Log In Register

Source & Citation Info

title:“Notes for Speech in Congress”
authors:James Madison
date written:1789-6-8

permanent link
to this version:
last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:00 a.m. UTC
retrieved:April 17, 2024, 3:47 a.m. UTC

Madison, James. "Notes for Speech in Congress." The Papers of James Madison. Vol. 12. Ed. C.A . Stagg. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1979. 193-95. Print.
Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

Notes for Speech in Congress (June 8, 1789)

[ca. 8 June 1789]
Reasons for urging amendts.
1. to prove fedts. friends to liberty
2. remove remaining inquietudes
3. bring in N. C. & R. Island.
4. to imrpove the Constitution
Reasons for moderating the plan
1. No stop if door opend to theoretic amendts.
2. as likely to make worse as better till trial
3. insure passage by 2/3 of Congs. & 3/4 of Sts.
Objectns. of 3 kinds vs the Constn:
1. vs. the theory of its structure
2. vs. the substance of its powers—elections & direct taxes
3. vs omission of guards in favr. of rights & liberts
The last most urged & easiest obviated.
Read the amendments-
They relate 1st. to private rights-
Bill of Rights-useful-not essential-
Fallacy on both sides-especy as to English Decln. of Rts-
1. mere act of parlt.
2. no freedom of press-Conscience Gl. Warrants-Habs. corpus jury in Civil Causes-criml.
attainders-arms to Protestts.
frequent parlts. cheif trust-
freedom of press & of Conscience unknown to Magna Cha. & Pet: Rts
Contents of Bills of Rhts-
1. assertion of primitive equality &c.
2. do. of rights exerted in formg. Govts.
3. natural rights, retained-as Speech, Con:
4. positive rights resultg-as trial by jury
5. Doctrinl. artics. as Depts. distinct-Electns free
6. moral precepts for the administrn. & natil. charachter-as justice-(Economy-&c-
Object of Bill of Rhts To limit & qualify powr. by exceptg. from grant cases in wch. it shall not be exercised or exd. in a particular manner.
to guard 1. vs. Executive & in Engd. &c-
2. Legislative as in Sts-
3. the majority of people
ought to point vs greatest danger which in Rep: is Prerogative of majority-
Here proper, tho' less nessary., than in small Repubs-
Objectns. vs. Bill of Rhts.
1. in Elective Govt. all power in people hence unnec[e]ssary & improper-this vs Sts-
2. In fedl. Govt. all not given retained-
Bill of powers-needs no bill of Rhts-
Sweeping clause-Genl Warrants &C
3. St: Bills not repeald.-
too uncertain
Some Sts have not bills-others defect:-others-injurious-as Protestts.
4. dispar[a]ge other rights-or constructively enlarge-
the first goes vs St: Bills-
both guarded vs. by amendt.
5. Not effectl. vs. Sts also-but some check
Courts will aids-also Ex: also.
Sts Legisls: watch
Time sanctify-incorporate public Sentiment
Bills of Rts. ergo. proper-
II increase of Reps. 2 for each H.
III pay of Congs.
IV Interdict to States as to Conscience-press-& Jury-
this more necsy. to Sts. than Congs.
V Check on appeals-& Common Law-
VI. partn. as to 3 Depts. & do. as to Genl. & St: Govts.

Resource Metadata






Annotations (0)