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from the people at large, the consequence would be that the National Government would move in the same direction as the State Governments now do, and would run into all the same mischiefs. The reform would only unite the thirteen small streams into one great current, pursuing the same course without any opposition whatever. He adhered to the opinion that the Senate ought to be composed of a large number; and that their influence, from family weight and other causes, would be increased thereby. He did not admit that the Tribunes lost their weight in proportion as their number was augmented, and gave a historical sketch of this institution. If the reasoning (of Mr. Madison) was good, it would prove that the number of the Senate ought to be reduced below ten, the highest number of the Tribunitial corps.
Mr. Wilson. The subject, it must be owned, is surrounded with doubts and difficulties. But we must surmount them. The British Government cannot be our model. We have no materials for a similar one. Our manners, our laws, the abolition of entails and of primogeniture, the whole genius of the people, are opposed to it. He did not see the danger of the States being devoured by the National Government. On the contrary, he wished to keep them from devouring the National Government. He was not, however, for extinguishing these planets, as was supposed by Mr. DICKINSON; neither did he, on the other hand, believe that they would warm or enlighten the sun. Within their proper orbits they must still be suffered to act for subordinate purposes, for which their existence is made essential by the great extent of our country. He could not comprehend in what manner the landed interest would be rendered less predominant in the Senate by an election through the medium of the Legislatures, than by the people themselves. If the Legislatures, as was now complained, sacrificed the commercial to the landed interest, what reason was there to expect such a choice from them as would defeat their own views? He was for an election by the people, in large districts, which would be most likely to obtain men of intelligence and uprightness; subdividing the districts only for the accommodation of voters.
Mr. Madison could as little comprehend in what manner family weight, as desired by Mr. Dickinson, would be more certainly conveyed into the Senate through elections by the State Legislatures, than in some other modes. The true question was, in what mode the best choice would be made ? If an election by the people, or through any other channel than the State Legislatures, promised as uncorrupt and impartial a preference of merit, there could surely be no necessity for an appointment by those Legislatures. Nor was it apparent that a more useful check would be derived through that channel, than from the people through some other. The great evils complained of were, that the State Legislatures run into schemes of paper-money, &c., whenever solicited by the people, and sometimes without even the sanction of the people. Their influence, then, instead of checking a like propensity in the National Legislature, may be expected to promote it. Nothing can be more contradictory than to say that the National Legislature, without a
proper check, will follow the example of the State Legislatures; and, in the same breath, that the State Legislatures are the only proper check.
Mr. SHERMAN opposed elections by the people in districts, as not likely to produce such fit men as elections by the State Legislatures.
Mr. GERRY insisted, that the commercial and monied interest would be more secure in the hands of the State Legislatures, than of the people at large. The former have more sense of character, and will be restrained by that from injustice. The people are for paper-money, when the Legislatures are against it. In Massachusetts the county conventions had declared a wish for a depreciating paper that would sink itself. Besides, in some States there are two branches in the Legislature, one of which is somewhat aristocratic. There would therefore be so far a better chance of refinement in the choice. T'here seemed, he thought, to be three powerful objections against elections by districts. First, it is impracticable; the people cannot be brought to one place for the purpose; and, whether brought to the same place or not, numberless frauds would be unavoidable. Secondly, small States, forming part of the same district with a large one, or a large part of a large one, would have no chance of gaining an appointment for its citizens of merit. Thirdly, a new source of discord would be opened between different parts of the same district.
Mr. PINCKNEY thought the second branch ought to be permanent and independent; and that the members of it would be rendered more so by receiving their appointments from the State Legislatures.
This mode would avoid the rivalships and discontents incident to the election by districts. He was for dividing the States in three classes, according to their respective sizes, and for allowing to the first class three members; to the second, two; and to the third, one.
On the question for postponing Mr. Dickinson's motion, referring the appointment of the Senate to the State Legislatures, in order to consider Mr. Wilson's for referring it to the people, Pennsylvania, aye-1; Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, no—10.
Col. MASON. Whatever power may be necessary for the National Government, a certain portion must necessarily be left with the States. It is impossible for one power to pervade the extreme parts of the United States, so as to carry equal justice to them. The State Legislatures also ought to have some means of defending themselves against encroachments of the National Government. In every other department we have studiously endeavoured to provide for its self-defence. Shall we leave the States alone unprovided with the means for this purpose ? And what better means can we provide, than the giving them some share in, or rather to make them a constituent part of, the national establishment ? There is danger on both sides, no doubt; but we have only seen the evils arising on the side of the State Governments. Those on the other side remain to be displayed. The example of Congress does not apply. Congress had no power to carry their acts into execution, as the National Government will have.
On Mr. DICKINSON's motion for an appointment of the Senate by the State Legislatures, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye—10.5"
Mr. GERRY gave notice, that he would to-morrow move for a reconsideration of the mode of appointing the National Executive, in order to substitute an appointment by the State Executives.
The Committee rose, and the House adjourned.
FRIDAY, JUNE 8TH.
In Committee of the Whole.—On a reconsideration of the clause giving the National Legislature a negative on such laws of the States as might be contrary to the Articles of Union, or treaties with foreign nations;
Mr. PINCKNEY moved, " that the National Legislature should have authority to negative all laws which they should judge to be improper." He urged that such a universality of the power was indispensably necessary to render it effectual; that the States must be kept in due subordination to the nation; that if the States were left to act of themselves in any case, it would be impossible to defend the national prerogatives, however extensive they might be, on paper; that the acts of Congress had been defeated by this means; nor had foreign trea