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The Political Structure of Constitution Making: The Federal Convention of 1787 Author(s): Calvin C. Jillson

The Political Structure of Constitution Making: The Federal Convention of 1787 Author(s): Calvin C. Jillson and Cecil L. Eubanks Reviewed work(s):

Source: American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 28, No. 3 (Aug., 1984), pp. 435-458 Published by: Midwest Political Science Association

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ThePoliticalStructureofConstitutionMaking:

TheFederalConventionof1787*

CalvinC. Jillson,LouisianaStateUniversity Cecil L. Eubanks,LouisianaStateUniversity

The authorscontendthatourunderstandingoftheFederalConventionandof theConstitution thatitproducedhasbeensubstantiallyandunnecessarilycloudedbyan ancientdisputebetweenthe

adherentsoftwoverybroadtraditionsofpoliticalanalysis.A "rationalist"lineofinterpretationhas

consistentlyarguedforthecentralityofideasandpoliticalprinciplestotheoutcomeoftheConven-

tion'sdebates,whilea "materialist"traditionhas consistentlystressedtheimportanceof practical politicsand economicinterests.The authorsintegratethesealternativetraditionsof analysisand explanationbydemonstratingthata dynamicrelationshipofmutualinterdependenceexistedbetween philosophicaland materialinfluencesin theConvention.The authorsdemonstrate,throughboth empiricalandinterpretivemeans,that,althoughquestionsofbothphilosophicalandmaterialcontent and importwerebeforetheConventionthroughout,questionsof each generaltypedominatedthe

Convention'sattentionduringparticularphasesofitswork.Therefore,thefocusofdebateanddeci-

sion,as wellas thevotingcoalitionsthatconfrontedone anotherovertheissuesunderdiscussion,

wereorganizedaroundsharedprinciplesat somestages,whileat othertimestheywereorganized aroundconflictingmaterialinterests.

Eversincemenbeganreflectingonpoliticstheyhaveoscillatedbetweentwo diametricallyopposedinterpretations.Accordingtoone,politicsis conflict. , politicsis an efforttobringabouttherule

oforderandjustice.

-Maurice Duverger(1966,p. xii)

Introduction

ThisstudycontendsthatourunderstandingoftheFederalConventionandof theConstitutionthatitproducedhasbeensubstantiallyandunnecessarilyclouded byan ancientdisputebetweentheadherentsoftwoverybroadtraditionsofpolit-

ical analysis.RobertDahl locatedtheepistemologicalsourceofthisintellectual disputebyidentifying"twofundamentallydifferenttypes"ofexplanationforthe

relationshipbetweenpoliticalinstitutionsandthebroadersocioeconomicandcul-

turalcontextswithinwhichtheyrise.Dahl (1963) hasarguedthat"a Rationalist

givesprimacyto thewaymenthinkaboutpolitics

But

*Earlierversionsof thispaperwerepresentedbeforetheLSU PoliticalScienceDepartment's

colloquiumon "The Studyof Politicsin theSocial Sciences" and at the1982 SouthernPolitical

ScienceAssociationmeetings.Weareverygratefultothemanyfriendsandcolleagueswhocontrib-

utedvariousformsofsupport,counsel,andencouragementduringitsdevelopment.Specialthanksgo

toThorntonAnderson,LarryDodd,LeroyRieselbach,VincentOstrom,WilliamRiker,EricUslaner,

ChrisWolfe,JimBolner,RobertBecker,VanCrabb,LanceBrouthers,andRickWilson.

436 CalvinC. Jillsonand CecilL. Eubanks

sincemendo nothaveequal power,itis thephilosophicalbeliefsoftherulers

thatare[treatedas] particularlycritical

thewaypeoplethinkaboutpoliticsis a rationalizationordefenseofthe political,social, andeconomicinstitutionsthattheythinkwill maximizetheir ownmaterialinterests"(pp. 107-8). Because rationalistandmaterialistexpla- nationsofpoliticsandpoliticalbehaviorarebased in radicallydifferentepiste- mologicaltraditions,theyhavefrequentlybeenviewedas mutuallyexclusiveby devoteeswhoadheretothemwithideologicalfervor. WearguethattheimpactofthisdisputeonstudiesoftheFederalConvention hasbeenbothclearandalmostwhollyunfortunate.Onelineofinterpretationhas consistentlyarguedforthecentralityofideasandpoliticalprinciplesto theout- comeoftheConvention'sdebates,whiletheotherhasstressedtheimportanceof practicalpoliticsandeconomicinterests. Inthisstudyweattempttointegratethesealternativetraditionsofexplanation

andanalysisbydemonstratingthata dynamicrelationshipofmutualinterdepen- denceexistedbetweenphilosophicaland materialinfluencesin theConvention. Ourthesisis thatprinciplesguidedactionon distinguishabletypesofquestions, whileonothersetsofquestionspersonal,state,andregionalinterestsencroached upon,andinsomecases overwhelmedandsubordinated,theindependentimpact ofideas. Moreimportantly,we demonstratethatquestionsofeach generaltype dominatedtheConvention'sattentionduringparticularphasesofitswork,so that at some stages,thedominantvotingcoalitionswereorganizedaroundshared principles,whileat othertimesthedominantcoalitionswereorganizedaround conflictingmaterialinterests.

A Materialistexplanation

holds

ConflictingInterpretations:PrincipleversusInterest

AmericansenteredthetwentiethcenturyconvincedthatBritishPrimeMin-

isterWilliamGladstonehadcapturedthespecialcharacteroftheAmericanCon-

stitutionindescribingitas "themostwonderfulworkeverstruckoffata given timebythebrainandpurposeofman" (Smith,1980,p. 94). Yet,less thana decadeintothenewcentury,J.AllenSmith(1907) setthetoneforan explicitly materialistinterpretationoftheConvention'sworkbyarguingthat"theAmerican schemeofgovernmentwas plannedand setup toperpetuatetheascendancyof theproperty-holdingclass" (p. 298). CharlesA. Beard(1913) elaboratedthis "economicinterpretation"ofthemotivesoftheFramersandtheoutcomeoftheir deliberations.He concludedthat"the membersof thePhiladelphiaConvention whichdraftedtheConstitutionwere,witha fewexceptions,immediately,directly, andpersonallyinterestedin, andderivedeconomicadvantagesfrom,theestab- lishmentofthenewsystem"(1913, p. 324). Bymid-century,thechargesagainsttheFoundershadbecomelesspersonal, butnolessmaterialistincharacter.JohnP.Roche(1961) appliedtheassumptions ofdemocraticpluralismtohisanalysisoftheConventionandconcludedthatthe Constitutionwas no morethana particularlyimpressiveexampleof "political improvisation"(p. 810). Itwas "a patchworksewntogetherunderthepressure

