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title:“Plan of Government (II) by John Dickinson”
authors:John Dickinson
date written:1787-6-18

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http://consource.org/document/plan-of-government-ii-by-john-dickinson-1787-6-18/20130122084652/
last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:46 a.m. UTC
retrieved:July 20, 2018, 4:58 a.m. UTC

transcription
citation:
Dickinson, John. "Plan of Government (II) by John Dickinson." Supplement to Max Farrand's The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Ed. James H. Hutson. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987. 88-91. Print.

Plan of Government (II) by John Dickinson (June 18, 1787)

1. That the Articles of Confederation ought to be revised and amended, so as to render the Government of the United States adequate to the Exigencies, the preservation, and the prosperity of the Union.
2. That the Government ought to consist of a Legislative, Executive and Judiciary as in Report.
3. That the Legislative ought to be composed of two Branches as in Report.
4. That the Members of the first Branch ought to be chosen as they now are by the existing Confederation, that is, by the legislatures of the several states, each state having an equal Vote—to be of the Age of thirty Years or as in the 4th Resolution of the Report that immediately after the first Election they be divided into seven Classes, as equal as possible, and numbered 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 that the seats of the Members of the first Class shall be vacated at the End of the first Year, of the second Class at the End of the second Year, and so on continually, to the End that the seventh part of this Branch as nearly as possible may be annually chosen—that if any Member dies the person elected in his place shall only serve for the Residue of the Term for which the deceased was elected.
5. That the Members of the second Branch ought to be elected by the People of the several states for a term of 3 Years or as in the 3d Resolution of the Report that the people of each state shall chuse the Members of this Branch for the first 3 Years in the following proportions: New Hampshire Massachusetts Rhode Island Connecticut New York New Jersey Pennsylvania Delaware Maryland Virginia North Carolina South Carolina and Georgia that immediately after the second Election they be divided into 3 Classes, as equal as possible, and numbered 1 2 and 3 that the seats of the members of the first Class shall be vacated at the End of the first Year of the second Class at the End of the second Year and of the third Class at the end of the third Year, to the End that the third part of this Branch, as nearly as possible, may be annually chosen that if any Member dies, the person elected in his place shall serve only for the Residue of the Term for which the deceased was elected that after the first three Years, the Right of suffrage in constituting this Branch ought from Time to Time to be adjusted, in proportion to the sum of Money collected in each state and actually paid into the Common Treasury within the preceding 3 Years, except sums arising from Imposts and such other Taxes as might produce too great an Inequality—provided, that each state shall have at least one vote in this Branch and that the Right of suffrage of the state contributing most shall never exceed that of the state contributing least, more than in the proportion of to [—] one.1
That every new state on admission into the Union shall have the same Right of suffrage with the state contributing least, untill the next adjustment of the Rights of Suffrage, and then the Right of such state to be enlarged, if entitled to an Enlargement, upon the same principle that determines the Rights of the other states—that on the Establishment of part of a state as a new state, if such a Case happens, the Residue of the Representation previously possessed by the whole, shall belong to the state from which the new state shall be separated—until adjustment be made in Course, as is before mentioned.
6. That in addition to the powers vested in Congress by the existing Confederation the Legislature of the United States ought to be authorized to pass Acts for enforcing an Observance of the Laws of Nations and an Obedience to their own Laws—for raising a Revenue by levying Duties or Imposts on all Goods and Merchandize of foreign Growth or Manufacture imported into any part of the United States and also a limited Duty on Exports—by stamps on Paper Vellum or parchment by postage on all Letters and packages passing thro the General post office and by such other Modes of Taxation [line undecipherable] for the prosperity of the Union for the Regulation of Trade and Commerce as well with foreign Nations as with each other But before these Acts are passed they ought to be published at least six Months for public Consideration. That all punishments Fines Forfeitures and penalties to be incurred for contravening