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named; and Rhode Island was too perverse to send any delegates at all.

As Virginia had taken the initiative in bringing about the Annapolis Convention, and in approving its work and providing for its continuance in the Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia, now it was expected that the delegates from that State would take the lead in introducing the proceedings. This they were not slow in doing. They agreed upon a plan of government, and designated Mr. Randolph to introduce it to the Convention with an introductory speech, in general terms showing the necessity of something being done for the salvation of the country, and explaining the plan offered to the Convention. In letters to Edmund Randolph, Thomas Jefferson, General Washington, and others, perhaps, Mr. Madison had, in fragments and otherwise, presented a pretty comprehensive outline of a constitution, and the views expressed in these letters were now made, substantially, the foundation of the Randolph, Madison, or Virginia plan, and in form put before the Convention on Tuesday, May 29, 1787, as follows:

“1. Resolved, That the Articles of Confederation ought to be so corrected and enlarged as to accomplish the objects proposed by their institution, namely, 'Common defense, security of liberty, and general welfare.'

2. Resolved, therefore, that the rights of suffrage in the National Legislature ought to be proportioned to the quotas of contribution, or to the number of free inbabitants, as the one or the other rule may seem best in different cases.

“3. Resolved, That the National Legislature ought to consist of two branches.

"4. Resolved, That the members of the first branch of the National Legislature ought to be elected by the people of the several States every

for the term of ; to be of the age


years at least; to receive liberal stipends by which they may be compensated for the devotion of their time to the public service; to be ineligible to any office established by a particular State, or under the authority of the United States except those peculiarly belonging to the functions of the first branch, during the term of service, and for the space of

after the expiration of the term of service, and to be subject to recall.

"5. Resolved, That the members of the second branch of the National Legislature ought to be elected by those of the first, out of a proper number of persons nominated by the individual Legislatures, to be of the


of years at least; to hold their offices for a term sufficient to insure their independency; to receive liberal stipends, by which they may be compensated for the devotion of their time to the public service; and for the space of - after the expiration thereof.

“6. Resolved, That each branch ought to possess the right of originating acts; that the National Legislature ought to be empowered to enjoy the Legislative rights vested in Congress by the Confederation, and moreover to legislate in all cases to which the separate States are incompetent, or in which the harmony of the United States may be interrupted by the exercise of individual legislation; to negative all laws passed by the several States contravening, in the opinion of the National Legislature, the Articles of Union, or any treaty subsisting under the authority of the Union; and to call forth the force of the Union against any member of the Union failing to fulfill its duty under the Articles thereof.

7. Resolved, That a National Executive be instituted ; to be chosen by the National Legislature for the term of ; to receive punctually, at stated times, a fixed compensation for the services rendered, in which no increase or diminution shall be made, so as to affect the magistracy existing at the time of increase or diminution; and to be ineligible a second time; and that, besides a general authority to execute the national laws, it ought to enjoy the executive rights vested in Congress by the Confederation.

8. Resolved, That the Executive and a convenient number of the National Judiciary ought to compose a Council of Revision, with authority to examine every act of the National Legislature, before it shall operate, and every act of a particular Legislature before a negative thereon shall be final; and that the dissent of

the said Council shall amount to a rejection, unless the act of the National Legislature be again passed, or that of a particular Legislature be again negatived by of the members of each branch.

“9. Resolved, That a National Judiciary be established ; to consist of one or more supreme tribunals to be chosen by the National Legislature; to hold their offices during good behavior, and to receive punctually, at stated times, fixed compensation for their services, in which no increase or diminution shall be made, so as to affect the persons actually in office at the time of such increase or diminution. That the jurisdiction of the inferior tribunals shall be to hear and determine, in the dernier ressort, all piracies and felonies on the high seas; captures from an enemy; cases in which foreigners, or citizens of other States, applying to such jurisdictions, may be interested; or which respect the collection of the national revenue; impeachment of any national officers, and questions which may involve the national peace and harmony.

“10. Resolved, That provision ought to be made for the admission of States lawfully arising within the limits of the United States, whether from a voluntary junction of government and territory, or otherwise, with the consent of a number of voices in the National Legislature less than the whole.

“11. Resolved, That a republican government, and the territory of each State, except in the instance of a voluntary junction of government and territory, ought to be guaranteed by the United States to each State.

“ 12. Resolved, That provision ought to be made for the continuance of Congress and their authorities and privileges, until a given day after the reform of the Articles of Union shall be adopted, and for the completion of their engagements.

13. Resolved, That provision ought to be made for the amendment of the Articles of Union, whensoever it shall seem necessary; and that the assent of the National Legislature ought to be required thereto.

“ 14. Resolved, That the legislative, executive, and judiciary powers, within the several States, ought to be bound by oath to support the Articles of Union.

“15. Resolved, That the amendments which shall be offered to the Confederation by the Convention ought, at a proper time or times, after the approbation of Congress, to be submitted to an assembly or assemblies of representatives, recommended by the several Legislatures, to be expressly chosen by the people to consider and decide thereon.”.

This vague, general outline of suggestions creditable enough, perhaps, to Mr. Madison and his colleagues, became the basis of the Constitution adopted by the Convention.

On the same day Charles Pinckney laid before the Convention a much more elaborate form for a constitution, which, however, was not very seriously considered, farther than to be referred to the committee of the whole appointed to consider the state of the Union. On the 13th of June Mr. Gorham of Massachusetts laid a report of a plan of government before the Convention. Two days afterwards Mr. Paterson of New Jersey offered to the Convention the brief New Jersey or Clintonian, Anti-Federal plan which it was desired to have substituted for that of Mr. Randolph as a basis of operations. And, on the 18th of June, Mr. Hamilton, during a speech opposing the theories of both plans, gave substantially his views of a system of government, not, he said, with a hope of having it adopted, but as indicating a line of argument he intended to pursue in any attempts he could make in giving shape to the plan likely to be adopted. On the following day (the 19th) it was decided in a vote of States to prefer Mr. Randolph's to Mr. Paterson's plan, and at once the discussions were renewed, step by step; and, on the 26th of July, a complete detailed system, together with the original plans offered by Pinckney and Paterson, was placed in the hands of the Committee of Detail, and the Convention adjourned to the 6th of August, when that committee made a report of the formulated work in twenty-three articles and a preamble. These were then discussed, revised, voted upon, and finally, on Monday, September 17, 1787, the members present and willing signed the finished form of the Constitution of the United States.

In 1818, John Quincy Adams wrote to Mr. Charles Pinckney for a copy of the plan of government presented by him to the Constitutional Convention, and received one nearly identical with the Constitution adopted. Mr. Pinckney stated that after so many years he could not tell, as he had several drafts of plans in his possession, and thought that sent must be his. It would have been greatly to his credit, indeed, had it been the one he laid before the Convention, but unfortunately it was not, and even Mr. Madison adversely criticised the apparent failure of his memory on so important a subject, and especially in view of the fact that the plan he really did offer the Convention was not even considered by that body as a committee of the whole. And yet the one he sent to Mr. Adams was nearly a copy of the Constitution as adopted.

The system Mr. Hamilton would have presented to the Convention proposed a life tenure for the President, and other equally astonishing things, which he knew very well could never be made acceptable to such a body of men.

For the vague language of the first Virginia resolution Mr. Randolph himself proposed there should be substituted these words:

That a national government ought to be established consisting of a supreme legislative, executive, and judiciary."

This change being adopted, the Virginia plan was called the national plan, and so it was considered in

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