POLITICAL

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MAKING

437

ofbothtimeandeventsbya groupofextremelytalenteddemocraticpoliticians"

(p. 815). ThoughRochedidnotintendhisreadingto "suggestthattheConsti-

tutionrestedon a foundationofimpureorbasemotives"(p. 801) manyanalysts fearedthatthecumulativeimpactofhis andothermaterialistinterpretationsof theFoundinghaddiminishedthenation'ssenseofdirectionandpurpose.Walter Lippmann(1955) concludedthat"thepublicphilosophy[thatguidedthenation's earlydevelopment]is in largemeasureintellectuallydiscreditedamongcontem- The signsand seals of legitimacy,or rightnessand of truth, thedoctrineofconstitutionalde-

mocracy"(pp. 136-37). The recoveryof a soundand effective"publicphilosophy"did notcome quickly.FullytwentyyearsafterLippmannwrote,MartinDiamond(1976) was forcedto concludethat"the old rootAmericanideashavebeenchallengedon

nearlyeveryfrontandcastintodoubtbythemostpowerfulcontemporaryintel-

lectualcurrents"(p. 3). In defenseoftheFoundersandthepoliticalsystemthat

theycreated,Diamondadoptedandpromoteda viewthatclearly,evencombat-

ively,emphasizedtheimpactofideasandpoliticalprinciplesovermaterialinter-

estsin theConvention.He arguedthat"the Conventionsuppliesa remarkable

exampleof

ters"(Diamond,1981,p. 30). In Diamond'sview,"thedebateovertheConsti- tutionwas a climacticencounterbetweentworivalpoliticaltheoriesofhowthe

endsofdemocraticconsent,libertyandcompetentgovernmentcan bestbe ob-

tained"(1981,p. 54). DespitetheprofoundimpactofDiamond'sworkonmany studentsof Americanpoliticalideas and institutions,othershavecontinuedto embracethepredominatelymaterialistviewthatwe haveidentifiedwithSmith, Beard,andRoche. Despitethepersistenceofthislong-standingdisputewithinthetraditionof constitutionalstudies,we taketheview of MauriceDuvergerthatpoliticsis "alwaysandat all timesboththeinstrumentbywhichcertaingroupsdominate

ofachievingsomeintegrationoftheindividual

howtheoreticalmattersgovernthedispositionofpracticalmat-

andalso a

intothecollectivityforthegeneralgood" (1966, p. xiii). Therefore,we seekto

demonstratethatdebatemoved,betweentwolevelsofconstitutionalconstruction andthattheselevelsrepresentedsignificantshiftsin therelativeimportanceof politicalprinciplesandmaterialinterestsintheConvention. ThisreadingoftheConvention'sworkhasbeengivenimpressivetheoretical supportbytwoimportantanalyticaldistinctionsconcerningthelogicalstructure of constitutionalchoicemadesometwentyyearsago by JamesBuchananand GordonTullockandelaboratedmorerecentlybyVincentOstrom.Buchananand Tullock(1962) begantheirattempttodevelopa "positive"or"economictheory ofconstitutions"bydistinguishingbetweenthe"operational"levelofpractical

politicsandthe"ultimateconstitutionallevelofdecision-making"(p. 6). Ostrom (1979) hasexpandedonthisdistinctionbyexplainingthatchoiceat "theconsti- tutionallevelfocusesuponalternativesetsofrulesorinstitutionalarrangements

438 CalvinC. JillsonandCecilL. Eubanks

operationallevel,on theotherhand,"one is concernedwithwhogetswhat, when,andhow,"andatthislevel,"theprimarypreoccupationofinquiryis with theplayofthepoliticalgamewithina givensetofrules"(ibid.,p. 1). Whenconcernfocusesexclusivelyuponchoiceanddecisionat theconsti- tutionallevel,BuchananandTullock(1962) suggestthattheconstitution-maker mustaddresstworelatedbutanalyticallydistinctsetsof issuesor questions. "Individualschoose,firstofall, thefundamentalorganizationofactivity.Sec-

ondly,theychoosethedecision-makingrules"(BuchananandTullock,1962,p.

210). Thisdistinctionhighlightsthefactthatthefirstorderofbusinessduring constitutionalconstructionis toaddresswhat,inthisessay,wewillcall "higher" levelquestionsofregimetypeandofthebasicoptionsforinstitutionaldesign. Onlywhenthesedecisionshavebeenmadedoeschoicepasstowhatwewillrefer toas a "lower" levelofconstitutionaldesign,wherethedecisionrulesthatwill regulateandorderbehaviorwithintheregime'sprimaryinstitutionsareselected. These"lower"levelchoicesspecifythewaysinwhichlateroperationaldecisions willbe made,bywhom,andoverwhatrangeofissues. At the"higher"level,theconstitution-makerwrestleswithgeneralques- tionsconcerningthescope,scale,andformappropriatetogovernment.Willthe regimebe an aristocratic,democratic,or mixedrepublic?Will thegovernment havea legislativeor an executivefocus?Will its legislaturebe bicameralor unicameral?Willitsexecutivebe one manor several?Thesequestionsare less likelytobe decidedwithreferencetotheeconomicstatus,socialrole,ormaterial characteristicsoftheconstitution-makerthanwithreferencetohisphilosophical assumptionsconcerningtheinterplayamonghumannature,politicalinstitutions, andthegoodsociety. As thegeneralinstitutionaldesignand therelationshipsthatwill pertain amongitscomponentpartsbecomeclear,theindividualconstitution-makermoves closertotherealmofpracticalpolitics.Thequestionsthatdominatethis"lower" levelofconstitutionaldesignconcerntheregulationofpoliticalbehaviorthrough rulesgoverningsuchspecificmattersas citizenship,suffrageandvoting,eligi- bilityto office,andrepresentation.The choicesmadeconcerningthesematters determinethecontextofday-to-daypoliticsat theoperationalorpracticallevel. Therefore,questionsatthislevelaremuchmorelikelytobe decidedwithdirect referencetothepolitical,economic,andsocialcharacteristicsofthechooser,his state,orhisregionthanwithreferencetohisphilosophicalprinciples. Ourintentioninthisessayis tosuggestthatthedivisionofscholarlyanalysis intorationalistversusmaterialistorprincipleversusinterestinterpretationsofthe Convention'sworkderivesfroma tendencyofscholarsto focuson one levelof constitutionalchoiceortheother.Thosewhopositthedominanceofideasinthe Conventionhaveconcentratedtheirattentionalmostexclusivelyonthe"higher" levelofconstitutionalchoice,wherethegroupis choosingamongregimetypes (as inextendedversussmallrepublicforms).Thoseanalystswhopositthedom- inanceofinterestsin theConventionhavefocusedon questionsat the"lower" levelof constitutionalchoice,wheredebateoverspecificdecisionrules(as in

