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Jensen, Merrill; Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Pennsylvania
2 (1976)

A. Public and private commentaries on the Constitution, 17 September-6 October 1787,   pp. 130-172


Page 164

II. DEBATE OVER CONSTITUTION
out of sight, from the necessary operation of this government, then
Congress are to provide for the election and appointment of Repre-
sentatives and Senators.
If the foregoing be a just comment, if the United States are to be
melted down into one empire, it becomes you to consider whether
such a government, however constructed, would be eligible in so ex-
tended a territory; and whether it would be practicable, consistent
with freedom? It is the opinion of the greatest writers, that a very
extensive country cannot be governed on democratical principles, on
any other plan, than a confederation of a number of small republics,
possessing all the powers of internal government, but united in the
management of their foreign and general concerns.
It would not be difficult to prove, that anything short of despotism
could not bind so great a country under one government; and that
whatever plan you might, at the first setting out, establish, it would
issue in a despotism.
If one general government could be instituted and maintained on
principles of freedom, it would not be so competent to attend to the
various local concerns and wants, of every particular district; as well
as the peculiar governments, who are nearer the scene and possessed
of superior means of information. Besides, if the business of the whole
Union is to be managed by one government, there would not be
time. Do we not already see, that the inhabitants in a number of
larger states, who are remote from the seat of government, are loudly
complaining of the inconveniencies and disadvantages they are sub-
jected to on this account, and that, to enjoy the comforts of local
government, they are separating into smaller divisions.
Having taken a review of the powers, I shall now examine the con-
struction of the proposed general government.
Article I, section I. "All legislative powers herein granted shall
be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of
a senate and house of representatives." By another section, the Pres-
ident (the principal executive officer) has a conditional control over
their proceedings.
Section 2. "The house of representatives shall be composed of
members chosen every second year, by the people of the several states.
The number of representatives shall not exceed one for every 30,000
inhabitants."
The Senate, the other constituent branch of the legislature, is formed
by the legislature of each state appointing two Senators, for the term
of six years.
The executive power by Article 2, section I is to be vested in a
President of the United States of America, elected for four years. Sec-
164


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