Democracy

Constitution Sunday: Fisher Ames on Biennial Elections and on the Volcano of Democracy

Massachusetts Ratifying Convention. January 15, 1788 The duration of a term for a member of the House of Representatives was a contentious issue: while some favored one-year terms, others—such as Fisher Ames—advocated for two-year terms. To Ames, a member of the House would be unlikely to learn enough about the country in a year to […]

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Constitution Sunday: A Cumberland County Mutual Improvement Society Addresses the Pennsylvania Minority

A Cumberland County Mutual Improvement Society Addresses the Pennsylvania Minority Carlisle Gazette, (Pennsylvania), January 2, 1788 One of the most frequent dooming political predictions that Americans—of any political persuasion—tend to make is that the end of the Republic, and therefore the end of liberty, has come. This prediction even goes back to the debate of […]

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Constitution Sunday: “Publius,” The Federalist XIV

“Publius,” The Federalist XIV [James Madison] New-York Packet, November 30, 1787 With the draft Constitution having been published for consideration by the residents of each state in 1787 came questions about whether and how the federal government would effectuate its responsibilities given the vast land that the states and territories had already comprised—which James Madison […]

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