such Acts concerning Revenue and the Regulations of Trade and Commerce ought for some Time at least to be adjudged by the Common Law Judiciary of the state in which any Offence contrary to the true Intent and Meaning of such Acts shall be committed or perpetrated, with Liberty for the Officers of the United States to commence in the first Instance all suits or prosecutions for that purpose in the superior Common Law Judiciary of such state, subject nevertheless to an appeal for the Correction of all Error both in Law and Fact in rendering Judgment to the Judiciary of the United States, for which purpose all the Evidence in such suits and prosecutions shall be put into writing and upon an Appeal be fully and immediately transmitted by the said Judiciary of the state to the Judiciary of the United States and the appellee shall give sufficient surety to the said Judiciary, for abiding the final Determination.
That when hereafter, in the Judgment of the Legislature of the United States Circumstances shall render it necessary for the public Good, they may transfer the Cognizance of such suits and prosecutions in the first Instance to the inferior Tribunals of the United States That all other proper Objects of the legislative Authority of the United States, if any, ought to be accurately defined.
That the Legislature of the United States ought to possess the sole and exclusive Right and power of emitting Money of any kind, as well as regulating the Value and Alloy of Coin that they ought also to possess a Negative on the Acts of the several Legislatures, as in the sixth Resolution of the Report that provision ought to be made for determining Contests within a state, which shall be judged by the United States likely to disturb the public Peace as well as those between two or more states for the punishment of Officers of the United States for securing the Benefits of the Writ of Habeas Corpus and Trial by Jury in proper Cases, and for preventing Contests concerning the Authority of the United States and the Authority of individual states.
7. That all Laws and Resolves of any state in any Manner opposing or contravening the powers now vested or hereby to be vested in the United States or any Act of the United States made by Virtue and in pursuance of such powers or any Treaties made and ratified under the authority of the United States shall be utterly null and void (this nearly as in the proposals from New Jersey).
That the Legislature of the United States be authorized to elect by Ballot, two thirds concurring, an Executive to consist of 3 persons, one of them a Resident of the Eastern States, another of the Middle States and the third of the Southern States to receive a Compensation for Service One of the first 3 to continue in Office 2 Years, another 4 Years, and the third 7 Years—every person appointed upon such Vacancies and so on afterwards to continue in Office 7 years—but if any such Officer dies, the person chosen in his Place, shall serve only for the Residue of the Term for which the person deceased was elected—to be removable by the Legislature of the United States, if they judge it proper on Application by a Majority of the Executives of the several states and to be impeachable for Malconduct or Neglect of Duty. The person appointed at the first Election for 7 Years, to be President and afterwards the person who shall have been the longest Time in the Executive—All their Acts and Appointments to be immediately entered in their Books.—Every one of them to be responsible for every Act and Appointment done or made in his presence, unless he at the Time enters his Dissent in Writing in their Book—Provision to be made in Cases of Death or Absences especially upon Emergencies of Invasion or Insurrection and for convening the Legislature (then as in the proposal from N. J.) that the Executive shall have a Right to negative any Legislative Acts which shall not afterwards be passed, unless by two third parts of each Branch of the Legislature The Executive ought never to order any Monies to be paid to other purposes than those to which they are expressly appropriated by the Legislature, nor out of other Funds than are so appropriated.1 That the Judiciary be appointed by the Legislature, to consist for some time at least of a supreme Tribunal, the Judges of which to be appointed (as in the proposal from N. J.) except that this Judiciary would have Authority to determine in the first Instance in all Cases touching the Rights of Ambassadors and other foreign Ministers That when hereafter in the Judgment of the Legislature of the United States, Circumstances shall render it necessary for the public Good, they may appoint Inferior Tribunals.
Then from the 14th Resolution of the Report, inclusive to the End
  • 1 Crossed out "or thus that after the first 3 Years the Right of suffrage in constituting this Branch ought from Time to Time to be fixed in the following Manner Each state shall."
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