Skip to comments.A Senate of the States: June 14th – June 18th, 1787
Posted on 10/23/2017 2:11:34 AM PDT by Jacquerie
June 14. William Patterson (NJ), spooked by the developing Virginia Plan, asked for a one-day adjournment to work on an improved federal design.
June 15. He submitted the New Jersey/Patterson Plan. The Committee of the Whole will take up the amended Virginia and New Jersey Plans tomorrow.
June 16. Since I previously blogged my observations of the New Jersey Plan here, I intended to overlook the proceedings of June 16th. However, the day had an impact on the issue of proportional v. equal representation of the states in the senate and is therefore worth a look.
John Lansing (NY) and William Patterson argued against a national, republican government in favor of a strengthened confederation. Were they serious, or was it a tactic to do away with the Virginia Plans proportional representation in the senate? Lansing appeared quite serious. He said NY wouldnt have sent delegates in the first place if the deliberations were to turn on a consolidation of the States, and a National Government. Along with fellow New Yorker Robert Yates, the two would soon abandon the convention in early July and leave NY without a voting delegation.
Lansing reasoned that congress did not authorize the convention to go beyond the federal form, meaning equality of the states in congress. Second, since the states rejected (by one state) a modest impost (tax on imported goods) power to congress in 1783, what were the chances of ratification considering the momentous changes contemplated at the convention? Lansing: The authority of Congress is familiar to the people, and an augmentation of the powers of Congress will be readily approved by them.
Patterson argued on similar grounds, then returned to equality amongst the states. First, federal representation, the equal footing of the corporate states
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