When the declaration of independence completed the separation between two countries, new governments were necessarily established. Many circumstances led to the adoption of the republican form … In devising the frames of government it may have been difficult to avoid extremes opposite the vices of that we had just rejected; nevertheless many of the State constitutions, we have chosen, are truly excellent. Our misfortunes have been, that in the first instance we adopted no government at all, but were kept together by common danger only, and that in the confusions of a civil war we framed a Federal Constitution now universally admitted to be inadequate to the preservation of liberty, property, and the union. …the object of our wishes is to amend and supply the evident and allowed errors and defects of the Federal government.
Another error was allowing the manner of choosing senators for the US Congress from state selected to public vote. Senators, as other politicians, spend more time campaign politicking than performing the tasks they were elected to do. The concern over senatorial power was also addressed.
The senate must always receive the exceptions of the president against any of their legislative acts. … They will also feel a considerable check from the constitutional powers of the state legislators, whose rights they will not be disposed to infringe, since they are bodies to which they owe their existence, and are moreover to remain the immediate guardians of the people.
1st. The principle Tories were officers of government – so are the anti-federalists: Witness, Messrs, Bryan, J.B. Smith, Nicholson, etc.2nd. The Tories said, the time for opposing Great Britain was not come – the anti-federalists say, more time for considering the new government is necessary, than is allowed by the resolves of the Assembly.3d. The Tories said our grievances were all imaginary in the year 1776 – the anti-federalist say the same of the defects of our present government …4th. The Tories tried to prevent an appeal to the people, by calling a Convention to form a new government in Pennsylvania in the year 1776 – the anti-federalists are trying every art to prevent an appeal to the people, to alter the present Constitution of Pennsylvania, so to make it fit the new federal government.5th. The Tories despised the proceedings of conventions and town-meetings, and called them nothing but mobs – the anti-federalists despise the Convention of the United States, and call the petitions and resolves of our citizens the acts of mobs and fools.6th. The Tories thought they alone were inspired with a knowledge of government – the anti-federalists entertain the same exalted opinions of themselves.7th The Tories were deserted by all their friends who were honest – the anti-federalists, in like manner, have been deserted by the party which they once led, and now stand alone. … It is hoped the anti-federalists will end their career, as some of the tories, whom they resemble in so many particulars …i
…How long those rights will appertain to you, you yourselves are called upon to say, whether your houses shall continue to be your castles; whether your papers, your persons and your property, are to be held sacred, and free from ‘general warrants’, you are now to determine. … The late Convention have submitted to your consideration a plan of a new federal government … it ought to be dispassionately and deliberately examined … If ever free and unbiased discussion was proper or necessary, it is on such an occasion. All the blessings of liberty and the dearest privileges of freemen, are now at stake and dependent on your present conduct. Those who are competent to the task of developing the principles of government, ought to be encouraged to come forward, and thereby the better enable the people to make a proper judgment … and to those whose integrity and patriotism they can confide; not considering the love of domination is generally in proportion to talents, abilities, and superior acquirements; and that men of the greatest purity of intentions may be made instruments of despotism in the hands of the artful and designing. … I am fearful that the principles of government inoculated in Mr. Adam’s treatise, and enforced in the numerous essays and paragraphs in the news-papers, iiihave misled some well designing members of the late Convention. … He asserts that the administrators of every government, will ever be actuated by views of private interest and ambition, to the prejudice of the public good; that themselves the only effectual method to secure the rights of the people and promote welfare, is to create an opposition of interests between the members of two distinct bodies, in the exercise of the powers of government, and balanced by those of a third. … Mr. Adams, although he has traced the Constitution of every form of government that ever existed, as far as history affords material, has not been able to adduce a single instance of such a government … It would not be difficult to prove, that any thing short of despotism, could not bind so great a country under one government. … The senate, the great efficient body in this plan of government, is constituted on the most unequal principles. The smallest state in the union has equal weight with the great states of Virginia, Massachusetts, or Pennsylvania. The Senate, besides its legislative functions, has a very considerable share in the Executive; none of the principal appointments to office can be made without its advice and consent. The term and made of its