POLITICAL

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439

proportionalversusequal representationin thelegislature)tendsto bearmuch moretheinterest-lacedcharacterofpracticalpolitics. Further,we showthatwhentheConventionconcentratedon "higher"level questionsof constitutionaldesign,coalitionsformedalonglinesof intellectual cleavage.DuringthesephasesoftheConvention'swork,thedelegatesfromthe morenationallyorientedMiddleAtlanticstatesopposedthemorelocallyoriented delegatesrepresentingthenorthernandsouthernperiphery.Whenthefocusshifted to"lower"levelchoicesamongspecificdecisionrules,eachofwhichrepresented an alternativedistributionofauthoritywithinandovertheinstitutionsofgovern- ment,thestatessplitalonglinesdefinedbyeconomicandgeographicinterest, statesize (largeversussmall),andregion(NorthversusSouth).

The ExtendedRepublicversusTraditionalRepublicanism:

Powerand Principle

TheConvention'sfirsttwoweeksofsubstantivedebate,29 Mayto9 June, saw a fundamentallyimportantclashofideasat the"higher"levelofconstitu- tionalchoice(Jensen,1964,p. 43; Smith,1965,pp. 36-41). In broadoutlines verysimilarto thosesketchedbyMartinDiamond,DouglassAdair(1957) has arguedthattheAmericanConstitutionwasbornina clashbetweena newscience of republicanpolitics,spawnedby theScottishEnlightenment,and traditional republicanism.In addition,Adaircontendedthat"the mostcreativeandphilo- sophicaldiscipleoftheScottishschoolofscienceandpoliticsinthePhiladelphia ConventionwasJamesMadison,"and"his wasthatthesize oftheUnitedStatesanditsvarietyofinterestscouldbe madea guaranteeof stabilityand justiceundera new constitution"(1957, p. 346). Madison'stheoryof the "extendedrepublic"soughtto offera positivenew approachto providing"a republicanremedyforthediseasesmostincidentto republicangovernment"(Earle,1937,p. 62).

Nonetheless,Madison's"newscience"metsubstantialoppositionfromdel-

egateswhoclungtothetraditionalrepublicanismthathadinformedtheRevolu-

tion,theearlystateconstitutions,andtheArticlesofConfederation.As Martin Diamond(1972) correctlynoted:"The mainthrustof theoppositionresulted fromthemoregeneralargumentthatonlythestategovernments(smallrepublics), notsomehugecentralgovernment,couldbe madeeffectivelyfreeandrepubli-

can" (p. 635). Thesealternativevisionsoftheappropriatescopeand scale forrepublican governmentdidnotstandonequaltermsas theConventionopened.Aftera decade of upheavaland turbulenceat thestateleveland impotenceat thelevelof the Confederation,traditionalrepublicansolutionshad come to be questionedby nearlyeveryoneandrejectedbymany.WhereasMadisonarrivedinPhiladelphia witha newunderstandingof thegoverningpotentialinherentin therepublican

form,thetraditionalrepublicansarrivedclingingtooldnostrumswhosecredibil-

ityseemedclearlyto be on thewane.Cecilia Kenyon(1955) has capturedthe predicamentofthesedispiritedrepublicansbydescribingthemas "menoflittle

440 CalvinC. JillsonandCecilL. Eubanks

faith"(p. 3). Perhapsmoretothepoint,theywere"menofshakenfaith,"men whosepoliticalprinciplesmanynowthoughtmoreappropriateto spawninga revolutionthanto providingtheproperbasisforjustand stablerepublicangov- ernment(Wood,1969,pp. 396-413). JamesMadisonandthosemembersoftheConventionwhosoughttoenhance dramaticallytheauthorityand independenceofthenationalgovernmentmoved decisivelyandsuccessfullytocapturetheConvention'sagendaandtherewithto setthetoneofitsdeliberations.Theadoption,on29 May,ofMadison'sVirginia Plan gave the "extendedrepublic"menan initialedge because theirgeneral principlesobviouslyunderlayitsspecificprovisions.On 30 May,theysoughtto solidifythispotentialadvantagebyputtingtheConventionon recordin favorof radicalchange.Therefore,EdmundRandolphmoved"thata nationalGovern-

ment[oughttobe established]consistingofa supremeLegislative,Executiveand Judiciary"(Farrand,1911,vol. 1, p. 33). Manydelegatessympathizedwiththisrootandbranchapproach,butothers

werewary,preferringtheincrementalapproachtotheConvention'sbusinessenun-

ciatedbyJohnDickinsonofDelaware.Dickinsonsimplythoughtthatwholesale

changewasunnecessary."We

is defective;andthenproceedtothedefinitionofsuchpowersas maybe thought

adequatetotheobjectsforwhichitwasinstituted

thattheconfederation

Theenquiryshouldbe-

1. Whatarethelegislativepowerswhichwe shouldvestinCongress.

2. Whatjudiciarypowers.

3. Whatexecutivepowers"(Farrand,1911,vol. 1, p. 42).

Table1 highlightsthedramaticdivisionwithintheConventionoverhowto proceedand overthepurposesand intentionsthatunderlaythealternativeap- proaches.Theextendedrepublicmen(factor1) soughttoundertakeimmediately theradicalchangesnecessarytoinstitutea trulynationalgovernment,whilethe smallrepublicmen(factor2) favoredincrementalchangesintheexistingConfed- eration.Thefactthatnearlytwo-thirds(64.3 percent)ofthevarianceintheroll- call votingovertheConvention'sfirsttwoweeksis capturedbythistwo-factor solutionindicatesthatthiscleavagewasbothdeepandstable.

TheextendedrepublicmenfromtheMiddleAtlanticregion,ledbyVirgin-

ia's MadisonandbyPennsylvania'sJamesWilsonandRobertMorris,obviously heldtheearlyinitiative.Thislargelyreflectedthefactthatthesmallrepublicmen hadyetto formulatean acceptablebalancebetweennationalandstateauthority thatcouldbe offeredas a coherentalternativetoMadison'sVirginiaPlan. As a

consequence,theiroppositionlackedtheconvictionandcohesionthatcharacter-

ized thesupportforMadison'sextendedrepublic.Thisuncertaintywas evident in thefactthattwoofthesmallrepublicdelegations,MassachusettsandNorth Carolina,gave substantialsupportto theextendedrepubliccause. These two statessplittheirsupportalmostevenlybetweenthetwofactors,whilenostateon thefirstfactorprovidedevenmodestsupportfortheincrementalapproachfavored bythesmallrepublicmen.

