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from which it emanated, rather too much of dramatic effect for the taste of a majority of the members. But the hour was a gloomy one, and it would have done them no discredit if they had adopted it. They decided otherwise ; and yet the conciliatory spirit, which religious feelings properly cherished might have furnished in abundance, came to them for once from considerations of temporary policy. A slow and painful process of reciprocal concession, at one moment broken off only to be resumed with more earnestness on the next, ended in the formation of the legislative department as it now stands in the Constitution ; a complicated piece of mechanism, by which numbers are allowed to preponderate in the popular branch, but not without some material qualifications, whilst, in the other, each of the small States is secure in the possession of an equal share of weight with each of the largest.

Yet if we, at this time, compare the apprehensions which those small States professed to entertain of the consequences of conceding to the large ones the principle of representation proportioned to numbers, with the results of fifty years' experience, we can place no very high estimate upon their sagacity. The idea does not appear to have occurred to most of the gentlemen, that, with the cessation of the rule of voting by States, the delegations of the large States would be likely to vote, not according to the wishes of a whole State, but according to the predominating feeling of a small district in a State. The effect of this would naturally be, and it has generally been found in practice to be, to divide the delegations of large States in opinion upon questions of public interest, to so great an extent as, in a great degree, to neutralize their force. The great State of New York, for example, which sends forty representatives to the Congress of the United States, does now show, and has shown, for several years, its numbers almost equally divided upon every test-vote on public affairs. So that, in point of mere numerical weight in the decision of questions, it hardły furnishes more than the little State of Rhode Island, which sends but two. Then, as it respects the oppression deemed likely to follow from combinations among the large States against the small ones, nothing of the kind has been actually felt. Public questions have always taken a wholly different shape, in which considerations of sectional or party policy have pre

vailed to unite States together, without discrimination as to size or relative numbers. The great States seldom act together. For many years, Massachusetts and Virginia were leading States in opposition to each other; and of late, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia, have rarely been guided by any common or even by any settled policy whatever. There seems to be scarcely cohesiveness sufficient among the individual citizens of those States, to counteract the dividing tendency of national party organizations. In this particular, it may be seen that the Presidential election is exerting a greater tendency towards centralism and consolidation, than any other provision of the Constitution. But of this we propose to treat in its proper place.

What we have said, thus far, of the liule reason which experience has shown to justify the apprehensions entertained by the small States of the power granted to the large ones by the Constitution, should, however, apply to the manner in which the elections under it have been thus far regulated. We are not at all sure, that a variation in the form of choosing the representatives in the States would not be likely to realize all they seared and more.

This variation is very simple, and the example of adopting it bas in fact been already most imprudently given by several of the smaller States. We allude to the practice of electing all the representatives, to which one Siate is entitled, upon a single general ticket, instead of apportioning them among several districts, each containing no greater amount of population than the ratio of representation adopted by Congress may require. The temptation to parties to adopt a rule, which would throw power into their hands in large masses, will naturally be great. We are much surprised, that it has thus far excited very little attention among them. A brief calculation, only, would be necessary to show, that a combination between ihree or four large States, held together by the bond of a party organization, may in this manner, at some future time, control the whole policy of the Union. So serious do we consider this danger, that we should not regard as premature, any effort which should, as soon as possible, be made to provide against it by a prospective remedial law.

So far as our observation has extended, we have been led to the belief, that farsightedness is the rarest quality found among statesmen. We think the speeches in these volumes do not tend to shake the solidity of this judgment. And the entire course of debates in every one of the ratifying conventions, goes strikingly to confirm it. The reason probably was, in the present instance, that the framers of the constitution were standing in too great proximity to the details of the system, to be able to assign to each its proportionate importance relatively to the rest. They were, moreover, generally men of a practical rather than philosophical turn of mind, who brought to their work a tolerably exact knowledge of the machinery they had been accustomed to see in operation in the States' which they represented, without possessing the generalizing faculty necessary to comprehend the full force of the modifications which they were now contriving upon a large scale. It has followed, from this, that, in some of the particulars where the Constitution was considered as most deficient, there has never arisen a shadow of difficulty, whilst in others, which were held to be the most skilfully matured, the action of the system has been wholly at variance with the intention. We shall endeavour to illustrate this more fully by and by

Another reflection which suggests itself upon reading these debates, is occasioned by the prevailing tone of the speakers, respecting the evils of a democracy. This, doubtless, grew out of the reaction in public opinion, caused by the experience then fresh upon them, of ihe latter days of the Confederation. Of one thing we are very confident, that no public man in the United States during the present century, could have ventured to express, with impunity, such sentiments of unlimited dislike to democracy as are here reported. And these came, in many cases, from the lips even of persons who have since made a figure as leaders of that party, which has prevailed under the Constitution by unfurling the banner of democracy. We should like to know, what chance any of our young and aspiring politicians would stand of promotion at the present day, who should have the courage to express such opinions as we now cull, almost at random, from the volumes before us.

