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title:“Notes for a Speech by Gunning Bedford”
authors:Gunning Bedford
date written:1787-6-8

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Bedford, Gunning. "Notes for a Speech by Gunning Bedford." Supplement to Max Farrand's The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Ed. James H. Hutson. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987. 61-62. Print.
Autograph Document, American antiquarian Society

Notes for a Speech by Gunning Bedford (June 8, 1787)

Notes etc. Embarrassments I labour under. Reliance on experience and wisdom of Convention. General silence of members. But two sets of Propositions offered. Danger of precipitation into question of great importance. The object for which we have convened. Defects in Confederation. Two principal ones. Want of coercive powers and power to regulate trade. Do the propositions reach the express evil we are met to remedy or does it not go much further? The larger states want to improve the present occasion to go farther than we are authorized. They rely on their states approval because to their interest. No such approbation from smaller states. Smaller states rely on Confederation.1 Breach of faith is greater to ask it of them. Consequences of this breach of faith. Will smaller states be bound to pay their proportions of public engagements. Independent states to be considered as individuals with regard to superior fortune. Smaller states already deceived. The western lands held out as fund for discharge of public Debt. Republican principles prevalent in the states. No aristocracies among us. Shall we make such a division as well as raise an aristocracy? The different mode of representation opens the door to play states off against each other in elections to try which states shall preponderate. This evil increases in proportion as the different objects of men and states. The same disposition in States as in individuals to tyranny. This acknowledged by the gentlemen in opposition. The great unequality of representation in sovereign states. Modern confederated republics will not justify it, as States Genl., Switzerland, nor the states of the Empire. Neither will the ancient republics of Greece, in either each independent state has its vote without regard to size or wealth.

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