POLITICAL

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MAKING

441

ExtendedRepublicversusSmallRepublic:PowerandPrinciple-Two-Factor SolutionforRoll-CallVotes1-36, 29 May-9June,VarimaxRotation(Ortho)

1

ExtendedRepublic

2

SmallRepublic

h2

NewHampshire

absent

absent

absent

Massachusetts

(.60)

(.67)

.81

Connecticut

-.21

(.63)

.44

New York

(.76)

.29

.66

NewJersey

absent

absent

absent

Pennsylvania

(.82)

-.10

.68

Delaware

(.70)

.08

.49

Maryland

(.77)

-.12

.60

Virginia

(.66)

.32

.54

NorthCarolina

(.51)

(.68)

.73

SouthCarolina

-.04

(.86)

.74

Georgia

.27

(.81)

.73

Sumofsquares

3.50

2.93

6.43

Percentageofvariance

explained

35.00

29.30

64.30

NOTE:The followingdefinitionsmayhelpthosewhoare notfamiliarwithfactoranalysisto interpretthetableaboveandthosewhichfollow.The columnsheadedbynumbersandtitlescontain

factorloadings."The

inwhatfactor(coalitionofstatevotingdelegations)andtowhatdegree.Theyarecorrelationcoeffi-

cientsbetweenvariablesandfactors"(Rummel,1970,p. 137). "The theportionofa variable's(state's)totalvariancethatis accountedforbythefactorsandis thesum ofthesquaredloadingsfora variable"(Rummel,1970,p. 142). Parenthesesidentifythestatesthat achievefullcoalitionmembership,definedas factorloadingsof.50 orhigher.See themethodological appendixfora briefdiscussionofthefactormodelemployedinthisstudy.

measurewhichvariables(statevotingdelegations)areinvolved

Madison'svisionof a greatcommercialrepublic,ruledby a powerfulna- tionalgovernmentthatwouldregulatewithcompetenceandjusticetheactivities of theseveralstates,was directlychallengedbyJohnDickinsonon 2 June.In Dickinson'sview,thecriticalproblemposedbygovernmentina freesocietywas

thedangerthatauthoritymightconcentrateandbecometyrannical(Bailyn,1969,

pp. 55-93). To minimizethisconstantdanger,Dickinsonargued,thenational governmentshouldremainweakand "the Legislative,Executive,& Judiciary departmentsoughtto be madeas independent[separate]as possible" (Farrand, 1911,vol. 1, p. 86). On 4 June,MadisonsetaboutdismantlingDickinson'sargumentthatthe defenseof republicanlibertyrequireda strictseparationofresponsibilitiesbe- tweenthedepartmentsof a modestlyempowerednationalgovernment.In this

442 CalvinC. JillsonandCecilL. Eubanks

importantspeech,Madisoncarefullypresentedandexplainedthetheoreticalun-

derpinningsofhis"extendedrepublic."WilliamPierceofGeorgiarecordedthat

"Mr. Madisonina

provedthattheonlyway

to makea Governmentanswerall theend of its institutionwas to collectthe

wisdomofitsseveralpartsinaid ofeachother[byblurringa pureseparationof

powers]wheneveritwasnecessary"(Farrand,1911,vol. 1, pp. 110). Bystress- ingtheprincipleof "checksand balances" as a supplementand buttressto a strict"separationofpowers,"theextendedrepublicmensoughttocreatea gov- ernmentalstructureinwhicheachdepartmentwasfullycapableofandmotivated toself-defense.Iftheintegrityofthestructureanditsabilitytoforestalltyranny by maintainingseparatecentersof powercouldbe dependedupon,thengreat powercouldbe giventothenationalgovernmentintheknowledgethatonebranch wouldcheckpotentialabusesoftheother. As thefullimplicationsofMadison'sprogrambecameclearertothesmall republicmen,theystruggledwithincreasingdeterminationagainsttheideathat substantialauthorityatthenationallevelcouldbe eithernecessaryorsafe.On 6 June,RogerShermancontendedthatgreatpowercouldnotbe wellusedbecause

"the objectsof

Moreover,greatpowershouldnotbe housedat thenationallevelbecausemost

"matterscivil & criminalwouldbe

werefew" (Farrand,1911, vol. 1, p. 133).

muchbetterin thehandsof theStates"

(ibid.).Therefore,Shermanconcluded,"theGenl.Government[should]be a sort ofcollateralGovernmentwhichshallsecuretheStatesinparticulardifficulties.

I am againsta Genl. Governmentand in favorof theindependenceand confederationoftheStates"(ibid.,pp. 142-43). MadisonmetSherman'soppositiontoa "Genl.Government"bychallenging hisassumptionthattheresponsibilitiesofthenationalgovernmentwouldbe few. In additiontothoseobjectsnotedbySherman(defense,commerce,anddisputes betweenthestates),Madison"combinedwiththemthenecessity,ofproviding moreeffectuallyforthesecurityofprivaterights,andthesteadydispensationof Justice"(Farrand,1911, vol. 1, p. 134). Most of thedelegatesagreedwhen Madisonarguedthatinterestedlocal majoritieshad been "the sourceof these unjustlawscomplainedofamongourselves"(p. 135). Madisonproposeda so- lutionto theproblemof majoritytyrannythatfewothersunderstoodand that manysawas dangerouslyspeculative."The onlyremedyis toenlargethesphere

as faras thenatureof Governmentwouldadmit

This [is] theonly

defenseagainsttheinconveniencesofdemocracyconsistentwiththedemocratic formofGovernment"(p. 136). Madison'sopponentsknewthatadditionalpowerswouldhavetobe granted to a centralgovernment,buttheidea of a trulynationalgovernmentclashed directlywiththephilosophicalassumptionswithwhichthey(andmostAmericans withthem)hadbeenoperatingsincebeforetherevolution.Yet,bereftofviable alternatives,these"menofshakenfaith"couldopposeonlyhalf-heartedlywhen

Madisoncontendedthat"it wasincumbenton [them]totrythis[extendedrepub-

lic] remedy,and

toframea republicansystemon sucha scale & in sucha

POLITICAL

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443

formas willcontrolall theevilswhichhavebee-nexperienced"(Farrand,1911, vol. 1, p. 136). Whiletheconflictremainedat this"higher"levelofconstitu- tionalchoice,thesmallrepublicmencast aboutforalternativesto Madison's frighteninglyradicalapproach.Nonecamereadilyto hand(Diamond,1981,p.

