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Patrick Henry (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 2.15
eginning, the most serious difficulty in the way of ratification of the Constitution. It was probably this to which that sturdy patriot, Samuel Adams of Massachusetts, alluded, when he wrote to Richard Henry Lee, I stumble at the threshold. Patrick Henry, in the Virginia convention, on the third day of the session, and in the very opening of the debate, attacked it vehemently. He said, speaking of the system of government set forth in the proposed Constitution: That this is a consolidateas deposited by him, nine years afterward, among the archives of the State Department. It has since been published, and we can trace for ourselves the origin, and ascertain the exact significance, of that expression, We, the people, on which Patrick Henry thought the fate of America might depend, and which has been so grossly perverted in later years from its true intent. The original language of the preamble, reported to the convention by a committee of five appointed to prepare the Consti
New Hampshire (New Hampshire, United States) (search for this): chapter 2.15
nd we can trace for ourselves the origin, and ascertain the exact significance, of that expression, We, the people, on which Patrick Henry thought the fate of America might depend, and which has been so grossly perverted in later years from its true intent. The original language of the preamble, reported to the convention by a committee of five appointed to prepare the Constitution, as we find it in the proceedings of August 6, 1787, was as follows: We, the people of the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, do ordain, declare, and establish, the following Constitution for the government of ourselves and our posterity. There can be no question here what was meant: it was the people of the States, designated by name, that were to ordain, declare, and establish the compact of union for themselves and their poste
Maryland (Maryland, United States) (search for this): chapter 2.15
We, the people of the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, do ordain, declare, and establish, the following Constitution for the government of ourselves and our pos If, however, the Declaration of Independence constituted one whole people of the colonies, then that geographical section of it formerly known as the colony of Maryland was in a state of revolt or rebellion against the others, as well as against Great Britain, from 1778 to 1781, during which period Maryland refused to ratify or Maryland refused to ratify or be bound by the Articles of Confederation, which, according to this theory, was binding upon her, as a majority of the whole people had adopted it. A fortiori, North Carolina and Rhode Island were in a state of rebellion in 1789-‘90, while they declined to ratify and recognize the Constitution adopted by the other eleven fractions
Madison (Wisconsin, United States) (search for this): chapter 2.15
etween the existing and proposed governments is very material. The existing system has been derived from the dependent, derivative authority of the Legislatures of the States, whereas this is derived from the superior power of the people. Elliott's Debates (Washington edition, 1836), Vol. III, pp. 114, 115. It must be remembered that this was spoken by one of the leading members of the convention which formed the Constitution, within a few months after that instrument was drawn up. Madison's hearers could readily appreciate his clear answers to the objection made. The people intended were those of the respective states—the only organized communities of people exercising sovereign powers of government; the idea intended was the ratification and establishment of the Constitution by direct act of the people in their conventions, instead of by act of their legislatures, as in the adoption of the Articles of Confederation. The explanation seems to have been as satisfactory as it
Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania, United States) (search for this): chapter 2.15
he people, on which Patrick Henry thought the fate of America might depend, and which has been so grossly perverted in later years from its true intent. The original language of the preamble, reported to the convention by a committee of five appointed to prepare the Constitution, as we find it in the proceedings of August 6, 1787, was as follows: We, the people of the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, do ordain, declare, and establish, the following Constitution for the government of ourselves and our posterity. There can be no question here what was meant: it was the people of the States, designated by name, that were to ordain, declare, and establish the compact of union for themselves and their posterity. There is no ambiguity nor uncertainty in the language, nor was there any difference in the conventi
United States (United States) (search for this): chapter 2.15
to the Constitution we, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, esd establish this Constitution for the United States of America. The phraseology of this preamble eted as meaning that we, the people of the United States, as a collective body, or as a nation, in as obvious. The fate of this question and of America may depend on this. Have they said, We, the ion, We, the people, instead of the States of America. Ibid., p. 72. The same difficulty arose inernment established by the thirteen States of America, not through the intervention of the Legislate, on which Patrick Henry thought the fate of America might depend, and which has been so grossly pd, and the equivalent phrase people of the United States inserted in its place—plainly meaning the those grievances, without which the people of America can neither be safe, free, nor happy, it was it is in the expression the people of the United States in the preamble to the Constitution, and h[1 more...]
Connecticut (Connecticut, United States) (search for this): chapter 2.15
ificance, of that expression, We, the people, on which Patrick Henry thought the fate of America might depend, and which has been so grossly perverted in later years from its true intent. The original language of the preamble, reported to the convention by a committee of five appointed to prepare the Constitution, as we find it in the proceedings of August 6, 1787, was as follows: We, the people of the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, do ordain, declare, and establish, the following Constitution for the government of ourselves and our posterity. There can be no question here what was meant: it was the people of the States, designated by name, that were to ordain, declare, and establish the compact of union for themselves and their posterity. There is no ambiguity nor uncertainty in the language, nor was
Rhode Island (Rhode Island, United States) (search for this): chapter 2.15
amble, reported to the convention by a committee of five appointed to prepare the Constitution, as we find it in the proceedings of August 6, 1787, was as follows: We, the people of the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, do ordain, declare, and establish, the following Constitution for the government of ourselves and our po 1778 to 1781, during which period Maryland refused to ratify or be bound by the Articles of Confederation, which, according to this theory, was binding upon her, as a majority of the whole people had adopted it. A fortiori, North Carolina and Rhode Island were in a state of rebellion in 1789-‘90, while they declined to ratify and recognize the Constitution adopted by the other eleven fractions of this united people. Yet no hint of any such pretension—of any claim of authority over them by the
North Carolina (North Carolina, United States) (search for this): chapter 2.15
it in the proceedings of August 6, 1787, was as follows: We, the people of the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, do ordain, declare, and establish, the following Constitution for the government of ourselves and our posterity. There can be no question here what was meant: it was the people of the States, designated by nareat Britain, from 1778 to 1781, during which period Maryland refused to ratify or be bound by the Articles of Confederation, which, according to this theory, was binding upon her, as a majority of the whole people had adopted it. A fortiori, North Carolina and Rhode Island were in a state of rebellion in 1789-‘90, while they declined to ratify and recognize the Constitution adopted by the other eleven fractions of this united people. Yet no hint of any such pretension—of any claim of authority
England (United Kingdom) (search for this): chapter 2.15
he united colonies as a unit; overlooking or suppressing the fact that, in the very same sentence, the colonies declare themselves free and independent States—not a free and independent state—repeating the words independent States three times. If, however, the Declaration of Independence constituted one whole people of the colonies, then that geographical section of it formerly known as the colony of Maryland was in a state of revolt or rebellion against the others, as well as against Great Britain, from 1778 to 1781, during which period Maryland refused to ratify or be bound by the Articles of Confederation, which, according to this theory, was binding upon her, as a majority of the whole people had adopted it. A fortiori, North Carolina and Rhode Island were in a state of rebellion in 1789-‘90, while they declined to ratify and recognize the Constitution adopted by the other eleven fractions of this united people. Yet no hint of any such pretension—of any claim of authority ove
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