I am grieved to be forced to think, after the most mature consideration of the subject, that the proposed Constitution leaves the three essential Securities before stated, under the mere pleasure of the new Rulers! And why should it be so Sir, since the violation of these cannot be necessary to good government, but will be always extremely convenient for bad. It is a question deserving intense consideration, whether the State Sovereignties ought not to be supported, perhaps in the way proposed by Massachusetts in their 1st. 3d. & 4th Amendments. Force & Opinion seem to be the two ways alone by which Men can be governed-the latter appears the most proper for a free people-but remove that and obedience, I apprehend, can only be found to result from fear the Offspring of force. If this be so, can Opinion exist (among the great Mass of Mankind) without compitent knowledge of those who govern, and can that knowledge take place in a Country so extensive as the territory of the U. States which is stated by Capt. Hutchins at a Million of square miles, whilst the empire of Germany contains but 192,000, and the kingdom of France but 163,000 square miles. The almost infinite variety of climates, Soils, productions, manners, customs & interests renders this still more difficult for the general government of one Legislature; but very practicable to Confederated States united for mutual safety & happiness, each contributing to the federal head such a portion of its sovereignty as would render the government fully adequate to these purposes and No more. The people would govern themselves more easily, the laws of each State being well adapted to its own genius and circumstances;
the liberties of the U. States would probably be more secure than under the proposed plan, which, carefully attended to will be found capable of annihilating the State Sovereignties by finishing the operations of their State governments under the general Legislative right of commanding Taxes without restraint. So that the productive Revenues that the States may happily fall upon for their own support can be seized by superior power supported by the Congressional Courts of Justice, and by the sacred obligation of Oath imposed on all the State Judges to regard the laws of Congress as sup[reme?] over the laws and Constitutions of the States! Thus circumst[anced we?] shall probably find resistance vain, and the State governments as feeble and contemptible as was the Senatorial power under the Roman Emperors-3
The name existed but the thing was gone. I have observed Sir that the sensible and candid friends of the proposed plan agree that amendments would be proper, but fear the consequences of another Convention. I submit the following - as an effectual compromise between the Majorities, and the formidable Minorities that generally prevail.