27).

Large StatesversusSmall States:Powerand Interest

On 7 Junethetenorof thequestionsbeforetheConventionbeganto drift fromthehighplaneoftheorytotheroughandtumbleofpractical,interest-driven powerpolitics.Dickinsonopenedthediscussionon7 Junebyrestatingthemodest commitmentof thesmallrepublicmento "the preservationof theStatesin a certaindegreeof agency"(Farrand,1911, vol. 1, p. 153). JamesWilson,on behalfof thesupportersof theVirginiaPlan, observedthatthe "doubtsand

difficulties"surroundingtheplaceofthestategovernmentsintheproposedsys-

temderivedfromthethreatthattheyseemedto pose to theindependenceand

effectivenessofthenationalgovernment;"he wishedtokeepthemfromdevouring thenationalGovernment"(ibid.).

ThosedelegateswhofollowedthelogicofMadison'sextendedrepublicex-

pectedanyinitiativeleftwiththestategovernmentsto be misused.Theirtheo-

reticalprinciplestoldthemthatsmallrepublicshadalwaysbeenviolentandshort-

livedbecauseinterestedlocalmajorities,possessedofthemeans,invariablyacted

unjustly.Therefore,CharlesPinckneyproposed"thattheNationalLegislature

shouldhaveauthoritytonegativeall [State]Laws whichtheyshouldjudgetobe improper"(Farrand,1911, vol. 1, p. 164). MadisonsecondedthePinckney motion,sayingthathe "could notbutregardan indefinitepower[Pinckneyhad calledita "universalityofpower"]to negativelegislativeactsoftheStatesas absolutelynecessarytoa perfectsystem"(ibid.). ElbridgeGerry,GunningBedford,andWilliamPatersonsprangto thede- fenseofthestates.Gerryscornfullyrejectedtheideaof "an indefinitepowerto negativelegislativeactsoftheStates"as theworkof"speculativeprojector(s)" whosetheoryhad overwhelmedtheirexperienceand theirjudgment(Farrand, 1911,vol. 1, pp. 164-65). Bedfordremindedhis smallstatecolleaguesofthe dangersinherentinsucha plan.PatersonreinforcedBedford'sremarksbyholding up "Virginia,Massachusetts,andPennsylvaniaas thethreelargeStates,andthe othertenas smallones" (p. 178). He concludedthat"thesmallStateswillhave

everythingto fear

New Jerseywill neverconfederateon theplan beforethe

Committee.She wouldbe swallowedup" (ibid., pp. 178-79). JamesWilson respondedin kindforthelargestates.He saidthat"if thesmallStates[would] notconfederateonthisplan,Pennsylvaniaand[hepresumed]someotherStates, wouldnotconfederateonanyother"(ibid.,p. 180).Thisexchangeindicateshow

quicklyanddecisivelytheConvention'sfocusshiftedfromgeneraltheoriesabout

thenatureofrepublicangovernmenttotheimpactofvariousmodesofrepresen-

tationon particularstatesandregions.It also highlightstheinterest-lacedchar-

444 CalvinC. Jillsonand CecilL. Eubanks

acter(who getswhat,when,and how) of discussionat the "lower" levelof constitutionalchoice. Table2 showshowdramaticallythevotingalignmentschangedwhenthe Convention'sattentionshiftedfrom"higher"to "lower" levelquestionsofcon- stitutionalchoice.DuringtheConvention'sfirsttwoweeks,thestatesoftheDeep South(theCarolinasandGeorgia)hadbeenwaryofMadison'splantoplacegreat

poweratthenationallevel.Nonetheless,theextendedrepublicmenhadsuccess-

fullyovercometheobjectionsofthedelegatesfromtheNortheastandtheDeep Southtoestablishfirmlytheprincipleofa strongnationalgovernment.Nowthe questionwaswhowouldwieldthisgreatpower?Underthesenewcircumstances, therapidlygrowingstatesoftheDeep SouthjoinedMassachusetts,Pennsylvania, andVirginia(factor1 ofTable2) to pursueproportionalrepresentationin both housesofthenationallegislature.The largestateswereopposedbyfivesmaller statesfromtheMiddleAtlanticregion(factor2 of Table2) demandingequal representationin atleastonebranchoftheproposedlegislature.The opposition votingpatterninTable2 accountsforoverone-half(50.7 percent)ofthevariance inthevotingofall thestatespresentbetween11 Juneand 17 July. Theconfrontationintensifiedon 11 JunewhenRogerShermanofConnecti- cutsuggestedthatseatsintheHouseofRepresentativesbe allocatedtothestates inproportiontothenumberoffreeinhabitants,witheachstatetohaveonevote

TABLE 2

LargeStatesversusSmallStates:PowerandInterest-Two-FactorSolutionfor Roll-CallVotes37-156, 11 June-16July,VarimaxRotation(Ortho)

 

1

2

LargeStates

SmallStates

h2

NewHampshire

absent

absent

absent

Massachusetts

(.80)

.13

.66

Connecticut

.13

(.59)

.37

New York

-.02

(.52)

.27

NewJersey

-.13

(.75)

.58

Pennsylvania

(.65)

.09

.43

Delaware

-.08

(.74)

.56

Maryland

.25

(.78)

.68

Virginia

(.73)

.08

.54

NorthCarolina

(.79)

.12

.64

SouthCarolina

(.55)

-.22

.36

Georgia

(.69)

-.10

.49

Sumofsquares

3.13

2.45

5.58

Percentageofvariance

explained

28.45

22.25

50.70

POLITICAL

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MAKING

445

in theSenate.The largestatemenstilldemandedproportionalrepresentationin bothhouses.RufusKingofMassachusettsandWilsonofPennsylvaniacountered

witha motionproposing"thattherightofsuffragein

sentatives]oughtnotto be accordingto theruleestablishedin theArticlesof Confederation[equality],butaccordingto someequitableratioof representa- tion,"whichaftersomediscussionpassed sevento threewithone abstention (Farrand,1911,vol. 1, p. 196). Thelargestatecoalitionunanimouslyvotedyes andwasjoinedbyConnecticutinpursuanceofSherman'ssuggestedcompromise. NewYork,NewJersey,andDelawareopposedthemeasure,whiletheMaryland delegatesweredivided.Wilsonthensoughtto reinforcetheallegianceof the southernerstothelargestatecoalitionbyawardingthema three-fifthsrepresen- tationfortheirslaves.OnlyNewJerseyandDelawareopposed(ibid.,p. 201). Pressingthelargestateadvantage,WilsonandAlexanderHamiltonmovedthat

