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all those reasons which prove the justice and expediency of equal representation in other assemblies, hold good here. It has been objected, that a proportional vote will endanger the smaller States. We answer, that an equal vote will endanger the larger. Virginia, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts are the three greater Colonies. Consider their distance, their difference of produce, of interest and manners, and it is apparent they can never have an interest or inclination to combine for the oppression of the smaller. That the smaller will naturally divide on all questions with the larger. Rhode Island, from its relation, similarity and intercourse, will generally pursue the same objects with Massachusetts; Jersey, Delaware and Maryland, with Pennsylvania.

Doctor Rush took notice, that the decay of the liberties of the Dutch Republic proceeded from three causes: 1st. The perfect unanimity requisite on all occasions. 2d. Their obligation to consult their constituents. 3d. Their voting by provinces. This last destroyed the equality of representation; and the liberties of Great Britain also are sinking from the same defect. That a part of our rights are deposited in the hands of our legislatures: there it was admitted there should be an equality of representation. Another part of our rights is deposited in the hands of Congress: why is it not equally necessary there should be an equal representation there? Were it possible to collect the whole body of the people together, they would determine the questions submitted to them, by their majority. Why should not the same majority decide, when voting here by their representatives? The larger Colonies are so providentially divided in situation as to render every fear of their combining visionary. Their interests are different, and their circumstances dissimilar. It is more probable they will become rivals, and leave it in the power of the smaller States to give preponderance to any scale they please. The voting by the number of free inhabitants will have one excellent effect, that of inducing the Colonies to discourage slavery, and to encourage the increase of their free inhabitants.

Mr. Hopkins observed, there were four larger, four smaller, and four middle sized Colonies. That the four largest would contain more than half the inhabitants of the confederating States, and therefore would govern the others as they should please. That history affords no instance of such a thing as equal representation. The Germanic body votes by States. The Helvetic body does the same; and so does the Belgic confederacy. That too little is known of the ancient confederations to say what was their practice.

Mr. Wilson thought, that taxation should be in proportion to wealth, but that representation should accord with the number of freemen. That government is a collection or the result of the wills of all. That if any government could speak the will of all, it would be perfect; and that so far as it departs from this it becomes imperfect. It has been said that Congress is a representation of States, not individuals. I say that the objects of its care are all the individuals of the States. It is strange that annexing the name of State' to ten thousand men, should give them an equal right with forty thousand. This must be the effect of magic, not of reason.

As to those matters

which are referred to Congress, we are not so many States; we are one large State. We lay aside our individuality whenever we come here. The Germanic body is a burlesque on government; and their practice on any point is a sufficient authority and proof that it is wrong. The greatest imperfection in the constitution of the Belgic confederacy is their voting by provinces. The interest of the whole is constantly sacrificed to that of the small States. The history of the war in the reign of Queen Anne sufficiently proves this. It is asked, shall nine colonies put it into the power of four to govern them as they please? I invert the question, and ask, shall two million of people put it into the power of one million to govern them as they please? It is pretended too, that the smaller colonies will be in danger from the greater. Speak in honest language, and say the minority will be in danger from the majority. And is there an assembly on earth where this danger may not be equally pretended? The truth is, that our proceedings will then be consentaneous with the interests of the majority; and so they ought to be. The probability is much greater that the larger States will disagree, than that they will combine. I defy the wit of man to invent a possible case, or to suggest any one thing on earth which shall be for the interest of Virginia, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, and which will not be for the interest also of the other States.

LETTERS

OF

JAMES MADISON,

PRECEDING THE DEBATES OF 1783.

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