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Founders / Framers Minute: Article 1, Section 3, Clause 1

Finally on July 23 after a failed vote to have 3 senators from each state, the convention settled on 2 senators supplied by the legislature of each state.

Founders / Framers Minute: Article 1, Section 3, Clause 1

Founders / Framers Minute

Article 1, Section 3, Clause 1

“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof1, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.”

by Cornel Rasor

On May 29, 1787 Edmund Randolph proposed a bicameral legislature with proportional representation for each house. The House would be popularly elected while the Senate would be composed of members nominated by the state legislatures of each state and then elected by the members of the lower house. Smaller states were concerned that their interest would be abrogated by the larger states. Debate was lively and even included a motion (not seconded), to have the state governor appoint the senators.

There was concern about government always evolving towards democracy. Randolph observed that “the general object was to provide a cure for the evils under which the U. S. laboured; that in tracing these evils to their origin every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy: that some check therefore was to be sought for agst. this tendency of our Governments: and that a good Senate seemed most likely to answer the purpose.”

On May 31 The Committee proceeded to Resolution 5, “that the second, (or senatorial) branch of the National Legislature ought to be chosen by the first branch out of persons nominated by the State Legislatures.” Mr. Spaight contended that the 2d. branch ought to be chosen by the State Legislatures and moved an amendment to that effect. Mr. King reminded: According to this idea, there must be 80 or 100 members to entitle Delaware to the choice of one of them.–Mr. Spaight withdrew his motion.

Votes resulted in deadlock: “So the clause was disagreed to & a chasm left in this part of the plan.”

A smaller number of senators was proposed and Randolph was “for offering such a check as to keep up the balance, and to restrain, if possible, the fury of democracy.”

The convention just couldn’t decide.

On June 7 the convention moved “that the members of the 2d. branch ought to be chosen by the individual Legislatures.” Still a proportional body, there remained concern that smaller states could be easily muted. By June 11 the idea of one senator for each state was being discussed. This failed on a vote of 5-6. The length of service was also debated with 7 years proposed, others suggested 3 years. Those favoring longer terms for the senate noted that this would provide stability. Those against were concerned at the mischief a bad senator could do with so long a term.

The debate dragged on with the idea of all states having an equal vote in the senate surfacing. One vote per state failed 5-5-1 on July 2 and concern was rising that the convention was exceeding its delegated powers.

On July 14 “Mr. Pinkney moved that instead of an equality of votes the States should be represented in the 2d branch with differing representation making in the whole 36.” This proposal failed 4-6.

Finally on July 23 after a failed vote to have 3 senators from each state, the convention settled on 2 senators supplied by the legislature of each state.

1Later changed by the 17th amendment

Founders / Framers Minute 1: Article I, Section 1

Founders / Framers Minute 2: Article I, Section 2, Clause 1-2

Founders / Framers Minute 3: Article I, Section 2, Clause 3a

Founders / Framers Minute 4: Article I, Section 2, Clause 3b

Founders / Framers Minute 5: Article I, Section 2, Clause 4

Founders / Framers Minute 6: Article I, Section 2, Clause 5


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4 Comments on Founders / Framers Minute: Article 1, Section 3, Clause 1

  1. Elaboration is what I think must fill this vacuum. Objection, after all, is absent.

    There is a silent minority.

    There is a silent majority.

    The fake government conflict (attributed to Madison, Hamilton, Adams, Washington, and other “Federalists”) is this fictional, scary, obscene, immoral, mob seeking to gain sovereign power over the intelligent, moral, knowledgeable, privileged, aristocratic, and capable elite.

    That is a cover-up.

    The real battle is a power struggle over which process works better for one of two groups: 1. Everyone, 2. A Faction: a part of the whole that creates a profitable monopoly at the expense of the other parts: organized crime under the color of law.

    When the process serves everyone rather than a faction then the process is based upon a principle known as the golden rule.

    Abigail Adams to John Adams Braintree, Mass., March 31, 1776
    “I have sometimes been ready to think that the passion for liberty cannot be equally strong in the breasts of those who have been accustomed to deprive their fellow creatures of theirs. Of this I am certain that it is not founded upon that generous and Christian principle of doing to others as we would that others should do unto us. . . . ”

    When the process is made with malice aforethought to disenfranchise a segment of the population that pays all the costs for those making the disenfranchised incapable of affording the process, there is then a real need for deception.