appointment, will lead to permanency; the members are chosen for six years, the mode us under the control of Congress, and as there is no exclusion by rotation, they may be continued for life, which, from their extensive means of influence, would follow its course. The President, who would be a mere pageant of state, unless he coincides with the views of the Senate, would either become the head of the aristocratic junto in that body, or its minion; besides, their influence being the most predominant, could the best secure his re-election to office. … From this investigation into the organization of this government, it appears that it is devoid of all responsibility or accountability to the great body of the people, and that so far from being a regular balanced government, it would be in practice be a permanent aristocracy.Therefore, as different orders in government will not produce the good of the whole, we must recur to other principles. … A republican, or free government, can only exist where the body of the people are virtuous, and where the property is pretty equally divided, in such a government the people are the sovereign and their sense or opinion is the criterion of every public measure. … It will not be controverted that the legislature is the highest delegated power in government, and that all others are subordinate to it. …establishes it as a maxim, that legislation necessarily follows the power of taxation. By Sect. 8, of the first article ,,, ‘the Congress are to have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts, and excises, shall be uniform throughout the United States’.Now what may construe every purpose for which the state legislatures now lay taxes, to be for the ‘general welfare’, and thereby seize upon every object of revenue.To put the omnipotency of Congress over the state government and judicatories our of all doubt, the 6th article ordained that ‘this constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made under the authority of the judges in every state shall be bound thereby; any thing in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding. …In a speech given by James Wilson, a so-called ‘anti-federalist’, in Philadelphia on October 6th, 1787:… It will be proper however, before I enter into the refutation of the charges that are alleged, to mark the leading discrimination between the state constitutions, and the constitution of the United States. When the people established the powers of legislation under their separate governments, they invested their representatives with every right and authority which they did not in explicit terms reserve; and therefore upon every question, respecting the jurisdiction of the house of assembly, if the frame of government is silent, the jurisdiction is efficient and complete. …This constitution, it has been further urged, is of a pernicious tendency, because it tolerates a standing army in the time of peace. …yet, I do not know a nation in the world, which has not found it necessary and useful to maintain the appearance of strength in a season of the most profound tranquility.In closing, Mr. Wilson stated:
I am satisfied that any thing nearer to perfection could not have been accomplished. If there are errors, it should be remembered, that the seeds of reformation are sown in the work itself, and the concurrence of two thirds of the Congress may at any time introduce alterations and amendments. Regarding it then, in every point of view, with a candid and disinterested mind, I am bold to assert, that it is the best form of government which has ever been offered to the world.In a reply to Mr. Wilson’s speech, the Pennsylvania Herald, Philadelphia published on October 17th, 1787, which includes mention of insertion of the Bill of Rights:… Mr. Wilson pretends to point out a leading discrimination between the State Constitutions and the Constitution of the United States. … And this may furnish an answer, he adds, to those who object, that a bill of rights has not been introduced in the proposed Federal Constitution. If this doctrine is true, and since it is only security that we are to have for our natural rights, it ought to at least to have been clearly expressed in the plan of government.
…he has told us that a standing army, that great support of tyrants, not only was not dangerous, but that it was ‘absolutely necessary’. …after the experience of past ages, …have taught us to dread a standing army above all earthly evils … Had we a standing army, when the British invaded our peaceful shores? … Is not a well regulated militia sufficient for every purpose of internal defence? And which of you, my fellow citizens, is afraid of any invasion from foreign powers, that our brave militia would not be able to immediately repel? …I need only adduce the example of Switzerland, which, like us, is a republic, whose thirteen cantons, like our Thirteen States, are under a federal government, and which besides is surrounded by the most powerful nations in Europe, all jealous of its liberty and prosperity … Why should we not follow so glorious an example …? iv…it is an established principle of America, which pervades every one of our State Constitutions, that the legislative and executive powers ought to be kept forever separate and distinct from each other, and yet in this new constitution we find there are TWO EXECUTIVE BRANCHES, each of which has more or less control over the proceedings of the legislative.
The man that gives up a portion of his liberty to achieve security, receives neither liberty or security.