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title:“James Madison in the Virginia Convention”
authors:James Madison
date written:1788-6-18

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:31 a.m. UTC
retrieved:April 17, 2024, 3:17 a.m. UTC

Madison, James. "James Madison in the Virginia Convention." The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Vol. 3. Ed. Max Farrand. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911. Print.

James Madison in the Virginia Convention (June 18, 1788)

June 18, 1788.
(The 1st section, of the 2d article, still under consideration.)
. . . Mr. Madison. — Mr. Chairman — I will take the liberty of making a few observations which may place this in such a light as may obviate objections. It is observable, that none of the honorable members objecting to this, have pointed out the right mode of election. It was found difficult in the convention, and will be found so by any Gentleman who will take the liberty of delineating a mode of electing the president, that would exclude those inconveniences which they apprehend. I would not contend against some of the principles laid down by some gentlemen if the interests of some states only were to be consulted. But there is a great diversity of interests. The choice of the people ought to be attended to. I have found no better way of selecting the man in whom they place the highest confidence, than that delineated in the plan of the convention — nor has the gentleman told us. Perhaps it will be found impracticable to elect him by the immediate suffrages of the people. Difficulties would arise from the extent and population of the states. Instead of this the people choose the electors. — This can be done with ease and convenience, and will render the choice more judicious. As to the eventual voting by states, it has my approbation. The lesser states, and some large states, will be generally pleased by that mode. The deputies from the small states argued, (and their is some force in their reasoning) that when the people voted, the large states evidently had the advantage over the rest, and without varying the mode, the interests of the little states might be neglected or sacrificed. Here is a compromise.. — For in the eventual election, the small states will have the advantage.1

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