Edmund Randolph, for example, expresses himself as follows;

“He observed that the general object was to provide a cure for the evils under which the United States labored ; that in tracing these evils to their origin, every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy ; that some check was to be sought for, against this tendency of our governments ; and that a good Senate seemed most likely to answer the pur - p. 1128.


-p. 758.

Again, in another place, in organizing the Senate, he was “for the term of seven years. The democratic licentiousness of the State Legislatures proved the necessity of a firm Senate. The object of this second branch is to control the democratic branch of the National Legislature. If it be not a firm body, the other branch, being more numerous, and coming immediately from the people, will overwhelm it. The Senate of Maryland, constituted on like principles, had been scarcely able to stem the popular torrent. No mischief can be apprehended, as the concurrence of the other branch, and in some measure of the Executive, will, in all cases, be necessary. A firmness and independence may be the more necessary also in this branch, as it ought to guard the Constitution against encroachments of the Executive, who will be apt to form combinations with the demagogues of the popular branch."- p. 852.

So Mr. Hamilton, upon the same subject ;

“Gentlemen suppose seven years a sufficient period to give the Senate an adequate firmness, froin not considering the amazing violence and turbulence of the democratic spirit. When a great object of government is pursued, which seizes the popular passions, they spread like wild-fire and become irresistible. He appealed to the gentlemen from the New England States, whether experience had not there verified the remark.” 887.

One of these New England gentlemen, no other than Roger Sherman, went to the length of "opposing the election of the first branch of the National Legislature, insisting that it ought to be by the State Legislatures. The people, he said, immediately should have as little to do as may be about the government. They want information, and are constantly liable to be misled.” — p. 753.

But, lest these persons should be considered as expressing the sentiments of the aristocratic extreme in the Convention, let us turn, for comparison, to the doctrines then held by men who bave since been constant favorites with the democracy. What said Mr. Madison himself?

“: Experience had proved a tendency in our government to throw all power into the Legislative vortex. The Executives of the States are in general little more than ciphers ; the Legislatures omnipotent. If no effectual check be devised for re

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straining the instability and encroachments of the latter, a revolution of some kind or other would be inevitable.”

And this in support of a motion to make an Executive during good behaviour. Again, he says in another place;

“Why was America so justly apprehensive of parliamentary injustice ? Because Great Britain had a separate interest, real or supposed, and if her authority had been admitted, could have pursued that interest at our expense.

We have seen the mere distinction of color made, in the most enlightened period of time, a ground of the most oppressive dominion ever exercised by man

What has been the source of those unjust laws complained of among ourselves ? Has it not been the real or supposed interest of the major number? Debtors have defrauded their creditors. The landed interest has borne hard on the mercantile interest. The holders of one species of property have thrown a disproportion of taxes on the holders of another species. The lesson we are to draw from the whole is, that where a majority are united by a common sentiment and have an opportunity, the rights of the minor party become insecure. In a republican government, the majority, if united, have always an opportunity." - p. 806.

Mr. Elbridge Gerry went much further. He says;

“The evils we experience flow from the excess of democraсу. . The people do not want virtue, but are the dupes of pretended patriots. In Massachusetts it had been fully confirmed by experience, that they are daily misled into the most baneful measures and opinions, by the false reports circulated by designing men, and which no one on the spot can refute.

He mentioned the popular clamor in Massachusetts for the reduction of salaries, and the attack made on that of the Governor, though secured by the spirit of the Constitution itself. He had, he said, been too republican heretofore ; he was still, however, republican; but had been taught by experience the danger of the levelling spirit.” — p. 753.

And upon the plan of electing a Chief Magistrate by the people, he says ;

“ The popular mode of electing the Chief Magistrate would certainly be the worst of all. If he should be so elected, and should do his duty, he will be turned out for it, like Governor Bowdoin in Massachusetts, and President Sullivan in New Hampshire." - p. 1149.

We have plenty of these quotations, if more are required. It must be borne in mind, that these two last-named speakers

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