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title:“Luther Martin’s Letter to the Citizens of Maryland”
authors:Luther Martin
date written:1788-3-25

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:00 a.m. UTC
retrieved:March 2, 2024, 12:56 p.m. UTC

Martin, Luther. "Letter to the Citizens of Maryland." The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Vol. 3. Ed. Max Farrand. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911. Print.

Luther Martin’s Letter to the Citizens of Maryland (March 25, 1788)

Baltimore, March 25, 1788.
Those who would wish you to believe that the faults in the system proposed are wholly or principally owing to the difference of state interests, and proceed from that cause, are either imposed upon themselves, or mean to impose upon you. The principal questions, in which the state interests had any material effect, were those which related to representation, and the number in each branch of the legislature, whose concurrence should be necessary for passing navigation acts, or making commercial regulations. But what state is there in the union whose interest would prompt it to give the general government the extensive and unlimited powers it possesses in the executive, legislative and judicial departments, together with the powers over the militia, and the liberty of establishing a standing army without any restriction? What state in the union considers it advantageous to its interest that the President should be re-eligible — the members of both houses appointable to offices — the judges capable of holding other offices at the will and pleasure of the government, and that there should be no real responsibility either in the President or in the members of either branch of the Legislature? Or what state is there that would have been averse to a bill of rights, or that would have wished for the destruction of jury trial in a great variety of cases, and in a particular manner in every case without exception where the government itself is interested? These parts of the system, so far from promoting the interest of any state, or states, have an immediate tendency to annihilate all the state governments indiscriminately, and to subvert their rights and the rights of their citizens. To oppose these, and to procure their alteration, is equally the interest of every state in the union. The introduction of these parts of the system must not be attributed to the jarring interests of states, but to a very different source, the pride, the ambition and the interest of individuals.

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