« PreviousContinue »
The states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Mr. Hamilton from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
RESOLVED, That the preceding constitution be laid before the United States in con
gress assembled; and that it is the opinion of this convention, that it should afterwards be submitted to a convention of delegates, chosen in each state by the people thereof, under the recommendation of its legislalature, for their assent and ratification; and that each convention assenting to, and ratifying the same, should give notice thereof to the United States in congress assembled.
Resolved, That it is the opinion of this convention, that as soon as the conventions of nine states shall have ratified this constitution, the United States in congress assembled should fix a day on which electors should be appointed by the states which shall have ratified the same, and a day on which the electors should assemble to vote for the president, and the time and place for commencing proceedings under this constitution; that after such publication, the electors should be appointed, and the senators and representatives elected; that the electors should meet on the day fixed for the election of the president, and should transmit their votes, certified, signed, sealed,
and directed, as the constitution requires, to the secretary of the United States in congress assembled; that the senators and representatives should convene at the time and place assigned; that the senators should appoint a president of the senate, for the sole purpose of receiving, opening, and counting the votes for president; and that after he shall be chosen, the congress, together with the president, should, without delay, proceed to execute this constitution.
By the unanimous order of the convention.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, President. WILLIAM JACKSON, Secretary.
September 17, 1787.
"We have now the honour to submit to the consideration of the United States in congress assembled that constitution which has appeared to us the most advisable. "The friends of our country have long
seen and desired, that the power of making war, peace, and treaties; that of levying money and regulating commerce; and the correspondent executive and judicial authorities, should be fully and effectually vested in the general government of the union but the impropriety of delegating such extensive trust to one body of men is evident. Hence results the necessity of a different organization.
"It is obviously impracticable in the federal government of these states, to secure all rights of independent sovereignty to each, and yet provide for the interest and safety of all. Individuals entering into society must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest. The magnitude of the sacrifice must depend as well on situation and circumstance, as on the object to be obtained. It is at all times difficult to draw with precision the line between those rights which must be surrendered, and those which may be reserved; and on the present occasion this difficulty was increased by a difference among the several states as to their situation, extent, habits, and particular interests.
"In all our deliberations on this subject, we kept steadily in our view that which appears to us the greatest interest of every true American, the consolidation of our union, in which is involved our prosperity, felicity, safety, perhaps our national existence. This important consideration, seriously and deeply impressed on our minds, led each state in the convention to be less rigid on points of inferior magnitude, than might have been otherwise expected; and thus the constitution, which we now present, is the result of a spirit of amity, and of that mutual deference and concession which the peculiarity of our political situation rendered indispensable.
“That it will meet the full and entire approbation of every state, is not perhaps to be expected; but each will doubtless consider, that had her interests been alone consulted, the consequences might have been particularly disagreeable or injurious to others that it is liable to as few exceptions as could reasonably have been expected, we hope and believe: that it may promote the lasting welfare of that country so