    People will not walk into a trap if they know better.

    “8 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction And do not forsake your mother’s teaching ; 9 Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head And ornaments about your neck. 10 My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. 11 If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait for blood, Let us ambush the innocent without cause ; 12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, Even whole, as those who go down to the pit ; 13 We will find all kinds of precious wealth, We will fill our houses with spoil ; 14 Throw in your lot with us, We shall all have one purse,” 15 My son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path, 16 For their feet run to evil And they hasten to shed blood. 17 Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net In the sight of any bird ; 18 But they lie in wait for their own blood ; They ambush their own lives. 19 So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence ; It takes away the life of its possessors.”

    Repetition may help:

    “…it is useless to spread the baited net In the sight of any bird…”

    Deception only works on the deceived, and deception works against the deceivers when the targets of deception are not deceived.

    The deceived are made to believe that the process is too complicated for average people to understand: justice is too costly.

    Why then are people still asked to sit on juries?

  2. “One vote per state failed 5-5-1 on July 2 and concern was rising that the convention was exceeding its delegated powers.”

    Those at the Con Con (Con Job) were exposed in the following report by Luther Martin at the Con Con:

    “The members of the convention from the States, came there under different powers; the greatest number, I believe, under powers nearly the same as those of the delegates of this State. Some came to the convention under the former appointment, authorizing the meeting of delegates merely to regulate trade. Those of the Delaware were expressly instructed to agree to no system, which should take away from the States that equality of suffrage secured by the original articles of confederation. Before I arrived, a number of rules had been adopted to regulate the proceedings of the convention, by one of which was to affect the whole Union. By another, the doors were to be shut, and the whole proceedings were to be kept secret; and so far did this rule extend, that we were thereby prevented from corresponding with gentlemen in the different States upon the subjects under our discussion; a circumstance, Sir, which, I confess, I greatly regretted. I had no idea, that all the wisdom, integrity, and virtue of this State, or of the others, were centered in the convention. I wished to have corresponded freely and confidentially with eminent political characters in my own and other States; not implicitly to be dictated to by them, but to give their sentiments due weight and consideration. So extremely solicitous were they, that their proceedings should not transpire, that the members were prohibited even from taking copies of resolutions, on which the convention were deliberating, or extracts of any kind from the journals, without formally moving for, and obtaining permission, by vote of the convention for that purpose.

    “But, Sir, it was to no purpose that the futility of their objections were shown, when driven from the pretense, that the equality of suffrage had been originally agreed to on principles of expediency and necessity; the representatives of the large States persisting in a declaration, that they would never agree to admit the smaller States to an equality of suffrage. In answer to this, they were informed, and informed in terms that most strong, and energetic that could possibly be used, that we never would agree to a system giving them the undue influence and superiority they proposed. That we would risk every possible consequence. That from anarchy and confusion, order might arise. That slavery was the worst that could ensue, and we considered the system proposed to be the most complete, most abject system of slavery that the wit of man ever devised, under pretense of forming a government for free States. That we never would submit tamely and servilely, to a present certain evil, in dread of a future, which might be imaginary; that we were sensible the eyes of our country and the world were upon us. That we would not labor under the imputation of being unwilling to form a strong and energetic federal government; but we would publish the system which we approved, and also that which we opposed, and leave it to our country, and the world at large, to judge between us, who best understood the rights of free men and free States, and who best advocated them; and to the same tribunal we could submit, who ought to be answerable for all the consequences, which might arise to the Union from the convention breaking up, without proposing any system to their constituents. During this debate we were threatened, that if we did not agree to the system propose, we never should have an opportunity of meeting in convention to deliberate on another, and this was frequently urged. In answer, we called upon them to show what was to prevent it, and from what quarter was our danger to proceed; was it from a foreign enemy? Our distance from Europe, and the political situation of that country, left us but little to fear. Was there any ambitious State or States, who, in violation of every sacred obligation, was preparing to enslave the other States, and raise itself to consequence on the ruin of the others? Or was there any such ambitious individual? We did not apprehend it to be the case; but suppose it to be true, it rendered it the more necessary, that we should sacredly guard against a system, which might enable all those ambitious views to be carried into effect, even under the sanction of the constitution and government. In fine, Sir, all those threats were treated with contempt, and they were told, that we apprehended but one reason to prevent the States meeting again in convention; that, when they discovered the part this convention had acted, and how much its members were abusing the trust reposed in them, the States would never trust another convention.”

