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title:“Notes on Debates by John Lansing”
authors:John Lansing, Jr.
date written:1787-6-28

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Lansing, John, Jr. "Notes on Debates by John Lansing." Supplement to Max Farrand's The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Ed. James H. Hutson. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987. 125-26. Print.

Notes on Debates by John Lansing (June 28, 1787)

Martin—It is in State Capacities we are taxed—The Majority of States ought to tax. In arguing it has been said that Protection ought to be extended to rich and poor—they ought only to protect States. Daily Experience shews the Genius of People is in Favor of small Governments—they are for seperating whenever they are remote from its Seat. In Amphictionic Council each State had two Votes. Sparta attempted to exclude three Cities. Destruction of Confederacy owing to large States. In the Dutch and Swiss Confederacies each has one. Berne and Zurich are equal to all the Rest—each has one Vote. Happiness is preferable to the Splendors of a national Government. Admission of large States into the Confederation dangerous to the others if they are admitted on Principles of perfect Equality—but more so if they have a constitutional Predominance.1 There is no Danger of not having another Convention unless the Conduct of the present prevents it. The greater States as now circumstanced are not Objects of Terror. Massachusetts convulsed—Pennsylvania Commerce in the Power of Jersey and Deleware—Virginia weak and divided. It is as much their Interest to confederate as any of the smaller States—If they will not do it on the Footing of Equality let them take their own Course. Madison—Fallacy of Argument owing to a Connection of Legislative Ideas with Right of making Treaties. Are the larger States congenial to each other by Proximity common Interests or Similarity of Pursuits?—They are not—they are so situated as to perpetuate Diversity of Interests. The Staple of Massachusetts is Fish and she has carrying Trade—that of Pennsylvania Wheat and Virginia Tobacco. Equality will uniformly excite Jealousy—Did Rome and Carthage combine to destroy their Neighbours? This Question will determine whether we shall confederate at all or partial Confederations shall be formed. Williamson—Mathematically Demonstrable that Representation ought to be proportioned to Individuals. If the Taxes are laid by smaller States what would prevent them from surcharging the greater? Wilson—Is it not unjust that old Sarum should send two Members and London only four? If this admitted it applies forcibly to the present Case. Lansing—moved that Word not be struck out. Madison—Efficient Government can only be formed by apportioning Representation. The States may be equalized by general Government. The State of New Jersey being unrepresented by the Indisposition of Governor Livingston the Question was put off by New York. Previous to which Adjourned till to Morrow

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