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Anti-Federalist 57

Will the House of Representatives Be Genuinely Representative? (Part 3)


The substantial and respectable part of the democracy- they are a numerous and valuable set of men, who discern and judge well, but from being generally silent in public assemblies are often overlooked. They are the most substantial and best informed men in the several towns, who occasionally fill the middle grades of offices, etc., who hold not a splendid, but respectable rank in private concerns. These men are extensively diffused through all the counties, towns and small districts in the union; even they, and their immediate connections, are raised above the majority of the people, and as representatives are only brought to a level with a more numerous part of the community, the middle orders, and a degree nearer the mass of the people. Hence it is, that the best practical representation, even in a small state, must be several degrees more aristocratical than the body of the people. A representation so formed as to admit but few or none of the third class, is in my opinion, of deserving of the name.....

Anti-Federalist 59

The Danger of Congressional Control of Elections

October 30, 1787 [VOX POPULI] (excerpt)

The Massachusetts Gazette:

Supposing Congress should direct, that the representatives of this commonwealth should be chosen all in one town, (Boston, for instance) on the first day of March - would not that be a very injurious institution to the good people of this commonwealth? Would not there be at least nine-tenths of the landed interest of this commonwealth entirely unrepresented? Surely one may reasonably imagine there would. What, then, would be the case if Congress should think proper to direct, that the elections should be held at the north-west, south-west, or north-east part of the state, the last day of March? How many electors would there attend the business? And it is a little remarkable, that any gentleman should suppose, that Congress could possibly be in any measure as good judges of the time, place and manner of elections as the legislatures of the several respective states....

Anti-Federalist 58

Will the House of Representatives Be Genuinely Represetative? (Part 4)


To palliate for the smallness of the representation, it is observed, that the state governments in which the people are fully represented, necessarily form a part of the system. This idea ought to be fully examined. We ought to inquire if the convention have made the proper use of these essential parts. The state governments then, we are told, will stand between the arbitrary exercise of power and the people. True they may, but armless and helpless, perhaps, with the privilege of making a noise when hurt. This is no more than individuals may do. Does the constitution provide a single check for a single measure by which the state governments can constitutionally and regularly check the arbitrary measures of congress? Congress may raise immediately fifty thousand men and twenty millions of dollars in taxes, build a navy, model the militia, etc., and all this constitutionally. Congress may arm on every point, and the state governments can do no more than an individual, by petition to congress....

Anti-Federalist 60

Will The Constitution Promote the Interests of Favorite Classes?

1788 [John F. Mercer] (excerpt)

Ratifying conventions of New York and Virginia:

We have not that permanent and fixed distinction of ranks or orders of men among us, which unalterably separating the interests and views, produces that division in pursuits which is the great security of the mixed Government we separated from and which we now seem so anxiously to copy. If the new Senate of the United States will be really opposite in their pursuits and views from the Representatives, have they not a most dangerous power of interesting foreign nations by Treaty [to] support Their views?-for instance, the relinquishment of the navigation of [the] Mississippi-and yet where Treaties are expressly declared paramount to the Constitutions of the several States, and being the supreme law, [the Senate] must of course control the national legislature, if not supersede the Constitution of the United States itself. The check of the President over a Body, with which he must act in concert-or his influence and power be almost annihilated-can prove no great constitutional security....

   Richard Henry Lee describing Article I Section 4