    A modern-day version of a Con Con, whereby every globalist worth his or her salary is invited, could hardly do as much damage to free people in liberty as the criminal slave trading, con artist, central banking fraud, aristocrats did at the first Con Con, yet people still ignore both historical and current facts of this matter, like obedient lemmings.

    George Mason spelled it out well enough too:

    June 17, 1788
    George Mason:
    “Mr. Chairman, this is a fatal section, which has created more dangers than any other. The first clause allows the importation of slaves for twenty years. Under the royal government, this evil was looked upon as a great oppression, and many attempts were made to prevent it; but the interest of the African merchants prevented its prohibition. No sooner did the revolution take place, than it was thought of. It was one of the great causes of our separation from Great Britain. Its exclusion has been a principal object of this state, and most of the states in the Union. The augmentation of slaves weakens the states; and such a trade is diabolical in itself, and disgraceful to mankind; yet, by this Constitution, it is continued for twenty years. As much as I value a union of all the states, I would not admit the Southern States into the Union unless they agree to the discontinuance of this disgraceful trade, because it would bring weakness, and not strength, to the Union.”

    June 6, 1788
    George Mason:
    “Among the enumerated powers, Congress are to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, and to pay the debts, and to provide for the general welfare and common defence; and by that clause (so often called the sweeping clause) they are to make all laws necessary to execute those laws. Now, suppose oppressions {442} should arise under this government, and any writer should dare to stand forth, and expose to the community at large the abuses of those powers; could not Congress, under the idea of providing for the general welfare, and under their own construction, say that this was destroying the general peace, encouraging sedition, and poisoning the minds of the people? And could they not, in order to provide against this, lay a dangerous restriction On the press? Might they not even bring the trial of this restriction within the ten miles square, when there is no prohibition against it? Might they not thus destroy the trial by jury?”

    The criminals who stole the federal government were after our trial by jury.

    “The abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison thought the U.S. Constitution was the result of a terrible bargain between freedom and slavery. Calling the Constitution a “covenant with death” and “an agreement with Hell,” he refused to participate in American electoral politics because to do so meant supporting “the pro-slavery, war sanctioning Constitution of the United States.” Instead, under the slogan “No Union with Slaveholders,” the Garrisonians repeatedly argued for a dissolution of the Union.

    “Part of Garrison’s opposition to continuing the Union stemmed from a desire to avoid the corruption that came from participating in a government created by the proslavery Constitution. But this position was also at least theoretically pragmatic. The Garrisonians were convinced that the legal protection of slavery in the Constitution made political activity futile, while support for the Constitution merely strengthened the stranglehold slavery had on America. In 1845 Wendell Phillips pointed out that in the years since the adoption of the Constitution, Americans had witnessed “the slaves trebling in numbers—slaveholders monopolizing the offices and dictating the policy of the Government-prostituting the strength and influence of the Nation to the support of slavery here and elsewhere—trampling on the rights of the free States, and making the courts of the country their tools.” Phillips argued that this experience proved “that it is impossible for free and slave States to unite on any terms, without all becoming partners in the guilt and responsible for the sin of slavery.”

    “…making the courts of the country their tools…”

    Patrick Henry: “Here is a revolution as radical as that which separated us from Great Britain. It is radical in this transition; our rights and privileges are endangered, and the sovereignty of the states will be relinquished: And cannot we plainly see that this is actually the case? The rights of conscience, trial by jury, liberty of the press, all your immunities and franchises, all pretensions to human rights and privileges, are rendered insecure, if not lost, by this change, so loudly talked of by some, and inconsiderately by others.”

    “…concern was rising that the convention was exceeding its delegated powers…”

    That was not merely the “concern” for those in the Con Con, where doors were locked, gag orders were issued, and Rhode Island refused to attend. The criminals at the Con Con were exceeding their delegated powers. They had no authority to construct a National Government to replace the existing Federation. Congress, not a convention, was given that authority to alter the confederation, a power given by all the states unanimously, written into the Articles of that existing Confederation.

