Elliot’s Debates: Volume 1

Journal of the Federal Convention

Thursday, July 26, 1787.

It was moved and seconded to amend the 3d clause of the resolution respecting the national executive, so as to read as follows, namely, “for the term of seven years, to be ineligible a second time;” which passed in the affirmative.

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

On the question to agree to the whole resolution respecting the supreme executive, namely,—

“Resolved, That a national executive be instituted—

“To consist of a single person;

“To be chosen by the national legislature;

“For the term of seven years;

“To be ineligible a second time;

“With power to carry into execution the national laws;

“To appoint officers not otherwise provided for;

“To be removable on impeachment and conviction of malpractice or neglect of duty;

“To receive a fixed compensation for the devotion of his time to public service;

“To be paid out of the public treasury,”—

it passed in the affirmative.

Yeas: New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, 6. Nays: Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, 3. Divided: Virginia, 1.

It was moved and seconded to agree to the following resolution, namely:—

Resolved, That it be an instruction to the committee, to whom were referred the proceedings of the Convention for the establishment of a national government, to receive a clause or clauses, requiring certain qualifications of landed property and citizenship in the United States, for the executive, the judiciary, and the members of both branches of the legislature of the United States; and for disqualifying all such persons as are indebted to, or have unsettled accounts with, the United States, from being members of either branch of the national legislature.”

It was moved and seconded to strike out the word “landed.” It passed in the affirmative.

Yeas: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, 10. Nay: Maryland, 1.

On the question to agree to the clause respecting the qualification as amended, it passed in the affirmative.

Yeas: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, 8. Nays: Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, 3.

It was moved and seconded to add the words “and pensioners of the government of the United States,” to the clause of disqualification; which passed in the negative.

Yeas: Massachusetts, Maryland, Georgia, 3. Nays: New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, South Carolina, 7. Divided: North Carolina, 1.

It was moved and seconded to strike out the following words, namely, “or have unsettled accounts with;” which passed in the affirmative.

Yeas: News Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, 9. Nays: New Jersey, Georgia, 2.

On the question to agree to the clause of disqualification as amended, it passed in the negative.

Yeas: North Carolina, Georgia, 2. Nays: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, 9.

It was moved and seconded to agree to the following resolution, namely:—

Resolved, That it be an instruction to the committee to whom were referred the proceedings of the Convention for the establishment of a national government, to receive a clause or clauses for preventing the seat of the national government being in the same city or town with the seat of the government of any state, longer than until the necessary public buildings can be erected.”

It was moved and seconded to postpone the consideration of the last resolution.

It was moved and seconded to refer such proceedings of the Convention, as have been agreed on since Monday last, to the committee of detail; which passed unanimously in the affirmative. And then the house, by unanimous vote, adjourned, till Monday, August 6. [/a]

RESOLUTIONS OF THE CONVENTION,
REFERRED, ON THE TWENTY-THIRD AND TWENTY-SIXTH OF JULY, 1787, TO A COMMITTEE OF DETAIL, [MESSRS RUTLEDGE, RANDOLPH, GORHAM, ELLSWORTH, AND WILSON,] FOR THE PURPOSE OF REPORTING A CONSTITUTION.

Journals.

The propositions offered to the Convention, on the 29th of May, by Mr. C. Pinckney, and on the 15th of June, by Mr. Patterson, were referred to the committee, with the above resolutions.

June
2.
“I. Resolved, That the government of the United States ought to consist of a supreme legislative, judiciary, and executive.
“II. Resolved, That the legislature consist of two branches.
21.
22.
23.
“III. Resolved, That the members of the first branch of the legislature ought to be elected by the people of the several states, for the term of two years; to be paid out of the public treasury; to receive an adequate compensation for their services; to be of the age of twenty-five years at least; to be ineligible to, and incapable of holding, any office under the authority of the United States, (except those peculiarly) belonging to the functions of the first branch,) during the term of service of the first branch.
25. “IV. Resolved, That the members of the second branch of the legislature of the United States ought to be chosen by the individual legislatures; to be of the age of thirty years at least; to hold their offices for six years, one third to go out biennially; to receive a compensation for the devotion of their time to the public service; to be ineligible to, and incapable of holding, any office under the authority of the United States, (except those peculiarly belonging to the functions of the second branch,) during the term for which they are elected, and for one year thereafter.
“V. Resolved, That each branch ought to possess the right of originating acts.
Postponed, 27.
July
16.
17.
“VI. Resolved, That the national legislature ought to possess the legislative right vested in Congress by the Confederation; 16. and moreover, to legislate, in all cases, for the general interests of 17. the Union, and also in those to which the states are separately incompetent, or in which the harmony of the United States may be interrupted by the exercise of individual legislation.
“VII. Resolved, That the legislative acts of the United States, made by virtue, and in pursuance, of the articles of union, and all treaties made and ratified under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the respective states, as far as those acts or treaties shall relate to the said states, or their citizens and inhabitants; and that the judiciaries of the several states shall be bound thereby in their decisions, any thing in the respective laws of the individual states to the contrary notwithstanding.
16. “VIII. 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,—
“IX. Resolved, That a census be taken within six years from 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.
16. “X. 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.
“XI. Resolved, That, in the second branch of the legislature of the United States, each state shall have an equal vote.
26. “XII. Resolved, That a national executive be instituted, to consist of a single person, to be chosen by the national legislature, for the term of seven years; to be ineligible a second time; with power to carry into execution the national laws; to appoint to offices in cases not otherwise provided for; to be removable on impeachment and conviction of malpractice or neglect of duty; to receive a fixed compensation for the devotion of his time to public service, to be paid out of the public treasury.
21. “XIII. 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.
18.
21.
18.
XIV. Resolved, That a national judiciary be established, to consist of one supreme tribunal, the judges of which shall be appointed by the second branch of the national legislature; to hold their offices during good behavior; to receive punctually, at stated times, a fixed compensation for their services, in which no diminution shall be made, so as to affect the persons actually in office at the time of such diminution.
“XV. Resolved, That the national legislature be empowered to appoint inferior tribunals.
18. “XVI. Resolved, That the jurisdiction of the national judiciary shall extend to cases arising under laws passed by the general legislature, and to such other questions as involve the national peace and harmony.
“XVII. Resolved, That provision ought to be made for the admission of new states lawfully arising within the limits of the United States, whether from a voluntary junction of government and territory, or otherwise, with the consent of a number of voices in the national legislature less than the whole.
“XVIII. Resolved, That a republican form of government shall be guarantied to each state; and that each state shall be protected against foreign and domestic violence.
23. “XIX. Resolved, That provision ought to be made for the amendment of the articles of union whensoever it shall seem necessary.
“XX. Resolved, That the legislative, executive, and judiciary powers, within the several states, and of the national government, ought to be bound, by oath, to support the articles of union.
“XXI. Resolved, That the amendments which shall be offered to the Confederation by the Convention ought, at a proper time or times after the approbation of Congress, to be submitted to an assembly or assemblies of representatives, recommended by the several legislatures, to be expressly chosen by the people, to consider and decide thereon.
&nbsp “XXII. Resolved, That the representation in the second branch of the legislature of the United States consist of two members from each state, who shall vote per capita.
26. “XXIII. Resolved, That it be an instruction to the committee, to whom were referred the proceedings of the Convention for the establishment of a national government, to receive a clause or clauses, requiring certain qualifications of property and citizenship, in the United States, for the executive, the judiciary, and the members of both branches of the legislature of the United States.”

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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

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