Small States Essays

But should that be the case, say these political empirics, we shall not have an equal representation. Because every class of people will not be represented.God knows that fools and knaves have voice enough in government already; it is to be hoped these wise prophesiers of evil would not wish to give them a constitutional privilege to send members in proportion to their numbers.

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In my address to you in the spring of 1766, on the subject of our political concerns, I promised at a future period to continue my observations; but was happy to find, that the general voice of the nation superseded the necessity of them.

The radical defects in the constitution of the confederate government, was too obvious to escape the notice of a sensible, enlightened people—they saw with concern the danger their former caution and jealousy had involved them in; and very wisely called a general Convention of the States to devise a plan to check the mischief of anarchy in its bud—happily for this country many of the wisest men and most distinguished characters, independent in their principles and circumstances, and disconnected with party influence, were appointed to the important trust; and their unanimity in the business affords a pleasing presage of the happiness that will result from their deliberation.

The tension between large and small states continues to be very present today in these matters.

Big countries tend to have big populations, economies, militaries, resources and ambitions.

Madison also returns to his previous argument, that the safety of the republic does not necessarily increase in direct proportion to the number of elected representatives.

Small States Essays Essays In Relation To Carriers And Loss Of Goods

He argues that in a large assembly, it is easy for a few powerful orators or demagogues to persuade the multitude of representatives to support a particular policy that may not be beneficial to the public good.It would, however, be a mistake to equate size with success.Some of the most successful countries in the world, in different fields of endeavour, are small countries. What I would like to do in this essay is to restore some balance to our perception of small countries.To divide the present union into at least five hundred independent sovereign states, build a council-house in the centre of each, and by a general law declare all the servants and apprentices free, and then let the multitude meet and govern themselves—or on the other hand, fall to the plain road of common sense, and govern the union by representatives in one collective council; as pointed-out in the system offered to your consideration: In the first you will possess popular liberty with a vengeance, and like a neighbor state, no man’s property will be secure, but each one defrauding his neighbor under the sanction of law,—thus subverting every principle of morality and religion.—In the second you will enjoy the blessing of a well balanced government, capable of inspiring credit and respectability abroad, and virtue, confidence, good order and harmony at home.—Should the Author have leisure to attend to it, the dangerous consequences that will inevitably flow from dividing the union, will be the subject of another paper.Summary Madison responds to concerns that the number of members of the House will not be increased as population growth demands.Madison presents several arguments for why this will not be in the case.Perhaps most importantly, the House, where larger states have the greatest influence, holds the power of the purse.If they mean by classes the different professions in the state, their plan is totally new, and it is to be feared the system once adopted, there would be no end to their democratical purity; to take in every profession from the Clergy to the Chimneysweep, will besides composing a motley assemblage of heterogeneous particles, enlarge the representation so that it will become burthensome to the Community; had the representation in Massachusetts been no larger than that in the proposed government of the Union, Shays would never have had a follower:—I think my judgment will not be impeached when I say that if our representation in this state was less, we should be better represented, and the public saved a very great expense—to judge of the future by the past, it is easy to perceive, that small states are as subject to aristocratic oppressions, as large ones; witness the small territory of Venice, at present the purest aristocracy in the world: Geneva, the circumference of which may be traversed in an hour’s march is now oppressed by a dangerous aristocracy; while the democratic branch of the legislature in England retains its primitive purity.Who was it that enslaved the extensive empire of Rome, but an abandoned democracy?Who defended the republic at the battle of Pharsallia, but the better sort of the people?Caesar can be considered in no other light than a more fortunate Cattiline, and the latter in no other than that of an ambitious demagogue attempting to ruin the Commonwealth, at the head of licentious democracy.


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