  3. When dealing with con men it is often experienced that they say one thing to get what they want: power, money, obedient slaves, and they do the opposite once they get that power. To claim that democracy and a republic are this, that, or the other thing, according to one or two con men begs the question: what did they want, and what were they willing to do to get what they want?

    If they wanted to get their slave trade subsidized instead of having it outlawed, then they might say just about anything or do anything (like enslaving people), to get that pork barrel political power flowing.

    Thomas Paine Rights of Man
    Chapter III
    Page 176

    “Mr. Burke is so little acquainted with constituent principles of government, that he confounds democracy and representation together. Representation was a thing unknown in the ancient democracies. In those the mass of the people met and enacted laws (grammatically speaking) in the first person. Simple democracy was no other than the common hall of the ancients. It signifies the form, as well as the public principle of the government. As those democracies increased in population, and the territory extended, the simple democratical form became unwieldy and impracticable; and as the system of representation was not known, the consequence was, they either degenerated convulsively into monarchies, or became absorbed into such as then existed. Had the system of representation been then understood, as it now is, there is no reason to believe that those forms of government, now called monarchical or aristocratical, would ever have taken place. It was the want of some method to consolidate the parts of society, after it became too populous, and too extensive for the simple democratical form, and also the lax and solitary condition of shepherds and herdsmen in other parts of the world, that afforded opportunities to those unnatural modes of government to begin.

    “As it is necessary to clear away the rubbish of errors, into which the subject of government has been thrown, I will proceed to remark on some others.

    “It has always been the political craft of courtiers and courtgovernments, to abuse something which they called republicanism; but what republicanism was, or is, they never attempt to explain. let us examine a little into this case.

    “The only forms of government are the democratical, the aristocratical, the monarchical, and what is now called the representative.

    “What is called a republic is not any particular form of government. It is wholly characteristical of the purport, matter or object for which government ought to be instituted, and on which it is to be employed, Res-Publica, the public affairs, or the public good; or, literally translated, the public thing. It is a word of a good original, referring to what ought to be the character and business of government; and in this sense it is naturally opposed to the word monarchy, which has a base original signification. It means arbitrary power in an individual person; in the exercise of which, himself, and not the res-publica, is the object.

    “Every government that does not act on the principle of a Republic, or in other words, that does not make the res-publica its whole and sole object, is not a good government. Republican government is no other than government established and conducted for the interest of the public, as well individually as collectively. It is not necessarily connected with any particular form, but it most naturally associates with the representative form, as being best calculated to secure the end for which a nation is at the expense of supporting it.

    “Various forms of government have affected to style themselves a republic. Poland calls itself a republic, which is an hereditary aristocracy, with what is called an elective monarchy. Holland calls itself a republic, which is chiefly aristocratical, with an hereditary stadtholdership. But the government of America, which is wholly on the system of representation, is the only real Republic, in character and in practice, that now exists. Its government has no other object than the public business of the nation, and therefore it is properly a republic; and the Americans have taken care that this, and no other, shall always be the object of their government, by their rejecting everything hereditary, and establishing governments on the system of representation only. Those who have said that a republic is not a form of government calculated for countries of great extent, mistook, in the first place, the business of a government, for a form of government; for the res-publica equally appertains to every extent of territory and population. And, in the second place, if they meant anything with respect to form, it was the simple democratical form, such as was the mode of government in the ancient democracies, in which there was no representation. The case, therefore, is not, that a republic cannot be extensive, but that it cannot be extensive on the simple democratical form; and the question naturally presents itself, What is the best form of government for conducting the Res-Publica, or the Public Business of a nation, after it becomes too extensive and populous for the simple democratical form? It cannot be monarchy, because monarchy is subject to an objection of the same amount to which the simple democratical form was subject.”

    That was one of the founders before the slave traders con job in 1787 through 1789, so as to subsidize slavery.

