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title:“James Madison to Peter S. Duponceau”
authors:James Madison
date written:1824-8

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retrieved:March 3, 2024, 5:14 p.m. UTC

Madison, James. "Letter to Peter S. Duponceau." Supplement to Max Farrand's The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Ed. James H. Hutson. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987. 314. Print.

James Madison to Peter S. Duponceau (August 1824)

Montpellier Aug. 1824
A characteristic peculiarity of the Govt. of the U. States is, that its powers consist of special grants taken from the general mass of power, whereas other Govts. possess the general mass with special exceptions only. Such being the plan of the Constitution, it cannot well be supposed that the Body which framed it with so much deliberation, and with so manifest a purpose of specifying its objects, and defining its boundaries, would, if intending that the Common Law shd. be a part of the national code, have omitted to express or distinctly indicate the intention; when so many far inferior provisions are so carefully inserted, and such appears to have been the public view taken of the Instrument, whether we recur to the period of its ratification by the States, or to the federal practice under it.

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