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Mr. Madison and Mr. Wilson observed, that it would leave an equality of agency in the small with the great States; that it would enable a minority of the people to prevent the removal of an officer who had rendered himself justly criminal in the eyes
of a majority; that it would open a door for intrigues against him in States where his administration, though just, might be unpopular; and might tempt him to pay court to particular States whose leading partizans he might fear, or wish to engage as his partizans. They both thought it bad policy to introduce such a mixture of the State authorities, where their agency could be otherwise supplied.
Mr. DICKINSON considered the business as so important that no man ought to be silent or reserved. He went into a discourse of some length, the sum of
that the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary departments ought to be made as independent as possible; but that such an Executive as some seemed to have in contemplation was not consistent with a republic; that a firm Executive could only exist in a limited monarchy. In the British government itself the weight of the Executive arises from the attachments which the Crown draws to itself, and not merely from the force of its prerogatives. In place of these attachments we must look out for something else. One source of stability is the double branch of the Legislature. The division of the country into distinct States formed the other principal source of stability. This division ought therefore to be maintained, and considerable powers to be left with the States. This was the ground of his consolation for the future fate of his
country. Without this, and in case of a consolidation of the States into one great republic, we might read its fate in the history of smaller ones. A limited monarchy he considered as one of the best governments in the world. It was not certain that the same blessings were derivable from any other form. It was certain that equal blessings had never yet 1 een derived from any of the republican forms. A limited monarchy, however, was out of the question. The spirit of the times, the state of our affairs forbade the experiment, if it were desirable. Was it possible, moreover, in the nature of things, to introduce it even if these obstacles were less insuperable? A house of nobles was essential to such a government,—could these be created by a breath, or by a stroke of the pen? No. They were the growth of ages, and could only arise under a complication of circumstances none of which existed in this country. But though a form the most perfect, perhaps, in itself, be unattainable, we must not despair. If an. cient republics have been found to flourish for a moment only, and then vanish forever, it only proves that they were badly constituted; and that we ought to seek for every remedy for their diseases. One of these remedies he conceived to be the accidental lucky division of this country into distinct States; a division which some seemed desirous to abolish altogether.
As to the point of representation in the National Legislature, as it might affect States of different sizes, he said it must probably end in mutual concession. He hoped that each State would retain an equal voice at least in one branch of the National Legislature, and supposed the sums paid within each State would form a better ratio for the other branch than either the number of inhabitants or the quantum of property.
A motion being made to strike out, “on request by a majority of the Legislatures of the individual States,” and rejected—(Connecticut, South Carolina and Georgia, being aye; the rest, no,) the question was taken on Mr. Dickinson's motion, "for making the Executive removable by the National Legislature at the request of a majority of State Legislatures,” which was also rejected, -all the States being in the negative, except Delaware, which gave an affirmative vote.188
The question for making the Executive ineligible after seven years, was next taken and agreed to,Massachusetts, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, aye—7; Connecticut, Georgia,* no—2; Pennsylvania, divided.
Mr. Williamson, seconded by Mr. Davie, moved to add to the last clause the words, “and to be removable on impeachment and conviction of malpractice or neglect of duty;" which was agreed to.
Mr. Rutledge and Mr. C. PINCKNEY moved, that the blank for the number of persons in the Executive be filled with the words, “one person.” He supposed the reasons to be so obvious and conclusive in favor of one, that no meinber would oppose the motion.
Mr. RANDOLPH opposed it with great earnestness, declaring that he should not do justice to the country which sent him, if he were silently to suffer the establishment of a unity in the Executive department. He felt an opposition to it which he believed he should continue to feel as long as he lived. He urged—first, that the permanent temper of the people was adverse to the very semblance of monarchy; secondly, that a unity was unnecessary, a plurality being equally competent to all the objects of the department; thirdly, that the necessary confidence would never be reposed in a single magistrate; fourthly, that the appointments would generally be in favor of some inhabitant near the centre of the community, and consequently the remote parts would not be on an equal footing. He was in favor of three members of the Executive, to be drawn from different portions of the country.
* In the printed Journal, Georgia, aye.
Mr. Butler contended strongly for a single magis trate, as most likely to answer the purpose of the remote parts. If one man should be appointed, he would be responsible to the whole, and would be impartial to its interests. If three or more should be taken from as many districts, there would be a constant struggle for local advantages. In military matters this would be particularly mischievous. He said, his opinion on this point had been formed under the opportunity he had had of seeing the manner in which a plurality of military heads distracted Holland, when threatened with invasion by the imperial troops. One man was for directing the force to the defence of this part, another to that part of the country, just as he happened to be swayed by prejudice or interest.
The motion was then postponed; the Committee rose; and the House adjourned.
MONDAY, JUNE 4TH.
In Committee of the Whole.—The question was resumed, on motion of Mr. PINCKNEY, seconded by Mr. Wilson, 'shall the blank for the number of the Executive be filled with a single person
? Mr. WILSON was in favor of the motion. It had been opposed by the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. RANDOLPH); but the arguments used had not convinced him. He observed, that the objections of Mr. RANDOLPH were levelled not so much against the measure itself, as against its unpopularity. If he could suppose that it would occasion a rejection of the plan of which it should form a part, though the part were an important one, yet he would give it up rather than lose the whole. On examination, he could see no evidence of the alleged antipathy of the people. On the contrary, he was persuaded that it does not exist. All know that a single magistrate is not a king. One fact has great weight with him. All the thirteen States, though agreeing in scarce any other instance, agree in placing a single magistrate at the head of the government. The idea of three heads has taken place in none. The degree of power is, indeed, different; but there are no co-ordinate heads. In addition to his former reasons for preferring a unity, he would mention another. The tranquillity, not less than the vigor, of the government, he thought, would be favored by it. Among three equal members, he foresaw nothing but uncontrolled, continued, and violent animosities; which would not only interrupt the