    And after:

    To the citizens of the United States by Thomas Paine
    November 15, 1802

    “But a faction, acting in disguise, was rising in America; they had lost sight of first principles. They were beginning to contemplate government as a profitable monopoly, and the people as hereditary property. It is, therefore, no wonder that the “Rights of Man” was attacked by that faction, and its author continually abused. But let them go on; give them rope enough and they will put an end to their own insignificance. There is too much common sense and independence in America to be long the dupe of any faction, foreign or domestic.

    “But, in the midst of the freedom we enjoy, the licentiousness of the papers called Federal (and I know not why they are called so, for they are in their principles anti-federal and despotic), is a dishonor to the character of the country, and an injury to its reputation and importance abroad. They represent the whole people of America as destitute of public principle and private manners.

    “As to any injury they can do at home to those whom they abuse, or service they can render to those who employ them, it is to be set down to the account of noisy nothingness. It is on themselves the disgrace recoils, for the reflection easily presents itself to every thinking mind, that those who abuse liberty when they possess it would abuse power could they obtain it; and, therefore, they may as well take as a general motto, for all such papers, we and our patrons are not fit to be trusted with power.

    “There is in America, more than in any other country, a large body of people who attend quietly to their farms, or follow their several occupations; who pay no regard to the clamors of anonymous scribblers, who think for themselves, and judge of government, not by the fury of newspaper writers, but by the prudent frugality of its measures, and the encouragement it gives to the improvement and prosperity of the country; and who, acting on their own judgment, never come forward in an election but on some important occasion.”

    And what did the actual democrats actually say about democracy?

    The Athenian Constitution:
    Government by Jury and Referendum

    “The practice of selecting government officials randomly (and the Athenians developed some fairly sophisticated mechanical gadgets to ensure that the selection really was random, and to make cheating extremely difficult) is one of the most distinctive features of the Athenian constitution. We think of electoral politics as the hallmark of democracy; but elections were almost unknown at Athens, because they were considered paradigmatically anti-democratic. Proposals to replace sortition with election were always condemned as moves in the direction of oligarchy.

    “Why? Well, as the Athenians saw it, under an electoral system no one can obtain political office unless he is already famous: this gives prominent politicians an unfair advantage over the average person. Elections, they thought, favor those wealthy enough to bribe the voters, powerful enough to intimidate the voters, flashy enough to impress the voters, or clever enough to deceive the voters. The most influential political leaders were usually Horsemen anyway, thanks to their social prominence and the political following they could obtain by dispensing largesse among the masses. (One politician, Kimon, won the loyalty of the poor by leaving his fields and orchards unfenced, inviting anyone who was hungry to take whatever he needed.) If seats on the Council had been filled by popular vote, the Horsemen would have disproportionately dominated it — just as, today, Congress is dominated by those who can afford expensive campaigns, either through their own resources or through wealthy cronies. Or, to take a similar example, in the United States women have had the vote for over half a century, and yet, despite being a majority of the population, they represent only a tiny minority of elected officials. Obviously, the persistence of male dominance in the economic and social sphere has translated into women mostly voting for male candidates. The Athenians guessed, probably rightly, that the analogous prestige of the upper classes would lead to commoners mostly voting for aristocrats.

    “That is why the Athenians saw elections as an oligarchical rather than a democratic phenomenon. Above all, the Athenians feared the prospect of government officials forming a privileged class with separate interests of their own. Through reliance on sortition, random selection by lot, the Council could be guaranteed to represent a fair cross-section of the Athenian people — a kind of proportional representation, as it were. Random selection ensured that those selected would be representatives of the people as a whole, whereas selection by vote made those selected into mere representatives of the majority.”

  4. The suggestion “there was concern about government always evolving towards democracy” seems a bit overstated. In fact, Randolph alone expressed that concern. Other Founders who spoke on the matter expressed no such concern.

    It is helpful to consider the explanation the Founders later offered in the Federalist Papers:

    “A pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction … such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention.

    “The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended.”*

    When most people say “democracy” they are describing any form of government in which all citizens have an equal vote. That includes a republic. And that is why it’s necessary to specify “pure” democracy when drawing a distinction.

    You can read the Founders elsewhere to find the danger they found in pure democracy was its tendency to suppress minority interests. After all, if a direct majority vote always wins then the minority inevitably loses. The republic exists to protect minority interests.
    * James Madison, Federalist No. 10:

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