Senate

The “Positive Good” of Slavery

John Calhoun, one of the staunchest supporters of states’ rights, was widely known for his view that slavery as a “positive good” in American society.

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The Missouri Compromise

By 1819, the area west of the Mississippi River, known as the Missouri Territory, had obtained a population qualifying it to be admitted to the Union. Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: Transformation of America, 1819-1848, 147. The only requirement to be admitted was that an enabling act be presented to Congress “authorizing Missouri voters […]

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Constitution Sunday: Reply to Wilson’s Speech: “An Officer of the Late Continental Army”

Reply to Wilson’s Speech: “An Officer of the Late Continental Army” Independent Gazetteer (Philadelphia), November 6, 1787 Following are excerpts from an article with an unknown author, published in response to James Wilson’s speech: “That of the senate is so small that it renders its extensive powers extremely dangerous: it is to consist only of 26 […]

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A Compound of Aristocracy and Monarchy

In the 1780s, Americans, like John Dickinson, observed that “[p]eople once respected their governors, their senators, their judges and their clergy; they reposed confidence in them; their laws were obeyed, and the states were happy in tranquility.” Dickinson, Letters of Fabius, Ford, ed., Pamphlets, 188. The authority of the government was declining. Gordon Wood, The Creation of the […]

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