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Jensen, Merrill (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Delaware, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut
3 (1978)

V. Commentaries on the Constitution, 13 November 1787-7 January 1788,   pp. 456-534


Page 524

CONNECTICUT/7 JAN. 1788
A Citizen of New Haven
Connecticut Courant, 7 January'
Observations on the new Federal CONSTITUTION.
In order to form a good constitution of government, the legislature
should be properly organized and be vested with plenary powers for
all the purposes for which the government is instituted to be exercised
for the public good as occasion may require.
The greatest security that a people can have for the enjoyment of
their rights and liberties is that no laws can be made to bind them nor
any taxes be imposed upon them without their consent by representa-
tives of their own choosing, who will participate with them in the
public burthens and benefits; this was the great point contended for
in our controversy with Great Britain, and this will be fully secured
to us by the new Constitution. The rights of the people will be se-
cured by a representation in proportion to their numbers in one branch
of the legislature, and the rights of the particular states by their equal
representation in the other branch.
The President and Vice President as well as the members of Con-
gress will be eligible for fixed periods and may be reelected as often
as the electors shall think fit, which will be a great security for their
fidelity in office, and will give greater stability and energy to govern-
ment than an exclusion by rotation, and will be an operative and
effectual security against arbitrary government, either monarchial
or aristocratic.
The immediate security of the civil and domestic rights of the people
will be in the governments of the particular states. And as the different
states have different local interests and customs which can be best
regulated by their own laws, it would not be expedient to admit the
federal government to interfere with them any further than may be
necessary for the good of the whole. The great end of the federal
government is to protect the several states in the enjoyment of those
rights against foreign invasion, and to preserve peace and a beneficial
intercourse among themselves, and to regulate and protect their com-
merce with foreign nations.
These were not sufficiently provided for by the former Articles of
Confederation, which was the occasion of calling the late Convention
to make amendments. This they have done by forming a new Con-
stitution containing the powers vested in the federal government under
the former, with such additional powers as they deemed necessary to
attain the ends the states had in view in their appointment. And to
carry those powers into effect, they thought it necessary to make some
alterations in the organization of the government; this they supposed
to be warranted by their commission.
524


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