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title:“James Wilsons' Notes of the Pennsylvania Ratification Convention”
authors:Anonymous
date written:1787-12-4

permanent link
to this version:
http://consource.org/document/james-wilsons-notes-of-the-pennsylvania-ratification-convention-1787-12-4/20130122080854/
last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:08 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Jan. 19, 2018, 1:24 a.m. UTC

transcription
citation:
"James Wilsons' Notes of the Pennsylvania Ratification Convention." The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution. Vol. 2. Ed. Merrill Jensen. Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 1976. 492-93. Print.

James Wilsons' Notes of the Pennsylvania Ratification Convention (December 4, 1787)

JAMES WILSON: Reasons for Adopting the Constitution1
The practical recognition of the supreme power of the people.2
3
The legislative, executive, and judicial powers kept distinct. and independent.
The legislative authority divided-beneficence-wisdom.
The executive authority, one-stability-vigor-responsibility.
The judicial authority independent-restraining the excesses of legislative and executive power. Property and personal security.
4
The result of this distribution of power-mutually prevent and check excesses-to procure the advantages and avoid the inconveniencies of the different kinds of government.
All authority is derived by representation from the people; the democratic principle is carried into every part of the government.
Right of suffrage, fundamental to republics, secured (Article 1, section 2).
5
Representation and direct taxation according to numbers (Article 1, section 2).
6
Members of the legislature cannot hold offices in government (Article 1, section 6).
Everything almost is transacted by a majority. The minority do not govern.
The powers of the general government are necessary and well-defined.
The restraints on it and the state governments are salutary (Article 1, section 9).
7
The power of punishing on impeachment for crimes and misdemeanors in office (Article 2, section 4).
8
The accurate description of treason-its consequences confined to the criminal (Article 3, section 3).
9
A republican government is guaranteed to each state (Article 4, section 4).
10
The seeds of improvement by amendment (Article 5)

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