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

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:27 a.m. UTC
retrieved:July 1, 2022, 10:04 a.m. UTC

"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. 592. Print.

James Wilsons' Notes of the Pennsylvania Ratification Convention (December 12, 1787)

Smilie: The case of the Active. Are not the persons to be entrusted with power, parties to this government? British Liberties, p. 98. 99. 21 .
Powers undefined are extremely favorable for the increase of power. If there was an explicit declaration that the people had a right to alter this system; all matters would be easy. The rights of conscience are not secured. useful to all tyrannical governments. Congress may establish any religion.1
Aristocracy is the government of the few over the many.
This government cannot be executed, because the same means must be employed for this purpose as are necessary to execute a despotism. But discontent and opposition will arise in every quarter. If executed at all, it must be by force. The framers of this Constitution must have seen that force would be necessary. This will be the case; and if this be so, we have struggled and fought in vain.
Since the peace there has been a set of men from New Hampshire to Georgia who could not bear to be on the same footing with the other citizens. I cannot tell how many of them were in the Convention.
Congress, by the powers they have already, have contributed to throw things into confusion to produce the present great event. A change of habits is necessary to relieve the present distresses of the people. The adoption of the present system will not accomplish this. If this Constitution is adopted, I look upon the liberties of America as gone, until they shall be recovered by arms.

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