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Mr. Randolph had great command of language and a voice of exceeding oratorical music. To these were to be added fine manners, portliness of person, and handsome features. He was thirtyfour when he sat in convention.
Who was Oliver Ellsworth?
A decentralist of Connecticut, and a deputy to the “Federal convention."
President Washington appointed him second
hief-Justice of the United States, and favored him as a successor in the presidential office. Mr. Ellsworth had been a member of the old Congress, and was a logical and convincing debater there and in the convention. He was cautious, self-possessed, retiring, but always independent in the expression of his opinions. He came to conclusions with great deliberation, and stood by them, but with gentlemanly tenacity. Although but forty-two, his rich political experience made him very influential among older members. His features were striking and agreeable, while the lower portion of his face denoted will power, and his head gave assurance of intellectuality.
Who was Charles Pinckney?
He was kinsman of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, also a delegate from South Carolina to
the convention. His precocity was remarkable. Twenty-seven years was his age, and yet he spoke with such force and occasional eloquence that his elders gave his argument great attention. Не participated in the debates on all important meas
Mr. Pinckney had served four years in the old Congress, was afterwards Governor of South Carolina, three times in the Senate of the United States, and Minister to Spain. He negotiated a treaty with Spain, in which that country renounced all right and title to the territory which the United States had purchased from France.
Who was William Patterson ?
A learned lawyer of New Jersey, and AttorneyGeneral for ten years, and deputy from that State to the “Federal convention.” Subsequently he was a Senator of the United States when the Constitution went into operation, and Justice of the Supreme Court. His plan of government brought him into much prominence in the convention.
Who was Alexander Hamilton ?
A native of St. Nevis, West Indies, born in 1756. He was a soldier of the Revolution, an accomplished jurist, an orator, fervid, logical, and pathetic. He was but thirty years of age when in the convention, but exhibited wonderful maturity. Although in size the smallest man in the convention, he was often the largest in mental prowess.
New York had lost her vote by the defection of two of Hamilton's colleagues, yet he remained to help as he could the framers in their arduous labors.
He was appointed first Secretary of the Treasury by Washington, and ended his life in a duel with Aaron Burr. Of the eighty-odd numbers of the “ Federalist," Hamilton wrote fifty-five, John Jay five, and Madison the rest. Curiously enough, biographers name as Hamilton's birthplace three islands, viz. : St. Kitt's, St. Croix, and St. Nevis, of the Lesser Antilles.
What was the vice of the Confederation ?
The States ordained, during war, in the Articles of Confederation, which was the first Constitution of the United States, a "perpetual Union," which in peace made them restive. They had asserted and achieved their freedom, independence, and sovereignty. No amendment could be made to the Articles unless by the unanimous consent of the States. Bondage was unendurable. The Articles of Confederation, having superseded the authority of Congress, had control over war and peace, yet exercised only advisory powers, being dependent on the States for executory coöperation.
The Articles did not provide for an executive or a judicial department. In civil matters, such as the collection of revenue, they were powerless as the States were powerful.
The Philadelphia convention proceeded to reform the vice of the Confederation by ordaining three coordinate departments of government, viz.: the legislative, executive, and judicial. Amendments were provided for by a vote of three-fourths of the States, whereas the Articles required, as before stated, unanimous consent.
What does the preamble mean by “a more perfect Union" ?
It means that “perpetual Union" not having saved the Confederacy from the peril of dissolution, a more “perfect Union,” based on mutual consent and compromise, would be the salvation of the States-Union, or the United States, as a grand confederation of equal and co-equal States, and both immediately and remotely “establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty.”
What was the fallacious argument of ChiefJustice Chase ?
In the celebrated case of Texas vs. White (7 Wall. 700), decided by the Supreme Court after the war, Chief Justice Chase said :
“ The Union of the States never was a purely artificial and arbitrary relation. . . It received definite form and character and sanction by the Articles of Confederation. By these the Union was solemnly declared to be perpetual. And when these Articles were found to be inadequate to the exigencies of the country, the Constitution was ordained to form 'a more perfect Union.' It is difficult to convey the idea of indissoluble unity more clearly than by these words. What can be indissoluble if a perpetual Union, made more perfect, is not? But the perpetuity and indissolubility of the Union by no means implies the loss of distinct and individual existence, or of the right of self-government by the States. may not be unreasonably said that the preservation of the States and the maintenance of their governments are as much within the design and care of the Constitution as the preservation of the Union and maintenance of the national government. The Constitution in all its provisions looks to an indestructible Union, composed of indestructible States. When, therefore, Texas be