Elliot’s Debates: Volume 1

Journal of the Federal Convention

Monday, June 4, 1787.

The order of the day being read, the house resolved itself into a committee of the whole house, to consider of the state of the American Union. Mr. President left the chair.

In Committee of the whole House.

Mr. Gorham in the chair.

It was moved and seconded to proceed to the further consideration of the propositions submitted to the committee by Mr. Randolph, when it was moved by Mr. C. Pinckney, seconded by Mr. Wilson, to fill up the blank after the words “that a national executive be instituted, to consist of,” with the words “a single person.”

On the question to fill up the blank with the words “a single person,” it passed in the affirmative.

Yeas: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, 7. Nays: New York, Delaware, Maryland, 3.

It was then moved and seconded to take into consideration the 1st clause of the 8th resolution submitted by Mr. Randolph, namely,—

Resolved, That the national executive, and a convenient number of the national judiciary, ought to compose a council of revision.”

It was then moved and seconded to postpone the consideration of the said clause, in order to introduce the following resolution, submitted by Mr. Gerry, namely,—

Resolved, That the national executive, shall have a right to negative any legislative act, which shall not be afterwards passed unless by parts of each branch of the national legislature.”

And on the question to postpone, it passed in the affirmative.

Yeas: Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, 6. Nays: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, 4.

It was then moved by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Mr. Hamilton, to strike out the words “shall not be afterwards passed but by parts of each branch of the national legislature.”

And on the question to strike out the words, it passed unanimously in the negative.

It was moved by Mr. Butler, seconded by Dr. Franklin, that the resolution be altered so as to read,—

Resolved, That the national executive have a power to suspend any legislative act for—”

And on the question to agree to the alteration, it passed unanimously in the negative.

A question was then taken on the resolution submitted by Mr. Gerry, namely,—

Resolved, That the national executive shall have a right to negative any legislative act, which shall not be afterwards passed unless by two third parts of each branch of the national legislature.”

And on the question to agree to the same, it passed in the affirmative.

Yeas: Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, 8. Nays: Connecticut, Maryland, 2.

It was then moved by Mr. Wilson, and seconded by Mr. Madison, that the following amendment be made to the last resolution—after the words “national executive,” to add the words “a convenient number of the national judiciary.”

An objection of order being taken, by Mr. Hamilton, to the introduction of the last amendment at this time,—notice was given by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Mr. Madison, that the same would be moved to-morrow. Wednesday assigned to reconsider.

It was then moved and seconded to proceed to the consideration of the 9th resolution submitted by Mr. Randolph,—when, on motion to agree to the first clause, namely,—

Resolved, That a national judiciary be established,”—it passed in the affirmative.

It was then moved and seconded to add these words to the 1st clause of the 9th resolution, namely,—

“To consist of one supreme tribunal, and one or more inferior tribunals.”

And on the question to agree to the same, it passed in the affirmative.

It was then moved and seconded that the committee do now rise, and report a further progress, and request leave to sit again. The committee then rose.

In the House.

Mr. President resumed the chair.

Mr. Gorham reported, from the committee, That the committee had made a further progress in the matter to them referred, and directed him to move that they may have leave to sit again.

Resolved, That this house will to-morrow again resolve itself into a committee of the whole house, to consider of the state of the American Union.”

And then the house adjourned till to-morrow, at 11 o’clock, A. M.

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Contents

General Overview

In 1787 and 1788, following the Constitutional Convention, a great debate took place throughout America over the Constitution that had been proposed.

In-Doors Debate

View in-depth studies of the Massachusetts, Virginia, and New York state ratifying conventions.

The Federal Pillars

View drawings of the federal pillars rising published by the Massachusetts Centinel during the ratification debate.

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The Stages of Ratification: An Interactive Timeline

View the six stages of the ratification of the Constitution with links to many other features on this site.

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Interactive Ratification Map

View interactive maps showing the breakdown of Federalist-Antifederalist strength at the state level during the Ratification debate.

View Interactive

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