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Jensen, Merrill; Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Pennsylvania
(1976)

B. The Dissent of the Minority of the Convention,   pp. 617-640


Page 632

III. PENNSYLVANIA CONVENTION
farmers, traders, and mechanics, who all ought to have a competent
number of their best-informed men in the legislature, will be totally
unrepresented.
The representation is unsafe because in the exercise of such great
powers and trusts, it is so exposed to corruption and undue influence,
by the gift of the numerous places of honor and emolument, at the
disposal of the executive; by the arts and address of the great and
designing; and by direct bribery.
The representation is moreover inadequate and unsafe, because of
the long terms for which it is appointed, and the mode of its appoint-
ment, by which Congress may not only control the choice of the
people, but may so manage as to divest the people of this fundamental
right, and become self-elected.
The number of members in the house of representatives may be in-
creased to one for every 30,000 inhabitants. But when we consider,
that this cannot be done without the consent of the senate, who from
their share in the legislative, in the executive, and judicial depart-
ments, and permanency of appointment, will be the great efficient
body in this government, and whose weight and predominancy would
be abridged by an increase of the representatives, we are persuaded
that this is a circumstance that cannot be expected. On the contrary,
the number of representatives will probably be continued at 65, al-
though the population of the country may swell to treble what it now
is; unless a revolution should effect a change.
We have before noticed the judicial power as it would effect a con-
solidation of the states into one government; we will now examine it,
as it would affect the liberties and welfare of the people, supposing
such a government were practicable and proper.
The judicial power, under the proposed constitution, is founded
on the well-known principles of the civil law, by which the judge de-
termines both on law and fact, and appeals are allowed from the in-
ferior tribunals to the superior, upon the whole question; so that facts
as well as law, would be reexamined, and even new facts brought for-
ward in the court of appeals; and to use the words of a very eminent
civilian, "The cause is many times another thing before the court of
appeals, than what it was at the time of the first sentence."
That this mode of proceeding is the one which must be adopted
under this constitution is evident from the following circumstances:
1st. That the trial by jury, which is the grand characteristic of the
common law, is secured by the constitution, only in criminal cases.
2d. That the appeal from both law and fact is expressly established,
which is utterly inconsistent with the principles of the common law,
and trials by jury. The only mode in which an appeal from law and
632


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