Elliot’s Debates: Volume 1

Journal of the Federal Convention

Monday, July 16, 1787.

The question being taken on the whole of the report from the grand committee, as amended, it passed in the affirmative, and is as follows, namely:—

Resolved, That, in the original formation of the legislature of the United States, the first branch thereof shall consist of sixty-five members, of which number

New Hampshire shall send, 3
Massachusetts,… 8
Rhode Island,… 1
Connecticut,… 5
New York,… 6
New Jersey,… 4
Pennsylvania,… 8
Delaware,… 1
Maryland,… 6
Virginia,… 10
North Carolina,… 5
South Carolina,… 5
Georgia,… 3

“But, as the present situation of the states may probably alter in the number of their inhabitants, the legislature of the United States shall be authorized, from time to time, to apportion the number of representatives. And in case any of the states shall hereafter be divided, or enlarged by addition of territory, or any two or more states united, or any new states created within the limits of the United States, the legislature of the United States shall possess authority to regulate the number of representatives in any of the foregoing cases, upon the principle of their number of inhabitants, according to the provisions hereafter mentioned, namely:—

Provided always, That representation ought to be proportioned according to direct taxation. And, in order to ascertain the alteration in the direct taxation which may be required, from time to time, by the changes in the relative circumstances of the states,—

Resolved, That a census be taken within six years of the first meeting of the legislature of the United States, and once within the term of every ten years afterwards, of all the inhabitants of the United States, in the manner, and according to the ratio, recommended by Congress, in their resolution of April 18, 1783; and that the legislature of the United States shall proportion the direct taxation accordingly.

Resolved, That all bills for raising or appropriating money, and for fixing the salaries of the officers of the government of the United States, shall originate in the first branch of the legislature of the United States, and shall not be altered or amended by the second branch; and that no money shall be drawn from the public treasury but in pursuance of appropriations to be originated by the first branch.

Resolved, That, in the second branch of the legislature of the United States, each state shall have an equal vote.”

Yeas: Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, 5. Nays: Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, 4. Divided: Massachusetts, 1.

It was moved and seconded to agree to the 1st clause of the 6th resolution reported from the committee of the whole house, namely:—”That the national legislature ought to possess the legislative rights vested in Congress by the Confederation;” which passed unanimously in the affirmative.

It was moved and seconded to commit the 2d clause of the 6th resolution reported from the committee of the whole house; which passed in the negative.

Yeas: Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, 5. Nays: Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina, 5.

It was moved and seconded to adjourn. Passed in the negative.

Yeas: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, 5. Nays: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, South Carolina, Georgia, 5.

The motion to adjourn was repeated. Passed in the affirmative.

Yeas:, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, 7. Nays: Connecticut, Delaware, 2. Divided: Georgia, 1.

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.

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