restraint for the states were as yet too much influenced by their remembrance of the British colonial administration. They did not yet see face to face the legal system which they were to work out in their debates, a system based partly on colonial institutions and partly on principles of English law 1 Madison, Writings (Hunt's ed.), III., 121.
Madison, Writings (Hunt's ed.), III., 101.
; Ibid., 105.
which were to be applied to wide purposes of imperial organization for the first time in the New World.
We may for the time being delay a consideration of how they solved the question. Clearly a free and unrestrained negative on all state laws would not do. Pinckney's motion was rejected. The convention, however, held to the idea of giving Congress the power to negative unconstitutional state laws. Whether Congress was to have the right to coerce a state was as yet undecided. We must remember that these two propositions-a veto and coercion- were at first the favorite solutions for the most difficult part of the problem of imperial organization.
Two weeks had passed without serious difficulty, but on June 9 the resolution referring to proportional representation came up again. Here was the danger-point: the small-state men were gathering strength and getting ready for action. Evidently they would not surrender the equal representation of the states without a battle, and perhaps no argument could make them yield. To yield meant to give up, so it seemed to them, not only the sovereignty but the dignity and safety of their states. The convention was soon sharply divided. The delegates from Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia wished representation in proportion to their importance, partly because they desired for their respective states greater political influence, partly because they feared, however slight the reason, that the small states would vote away their money. But it is plain, too, that the leaders of this party were in reality a national party, ready and anxious to discard the principle and underlying notion of the Confederation. They were desirous of establishing a national government, and yet to retain the states as useful parts of the new system. As the days went by, under the guidance of Madison, Wilson, and King they saw fully all that was involved, the foundation of a real government with powers of legislation and execution.
1 Madison, Writings (Hunt's ed.), III., 127.
The small - state men, representing Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland, were controlled by various motives. Some were determined to maintain the principle of the Confederation, to preserve a union of states possessed of equal political rights, to continue the existence of the socalled sovereignty of the individual members. They wished rather to patch up the old than to create a new system. And yet even these men were willing to grant additional authority to Congress, and even to bestow the right to coerce a delinquent state, for all men of sense had learned that mere promises were futile. Others, although not averse to a national government,' were fearful, with the old
1 E.g., see Madison, Writings (Hunt's ed.), 116, 125, 166,