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Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J.; Moore, Timothy D. (Historian); Lannér-Cusin, Johanna E.; Schoenleber, Charles H.; Reid, Jonathan M.; Flamingo, Margaret R.; Fields, David P. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Maryland (1)
11 (2015)

Introduction,   pp. xxi-lvi


Page xli

INTRODUCTION
Nine states had given their assent to the Articles of Confederation
by 10 March, but all of those states-with the exception of Virginia,
which was prepared to ratify unconditionally-had qualifications or
amendments to propose. Maryland also had reservations. On 13 De-
cember 1777, a motion was put in the House of Delegates to delay con-
sideration of the new plan of government until the following legislative
session, but it was defeated. On 17 December, the House had produced
three resolutions instructing Maryland's delegates to Congress. The
Maryland Senate concurred with those resolutions on 22 December.47
When Maryland's delegates returned to Congress in June 1778, they
presented their instructions, which clarified the state's principal areas
of dissatisfaction. Firstly, Marylanders were concerned that, under Ar-
ticle IV, "paupers" from one state might become a financial burden
on the citizens of another. To support and sustain "friendship and
intercourse" among the states in the union, Article IV extended the
"privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several states" to "free
inhabitants" in the others. The provision provided for the free flow of
people and goods, and Maryland legislators wondered if some states
might be disproportionately disadvantaged under the scheme.48
Secondly, Maryland legislators sought "an explanation" of Article
VIII, which dealt with the costs of war and defense and the expense of
providing for the general welfare. Any cost was to be offset "out of a
common treasury" which the states were to contribute towards "in pro-
portion to the value of all land within each state, granted to or sur-
veyed for any Person." The "united states in congress assembled"
would determine the mode by which such an estimate would be ar-
rived at "from time to time." Congress gave each state legislature
"authority and direction" to levy taxes for meeting a proportion of
expenses to support the new government. Maryland instructed its del-
egates in Congress to determine whether each state's proportion would
be based on the lands surveyed "at the time of ratifying the Articles of
Confederation" or if the proportion would be updated based on newly
surveyed lands.49
Thirdly, Maryland legislators wanted their congressional delegates "to
remonstrate" the importance of settling the question of western lands.
Because Maryland had been granted no western lands in its charter,
the matter was pressing in state legislators' minds. Some states would
benefit to the detriment of others. Maryland legislators believed it "es-
sentially necessary for rendering the Union lasting" that Congress
should have "full power" to determine and "fix" the western borders
of states that had claims extending to the Mississippi River or the "South
Xli


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