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signed; particularly that of getting rid of a reference to the people for ratification.” 1

When the question arose, as it did on the second of Randolph's resolutions, as to whether or not there should be two branches of the legislature, the discussion once more went to the nature of the plan. Lansing contended that the true question “was, whether the Convention would adhere to or depart from the foundation of the present Confederacy." He was answered by Mason, who did not expect, he said, that this point would be reagitated. On two points he declared the mind of the American people was settled: first, in an attachment to republican government; and second, in an attachment to more than one branch in the legislature. Coercion of states, such as Paterson's plan contemplated, he could think of only with horror; solicitous for the establishment of a national government, he would, nevertheless, not consent to the abolition of the states. As the debate continued, it must have been apparent that the defenders of the Randolph scheme had much the advantage in argument, if not in assertion. The fear that the new government would endanger the liberties of the people and encroach upon the rights of the states was frankly met. Madison and Wilson, who had had sorry experiences as members of the impotent Congress, insisted that the real

1 Madison, Writings (Hunt's ed.), III., 226; see especially Martin's letter, in Elliot, Debates, I., 362; Bancroft, Hist. of the Const., II., 51.

peril was gradual disorganization, because of the selfishness and petty pride of the individual states. “A Citizen of Delaware," said Madison, “was not more free than a Citizen of Virginia: nor would either be more free than a Citizen of America."1

The situation was clearly seen by Johnson of Connecticut, an able, serene man of good sense, who was willing to look at the whole subject fairly and debate it without passion. The New Jersey plan, he said, preserves the states; the Virginia plan professes not to destroy them, but is “charged with such a tendency.” One man aloneboldly advocates the abolition of the states. “Mr. Wilson and the gentleman from Virginia,” he said, “who also were adversaries of the plan of New Jersey held a different language. They wished to leave the States in possession of a considerable, though a subordinate jurisdiction." Could this arrangement be made? That was the question; evidently that was what was troubling the Connecticut delegation. Could the power be divided between state and nation, and the plan be so carefully adjusted that the states would be secure in the portions of sovereignty they retained? Could such a division be made secure and permanent unless each state were given a “distinct and equal vote for the purpose of defending" itself “in the general Councils"? Plainly Johnson was sincerely anxious for information, and his fairminded question seemed to indicate that, if the states should be provided with means of self-defence, Connecticut would not vote against a national government. On the motion to establish a legislature with two branches, the votes stood seven to three, with Maryland divided."

1 Madison, Writings (Hunt's ed.), III., 243.

Hamilton. 3 Madison, Writings (Hunt's ed.), III., 239, 240.

On this question Connecticut voted with the large states, and her delegates apparently saw their rôle clearly: they would not oppose a good national government, but they would work for a recognition of the states. Strong men these were, with wide experience and breadth of view, and they feared that unless the states were given distinct political power they would be absorbed or lose their significance altogether under the weight of a centralized national authority. Sherman, perhaps the most influential of them all, would not be likely to yield his chief purpose; calm, deliberate, quietly argumentative, he was as persistent as pursuing fate, and, if willing to yield a little here and there, it was only that he might get as much of his own way as sweet temper and plodding patience could secure.

We can pass rapidly over the debates of the next few days, for in general only matters of secondary importance were discussed. The vexed question of representation was still to be balloted upon. For, although the large-state men had as yet won decisively on every significant ballot, and might well have thought their opponents hopelessly beaten, the small - state partisans, some of them now much excited, were in no mood to give up the fight.

1 Elliot, Debates, I., 184.

Near the end of June, after the convention had been in session over a month, the resolution for proportional representation, which had been adopted in the committee of the whole, came before the convention. The small-state men were now ready for a supreme effort. Martin made a long and wearisome address, contending with deep earnestness that the power of the general government ought to be kept within narrow limits, that it was meant to preserve the state governments and not to control individuals. "The corner-stone of a federal government is equality of votes.' "I would rather confederate,” he exclaimed, “with any single state than submit to the Virginia plan."2 All the discussion seemed to lead to nothing, and Franklin solemnly proposed “imploring the assistance of Heaven." “I have lived, Sir, a long time,” he said, “and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth-that God Governs in the affairs of men.” He advocated the opening of the morning sessions with prayer. Some of the delegates thought that such action would arouse suspicion of dissension in the convention, and the motion was not adopted.

Men argued about the question of state sovereignty

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1 Yates's minutes, in Elliot, Debates, I., 454.

3 Madison, Writings (Hunt's ed.), III., 310.

Ibid., 457

and perhaps knew in a measure what they were talking about; but they seemed for a time no nearer the solution of the controversy. For some, like Martin, contended that the states were sovereign, and others, like Madison and Wilson and Hamilton and King, did not believe that the states by separating from Great Britain became separated from one another. A bootless discussion, and one that would interest us less were it not that in the days to come the question of state sovereignty and sundry metaphysical subtilties rose like a cloud of darkening locusts.

The debate continued with the fundamental problem inextricably connected with the question of representation still unsettled. Strong speeches were made. But the national party argued in vain and pointed to the dangers that all could see. Were the small states anxious for liberty? Then let them unite and not stand aloof in awe of their more powerful neighbors. If no union resulted on just principles, if the states watched one another in jealous dread, each would soon seek to render itself secure by a standing army, and America would soon be burdened by military expenses and sustained by despotic government. “Constant apprehension of war," said Madison, “has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. ... The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home."!

1 Madison, Writings (Hunt's ed.), III., 317.

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