"therightofsuffrageinthe2ndbranch[theSenate]oughttobe accordingtothe sameruleas inthe1stbranch"(ibid.,p. 202). Theyweresuccessfulbythesame six-to-fivealignmentthatappearsinTable2. Thus,proportionalrepresentationin bothhouses,fora time,hadbeenachievedbythetriumphofthelargestates. The opposingcoalitionsheldfirmthrough29 June,whenConnecticut's OliverEllsworthagaindeclaredtheneedfora compromisesettlement.Wilson, arguingagainstanycompromiseby thelargestateson thiscrucialissue,ada- mantlyrejectedtheidea,saying,"If a separationmusttakeplace,itcouldnever happenonbettergrounds"(Farrand,1911,vol. 1,p. 482). GunningBedfordof Delawareansweredforthesmallstates,"I do not,gentlemen,trustyou.Ifyou possessthepower,theabuseof itcouldnotbe checked;and whatthenwould preventyoufromexercisingittoourdestruction?"(ibid.,p. 500). Withtheproceedingsobviouslyata dangerousimpasse,a compromisecom- mitteewas chosenon 2 JulythatnotonlyfailedtoincludeWilsonandMadison butalso omittedeveryoneofthestrongspokesmenforthelargestateinterestin proportionalrepresentation.ElbridgeGerry,whosomeweeksearlierhadcalled Madisona "speculativeprojector,"waselectedcommitteechairman.According

toGerry,thesmallstatesheld"a

ofthosefiveStates[factor2 ofTable2], theresultofwhichwas,a firmdeter- minationon theirpartnotto relinquishtherightof equal representationin the Senate" (Farrand,1911,vol. 3, p. 264). Withthesmallstatesstillunyielding, no coursewas leftbutto compromise.On 5 July,Gerrydeliveredthereportof hiscommitteeto theConvention.It proposed:"That in thefirstbranchofthe

LegislatureeachoftheStatesnowintheUnionbe allowedoneMemberforevery fortythousandinhabitants . ThatinthesecondBranchoftheLegislatureeach Stateshallhavean equal Vote"(Farrand,1911,vol. 1, p. 524). Between5 July and 16 JulywhentheConnecticutCompromisewas finallyadopted,theNorth

andtheSouthbattledovertheapportionmentofseatsintheHouseofRepresen-

tativesthroughtwoadditionalcompromisecommitteesand interminablefloor debatesto insurethattheregionsof thenew nationwouldbe institutionally positionedtodefendtheirparamountinterests(Jillson,1981,pp. 36-41).

[theHouseofRepre-

ofmostofthedelegates

446 CalvinC. JillsonandCecilL. Eubanks

ExecutivePowerand CitizenParticipation:

Principleand Interest

The coalitionsthathadalignedbehindconflictingviewsofrepublicangov-

ernmentduringtheConvention'sfirsttwoweeksresurfacedimmediatelyfollow-

ing the ConnecticutCompromiseas the Convention'sfocusturnedagain to questionsatthe"higher"levelofconstitutionalchoice.Thesefamiliarcoalitions, stilldividedby philosophicaldifferencesconcerningthenatureof republican government,controlledtheConvention'sbusinessforthenextfiveweeks,well intolateAugust.The smallrepublicmen(factor1 ofTable3) soughttocontrol thepotentialforabuseofgovernmentalpowerbymeansofa strictseparationof departments,a modestempowerment,andtheuse ofexplicitconstitutionalpro-

hibitionsand restraintswheredangerstillseemedto lurk.Madisonrepeatedly enunciatedthecounterargumentin favorof "checksandbalances"as a supple- menttoa pure"separationofpowers"thattheextendedrepublicmenconsidered definitiveandto whichtheyfrequentlyreferredduringdebateoverquestionsat the"higher"levelofconstitutionalchoice.He arguedthat

if a Constitutionaldiscriminationof thedepartmentson paperwerea sufficientsecurityto eachagainstencroachmentsoftheother,all furtherprovisionswouldindeedbe superfluous.

Butexperiencehadtaughtus a

sucha balanceof powersand interests,as will guaranteetheprovisionson paper.Instead thereforeofcontentingourselveswithlayingdowntheTheoryin theConstitutionthateach departmentoughttobe separateanddistinct,itwasproposedtoadda defensivepowertoeach whichshouldmaintaintheTheoryinpractice.In so doingwe didnotblendthedepartments together.We erectedeffectualbarrierstokeepthemseparate.(Farrand,1911,vol. 2, p. 77; see also TheFederalist,nos.47, 48, and51)

An initialglanceat Table3 wouldseemto indicatethatthesix-member coalitionoflargeandsmallMiddleAtlanticstates,rangingfromConnecticutto Virginia,wouldagainoutnumberthefive-membercoalitionofperipheralstates, madeup ofNewHampshireandMassachusettsin theNorthwiththeCarolinas andGeorgiaintheDeep South.Butoncloseranalysis,thematchbeginstolook moreeven,perhapsevenpositivelyskewedinfavoroftheperipheralgroup. The factorloadingsfortheperipheralstateson factor1 are notonlyquite strong,butall fivearecloselyclusteredbetween.70 and.79. Obviously,thevery divisivebattlesof theseveralweekspasthad costthesmallrepubliccoalition almostnothingintermsofsupportamongitscoremembers.Withinthecoalition ofMiddleAtlanticstates,thesituationwas quitedifferent.The smallstateshad becomemuchmorewaryoftheirlargestatecolleagues.Thisis clearlyindicated by themodestcommitmentsof Connecticut,New Jersey,and Delawareto the coalitionof MiddleAtlanticstates.Therefore,in close voteson criticalissues, thelikelihoodwasthatthecoalitionofMiddleAtlanticstateswouldbe weakened bytherelativelyfrequentdefectionofitssmallermembers. On 17 July,thedayimmediatelyfollowingtheresolutionof thestruggle betweenthelargeandsmallstatesoverpoliticalcontrolofthelegislativebranch, thequestionofthegeneralformappropriateto theexecutiveestablishmentwas

distrustofthatsecurity;andthatitis necessaryto introduce

POLITICAL

STRUCTURE

OF CONSTITUTION

TABLE 3

MAKING

447

SmallRepublicLocalistsversusExtendedRepublicCosmopolitans-

Two-FactorSolutionforRoll-CallVotes157-399,17July-29 August,

VarimaxRotation(Ortho)

1

SmallRepublic

2

ExtendedRepublic

h2

NewHampshire

(.75)

.14

.58

Massachusetts

(.70)

.12

.51

Connecticut

.24

(.52)

.33

New York

absent

absent

absent

NewJersey

.08

(.58)

.35

Pennsylvania

.16

(.71)

