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that a convention of representatives from the said States respectively, be held at
, for the purpose of revising the articles of confederation and perpetual union between the United States of America, and reporting to the United States in Congress assembled, and to the States respectively, such alterations and amendments of the said articles of confederation, as the representatives met in such convention shall judge proper and necessary to render them adequate to the preservation and support of the Union.”
On the question to postpone, for the purpose above-mentioned, the yeas and nays being required by the delegates for New York
ay Mr. Johnson,
no / *
N. Carolina .
So the question was lost.
A motion was then made by the delegates for Massachusetts, to postpone the further consideration of the report, in order to take into consideration a motion which they read in their place; this
being agreed to, the motion of the delegates for Massachusetts was taken up, and, being amended, was agreed to, as follows:
Whereas there is provision in the articles of confederation and perpetual union, for making alterations therein, by the assent of a Congress of the United States, and of the legislatures of the several States; and whereas experience hath evinced that there are defects in the present confederation, as a mean to remedy which several of the States, and particularly the State of New York, by express instructions to their delegates in Congress, have suggested a convention for the purposes expressed in the following resolution; and such convention appearing to be the most probable mean of establishing in these States a firm national government:
Resolved, That in the opinion of Congress, it is expedient, that, on the second Monday in May next, a convention of delegates, who shall have been appointed by the several States, be held at Philadelphia, for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation, and reporting to Congress, and the several legislatures, such alterations and provisions therein as shall, when agreed to in Congress, and confirmed by the States, render the Federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of government, and the preservation of the Union.
EXTRACTS FROM THE ACTS OF THE STATES
AUTHORIZING THE APPOINTMENT OF DELEGATES TO THE CON
VENTION AT PHILADELPHIA, SHOWING THE POWERS CON
FERRED ON THEM.
VIRGINIA, passed on the 16th of October, 1786 _“To join with [the delegates from the other States] in devising and discussing all such alterations and further provisions as may be necessary to render the federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of the Union.”
NEW JERSEY, passed 23. November, 1786- "For the purpose of taking into Cusideration the state of the Union, as to trade and other important objects, and of devising such other provisions as shall appear to be necessary to render the Constitution of the federal government adequate to the exigencies thereof."
PENNSYLVANIA, passed December 30, 1786 -“To join in devising, deliberating on, and discussing all such alterations and further provisions as may be necessary to render the federal Constitution fully adequate to the exigencies of the Union.”
on to join with them in devising, deliberating on, and discussing, such alterations and further provisions as may be necessary to render the federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of the Union . . . . So always, and provided, that such alterations or further provisions, or any of them, do not extend to that part of the fifth article of the confederation of the said States, finally ratified on the first day of March, 1781, which declares that, 'In determining questions in the United States in Congress assembled, each State shall have one vote.'” North CAROLINA, passed 6th January, 1786
" To discuss and decide upon the most effectual means to remove the defects of the federal Union, and to procure the enlarged purposes which it was intended to effect.”
GEORGIA, passed February 11, 1786 _-"To join in devising and discussing all such alterations and further provisions as may be necessary to render the federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of the Union."
New YORK, passed February 28, 1787 “ For the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress, and to the several legislatures, such alterations and provisions therein as shall, when agreed to in Congress, and confirmed by the several States, render the federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of government, and the preservation of the Union."
MASSACHUSETTS, passed 10th March, 1787 — “ For the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation.”
South CAROLINA, passed March 8, 1787 - "To join in devising and discussing all such alterations, clauses, articles, and provisions, as may be thought necessary to render the federal Constitution entirely adequate to the actual situation and future good government of the confederated States.”
CONNECTICUT, passed May, 1787—“To discuss upon such alterations and provisions, agreeable to the general principles of republican government, as they shall think proper, to render the federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of government and the preservation of the Union.”
MARYLAND, passed May 26, 1787 — "To join with them in considering such alterations and further provisions as may be necessary to render the federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of the Union.”
New HAMPSHIRE, passed June 27, 1787 —" To discuss and decide upon the most effectual means to remedy the defects of our federal Union, and to procure and secure the enlarged purposes which it was intended to effect."
All the acts required that the proceedings of the Convention should be reported to the United States in Congress, and to the respective State legislatures, for final action.
CESSION OF THE WESTERN TERRITORY.
The original settlements upon the portion of the American continent, now constituting the United States, were made along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The grants from the British crown to the companies under whose auspices the settlements were commenced, were made with little regard to the actual geography of the country. The conceded territory was generally described as included between certain parallels of latitude, and commencing on the Atlantic Ocean, thence extending westward to the “ South Sea," or the Pacific Ocean. Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Virginia, the two Carolinas, and Georgia, all claimed by virtue of such grants the right of soil and jurisdiction as far west as the Mississippi river at least. Massachusetts and Connecticut yielded to the paramount right of New York and Pennsylvania to the territory within their appropriate limits, but insisted upon their own rights to the unoccupied territory to the westward of those intervening States.
While the interior of the continent was but little regarded and the eminent domain was admitted to be in the British crown, these claims attracted but little attention. But when the colonies had thrown off their allegiance to the British crown and took the attitude of sovereign and independent States, the value of these western possessions assumed a magnitude and importance of serious import. The blood and treasure of all the colonies were to be expended for the common defence of the sovereignty and independence of the respective States; and it was but just and proper that all should share as equally as practicable in the benefits to be attained. The States, whose western limits were circumscribed by the intervention of other States, and which, therefore, could have no separate