Federalism

Constitution Sunday: Samuel Nasson’s “Pathetick Apostrophe” to Liberty

Massachusetts Ratifying Convention February 1, 1788 Changing a system—particularly a system about which one is fond—is difficult. For some, the system that the Articles of Confederation created was an ideal one as it permitted states to maintain a level of autonomy that the proposed Constitution would subsume. For Samuel Nasson, at the Massachusetts Ratifying Convention, […]

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Constitution Sunday: Governor Samuel Huntington on the Need for Coercive National Power

Connecticut Ratifying Convention. January 9, 1788 When Connecticut’s Governor, Samuel Huntington, rose to speak at the state’s ratifying convention, he rose to second a motion by General Parsons to “assent to, ratify, and adopt the Constitution,” but in seconding the motion, Governor Huntington provided perspective and context for why he was asking the state’s delegates […]

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Constitution Sunday: Robert Whitehill at the Pennsylvania Convention

Pennsylvania Ratifying Convention. November 30, 1787. At the Pennsylvania Convention, Robert Whitehill rose to speak about the proposed Constitution including—and perhaps especially—its biggest flaw. To Whitehill, despite the fact that the country’s learned people devised the Constitution, “the defect is in the system itself,—there lies the evil which. no argument can palliate, no sophistry can […]

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Constitution Sunday: Answers to Mason’s “Objections”: “Marcus” [James Iredell] IV

Answers to Mason’s “Objections”: “Marcus” [James Iredell] IV Norfolk and Portsmouth Journal (Virginia), March 12, 1788 Following are excerpts from James Iredell’s responses to George Mason’s “Objections” to the Constitution: “VIIIth. Objection. ‘Under their own construction of the general clause at the end of the enumerated powers, the Congress may grant monopolies in trade and […]

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