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date written:1787-3-24

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"Reason." New York Advertiser 1787-03-24 : . Rpt. in The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution. Vol. 13. Ed. Gaspare J. Saladino and John P. Kaminski. Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 1981. 57-58. Print.

Reason (March 24, 1787)

A THOUGHT for the DELEGATES TO THE CONVENTION, to be held at Philadelphia.
Instead of attempting to amend the present articles of confederation with a view to retain them as the form of government, or instead of attempting one general government for the whole community of the United States, would it not be preferable to distribute the States into three Republics, who should enter into a perpetual League or Alliance for mutual defence. This league or alliance must as in all cases of compact between Independent Nations, depend on National Faith.–Self preservation however would almost inevitably produce an observance, as each state would have much to apprehend from the subjugation of either of the others.–1Reflections on the subject in the abstract, would have suggested to us, and our own experience has fully convinced us, that there can be only one sovereignty in a government; the notion therefore of a government by confederation between several Independent States, and each state still retaining its sovereignty, must be abandoned, and with it every attempt to amend the present articles of confederation.–No possible amendment will prevent a disunion, and being wholly separated we shall be easily broken.–There are objections to the scheme of one general government.–The national concerns of a people so numerous, with a Territory so extensive will be proportionably difficult and important.–This will require proportionate powers in the administration, especially in the chief executive; greater perhaps than will consist with the principles of a democratic form. For these reasons the plan of three republics as a substitute, is proposed for public consideration. The question is of great magnitude; it is only briefly hinted here, but deserves to be attentively and candidly considered by all who have a solicitude for the liberties, and consequently for the happiness of their country. Our fate, as far as it can depend on human means, is committed to the convention; as they decide, so will our lot be. It must be the wish of the delegates, and it certainly is both our duty and interest to aid them in the arduous business intrusted to them. One way to this is by a public communication of sentiments. I have thrown in my mite, let others do the same; thus the truth may be discovered.

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