.53

Delaware

.19

(.55)

.34

Maryland

-.04

(.66)

.43

Virginia

.19

(.63)

.43

NorthCarolina

(.71)

.21

.55

SouthCarolina

(.79)

.06

.63

Georgia

(.70)

.19

.52

Sumofsquares

2.84

2.36

5.20

Percentageofvariance

explained

25.82

21.45

47.27

takenup. EarlyintheConventionRogerShermanhadexpressedthedoctrineof executivepowertowhichthesmallrepublicmen(onfactor1 ofTable3) adhered whenhesaidthathe "consideredtheExecutivemagistracyas nothingmorethan

aninstitutionforcarryingthewilloftheLegislatureintoeffect"(Farrand,1911,

vol. 1, p. 65). Sherman'sviewswereimmediatelychallengedbytheextended republicmen(on factor2 ofTable3), whoheldthatpowerneednotbe severely limitedifitsundueconcentrationinanysinglebranchofgovernmentwasavoided. Seeninthislight,a powerfulandindependentexecutivecouldbe usedtorestrain a volatileandpotentiallydangerouslegislature(Bailyn,1967,pp. 55-93; Wood, 1969,pp. 18-28,352-59,430-38). TheConventionquicklytranslatedthesetwoperspectivesonexecutivepower intothreemajorstructuralelements:modeofappointment(bythelegislatureor byspeciallychosenelectors);lengthofterm(tenure);andreeligibility(Jillson, 1979,p. 388). It was apparentto thedelegatesthattheseelementswerethem- selvesinterrelatedandthattheyallrevolvedaroundthequestionoftherelationship oftheexecutivebranchtothelegislature.CharlesWarren(1928) has notedthat "theviewsofmostofthedelegatesas tolengthoftermandas tore-electionwere dependentonthemodeofelection"(p. 365). The battleoverexecutiveselectionwas rejoinedon 17 Julyovertheclause "To be chosenbytheNationalLegislature,"which,aftertwochallengingpro-

448 CalvinC. JillsonandCecilL. Eubanks

posalsforpopularelectionandselectionbyelectorsweresoundlyrejected,won unanimousapproval.To counterthe peripheralstates'(factor1 of Table 3) achievementof selectionby thenationallegislature,theMiddleAtlanticstates

(factor2 of Table3), behindGouverneurMorrisof Pennsylvania,successfully movedtostrikeout"to be ineligiblea secondtime,"arguingthattodo otherwise wouldbe toinstitutionalizeinexperienceatthehelmofthenationalgovernment. Whena motionwas defeatedto strikeouttheseven-yeartermas well,theCon- ventionwasleftwithlegislativeselectionanda longtermofsevenyears,butwith reeligibilitypermitted;thus,virtuallyassuring,in Madison'swords,that"the Executivecouldnotbe independentoftheLegislature,ifdependentonthepleas-

ureofthatbranchfora

advocatesofa broadlyempowerednationalexecutivehesitatedattheprospectof an unrestrictedeligibilitytosuccessivelongtermsofoffice. The questionof executiveselectionreappearedon 19 July,allowingElls- worthofConnecticuttoreintroducetheideaofelectors.ThesixMiddleAtlantic states,rangingina solidphalanxfromConnecticuttoVirginia,votedinfavorof electors,whilethethreestatesoftheDeep SouthopposedelectorsandMassa- chusettsdividedon theissue(Farrand,1911,vol. 2, p. 58). Bothreeligibility anda six-yeartermwerealso quicklyapproved.Thoughtheprincipleofelectoral selectionnowseemedtoenjoymajoritysupportin theConvention,thepractical questionofdistributingpoweramongthestatesas theyparticipatedinthatprocess continuedtodefyresolution(Thach,1923,p. 102). Thisproblemin "lower" levelconstitutionaldesign,theallocationofpres- identialelectorsamongthestates,wasdirectlyconfrontedon20 JulywhenOliver Ellsworth,speakingforthesmallMiddleAtlanticstates,proposed"thefollowing

ratio:towit-oneforeachStatenotexceeding200,000inhabitants,twoforeach

abovethatnumberandnotexceeding300,000inhabitants,and,threeforeach

stateexceeding300,000" (Farrand,1911,vol.2, p. 57). JamesMadison,always theadvocateand defenderof proportionalrepresentation,observed"thatthis wouldmakein timeall or nearlyall theStatesequal. Sincetherewerefewthat wouldnotintimecontainthenumberofinhabitantsentitlingthemto3 Electors" (ibid.,p. 63). Withthisproportionalrepresentationviewagaindominatingthe largestatedelegations,New Jerseyand Delawareabandonedtheirlargestate colleaguesto join thefivemembersof theperipheralcoalitionin reinstituting legislativeselection,a longterm,andan ineligibility.Soon thereafter,theCon- ventionadjournedfortendaystogivetheCommitteeofDetail"timetoprepare andreporttheConstitution"(ibid,p. 128). The criticalquestionsfacingtheConventionoverthethreeweeksimmedi- atelyfollowingthedeliveryoftheCommitteeofDetailreporton 6 Augustcon- cernedthestancethatthenewrepublicwouldtaketowarditscitizens,particularly thosecitizenswhomightholdofficein thenewgovernment.On theone hand, thecosmopolitandelegatesfromtheMiddleAtlanticstates,generallysupporting Madison's"extendedrepublic,"helda cautiousbutoptimisticallypositiveview oftheordinarycitizen'sabilitytoparticipateina well-constructednationalgov-

re-appointment"(Farrand,1911,vol. 2, p. 34). Eventhe

POLITICAL

STRUCTURE

OF CONSTITUTION

MAKING

449

emnmentbroadlyempoweredto governfreelyas changingtimesandan indeter- minatefuturemightdictate.On theotherhand,thelocalistdelegatesof the peripheralcoalition,generallyfearfulofconcentratedpowerandsupportingthe "smallrepublic"view,tooka muchlessoptimisticviewofthequalityofpopular participationand of thefeasibilityof constructingadequate"checks and bal- ances" inanygovernmentawardedgreatdiscretion.Thesmallrepublicmenstill thoughtit bothwise and expedientto departas littleas possiblefroma pure theoryof"separationofpowers." The debatesthatoccurredduringtheweekof9 to 15 Auguston residency qualificationsfortheHouse and theSenateprovidean exampleof themiddle states'opennessandtheperipheralstates'skepticismtowardthenation'scitizens. On 9 August,GouverneurMorrisproposeda 14-yearresidencyrequirementfor Senators,"urgingthedangerof admittingstrangersintoourpublicCouncils" (Farrand,1911,vol. 2, p. 235). CharlesPinckneyagreedwhenGeorgeMason indicatedthat"he shouldbe forrestrainingtheeligibilityintotheSenate,to natives,"wereit notforthefactthatmanyforeignershad servednoblyin the Revolution(ibid.).PierceButlerofSouthCarolinasupportedMasonandMorris, observingthatforeignersbringwiththem"ideas ofGovernmentso distinctfrom oursthatineverypointofviewtheyaredangerous"(ibid.,p. 236). Madisonandhisnationalisticsupportersfromthemiddlestatesthoughtthis approachunnecessary,illiberal,andunbecomingtothenation.Madisonindicated

