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title:“Notes on Debates by John Lansing”
authors:John Lansing, Jr.
date written:1787-6-27

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:25 a.m. UTC
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Lansing, John, Jr. "Notes on Debates by John Lansing." Supplement to Max Farrand's The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Ed. James H. Hutson. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987. 122-23. Print.

Notes on Debates by John Lansing (June 27, 1787)

Wednesday, June 27, 1787 John Lansing: Notes on Debates Rutlege moves that 6th Resolve be postponed to take up 7th and 8th.— Agreed to. 7th Article—the Words ought not to be according to the Rule established by the Confederation first to be considered. Martin—general Government only intended to protect State Governments. National Objects for Legislative and Executive Exertion ought to be defined and much contracted. If after the greatest Caution defective, it may be revised by a future Convention. While national Government acts for general Good in the Sphere prescribed for it—no hostility to be apprehended from individual States—it will receive their Patronage and Protection. The Respect shewn to a general Government weak to Excess evinces the amicable Disposition of the Individual States to it. Virginia and Maryland made Convention for settling Navigation in Chesepeak and Potowmack—this is no Breach of Confederation. The Troops of Massachusetts were drawn out to quell Rebellion—Neither of those Instances prove a Disrespect to Articles of Union. In every Confederation Equality of Suffrage indispensible. The larger States have more to protect and their superior Wealth and Strength give them a proportionate Influence. The three larger States can carry the most injurious Points to the other States—unless the others miraculously combine. The Executive and Judicial will be from them. The Executive has a Right to subject Laws to a Revision—this will protect them effectually. But what is to prevent them from making decided Arrangements to assume all the Power of general Government? Athens—Sparta and Thebes pursued same Line of Conduct. From the Journals of Congress it appears that Virginia was sole for apportioning Representation by Numbers or Contribution—She has gained many Proselytes since. The smaller States gave up their Share to the common Territory acquired by their joint Exertions—this was an important Sacrafice. Jersey Maryland and several other States have contributed as essentially to repel the Enemy as the large States who now suppose themselves entitled to Preeminence—he would not trust a Legislature so constituted to legislate for Carolinian Slaves or Massachusetts oxen.the one was to form Part of Rule for Representation—He cannot give his Assent to subject the Rights of Freemen to them. It has been observed that great States have great Objects, which they will not permit the small States to thwart—If those Objects are directed to general Good they will be pursued by all—if not, it would be right to defeat them. Adjourned till to Morrow.

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