that "he thoughtany restrictionin the

improper:because it

[would]givea tinctureof illiberalityto theConstitution"to barnewcitizens fromtheSenateforfully14 years,let aloneto restrictthathighprivilegeto natives.BenjaminFranklinrosetoMadison'ssupport,also dwellingonthe"il- liberality,"as wellas theadverseimpacton Europeanopinion,ofsuchan idea permanentlyensconcedintheConstitution.WilsonjoinedMadisonandFranklin in pointingto "the illiberalcomplexionwhichthemotionwouldgive to the System"(Farrand,1911,vol. 2, p. 237). Thevoteon Morris'smotionfora 14-yearresidencyrequirement,thenone for13 years,and,finally,anotherfor10 yearswereall defeatedby a Middle AtlanticblocofstatesstretchingfromMassachusettstoNorthCarolina.Finally,

nineyearswasproposedandnarrowlyapproved.Wilsonsoughttoturnthismod-

estvictoryintopositivemomentumforthemiddlestatenationalistsbymovingto reconsiderthecitizenshiprequirementfortheHousein orderto reduceit from sevenyearsto three.Thoughthismotionwas defeatedby a unitedPeriphery,a futherattemptwas madetoattach"a provisothatthelimitation[ofsevenyears] shouldnotaffect[therightsof]anypersonnowa Citizen"(Farrand,1911, vol. 2, p. 270). In response,a familiarchorusofvoicesfromthePeripheryargued thateventhispresumptionin favorof immigrantswhohadattainedcitizenship understatelaws wouldconstitutea danger.JohnRutledgeobservedthat"the policyofprecautionwas as greatwithregardto foreignersnowCitizens;as to thosewhoare to be naturalizedin [the]future."ShermansupportedRutledge withtheveryremarkablestatementthat"theU. Stateshavenotinvitedforeigners

450 CalvinC. Jillsonand CecilL. Eubanks

norpledgedtheirfaiththattheyshouldenjoyequal privilegeswithnativeCiti- zens" (ibid.). Madison,Morris,and Wilsonpresentedcounterarguments,but

whenthevoteswererecordeda familiarpatternwasevident.Onceagain,a united coalitionofthePeripheryhadsuccessfullyexploitedthedivisionswithinthemore diffusecoalitionofMiddleAtlanticstatestotransformitsconservativepreferences intoconstitutionalprovisions.

Withthesefundamentalquestionsofexecutiveselectionandcitizenpartici-

pationatleasttemporarilyresolved,bothcoalitionssoughttoexerttheirinfluence on collateralissues.Theperipheralgroupdidso alwaysforthegeneralpurposes

oflimitingpowerandmaintainingthecherisheddoctrineof"separationofpow-

ers." The middlestatecoalitionsoughttoprovideeachdepartment,orcombina- tionsthereof,withtheabilitytodefenditself.Oncetheintegrityofthestructure wasguaranteed,theextendedrepublicmentookcaretoavoidminuterestrictions

ontheassumptionthatfuturegovernments,confrontingnewandunforeseenprob-

lems,wouldneedtodrawon an unrestrictedrangeofoptions.

Slavery,Commerce,ExecutiveSelectionand theWest:

Stateand RegionalInterest

As theConventionmovedintolate August,severalcriticalissuesat the "lower" levelofconstitutionalchoice,includingsomeprovisionforthecritical regionalissuesofslaveryandcommercialregulation,forexecutiveselection,and forcontrolof thewesternlands,stoodunresolved.Initially,it seemedthatthe dominantcoalitionofperipheralstateswouldresolveeachoftheseissuesin its ownfavoragainsttheincreasinglydesultoryoppositionof theMiddleAtlantic states.As themiddlestatecoalitiontotteredtowardcollapse,themorecohesive peripheralcoalitionseemedto gathernewstrengthas itsnorthernand southern wingsquicklyand smoothlycameto an accommodationon thedangerousand divisiveregionalissuesoftheslavetradeandcommercialregulation. Whendebateontheslavetradeopenedonthemorningof22 August,General

CharlesCotesworthPinckneywentdirectlytotheregionaleconomicsofthecon-

flictbetweenthestatesoftheUpperSouth(MarylandandVirginiaofthemiddle statecoalition)andthestatesoftheLowerSouth(theCarolinasandGeorgiaof theperipheralcoalition)on thisvolatileissue. GeneralPinckneysaid, "South

Carolina& Georgiacannotdo withoutslaves.As to Virginiashewillgainby stoppingtheimportations.Herslaveswillriseinvalue,& shehasmorethanshe wants"(Farrand,1911,vol. 2, p. 371). Fortheshippinginterestsso deartothe northernwingoftheperipheralcoalitionPinckneyheldouttheprospectthat"the

moreslaves,themoreproducetoemploythecarryingtrade;Themoreconsump-

tionalso, and themoreof this,themorerevenueforthecommontreasury" (ibid.). ThoughDickinsonandothersfromthemiddleAtlanticarguedthatfurther importationswere"inadmissibleon everyprincipleof honorandsafety,"King spokeforthedominantperipheralcoalitionwhenhe remarkedthat"thesubject shouldbe consideredin a politicallightonly" (Farrand,1911,vol. 2, p. 372).

POLITICAL

STRUCTURE

OF CONSTITUTION

MAKING

451

Viewedfromthispracticalperspective,Kingfearedthat"theexemptionofslaves fromdutywhilsteveryotherimportwas subjectedtoit,[was]an inequalitythat couldnotfailto strikethecommercialsagacityoftheNorthn& middleStates" (ibid.,p. 373). GeneralPinckneyagreedthatallowancefora modestdutywould "removeonedifficulty,"andG. Morrisquicklymovedtobroadenthegroundfor compromisetoincludethesensitiveregionalconcernsofslaveryandcommercial regulation,saying,"these thingsmayforma bargainamongtheNorthern& SouthernStates"(ibid.,p. 374). A compromisecommitteeofonememberfrom eachstatewasquicklyappointed. LutherMartin,Maryland'srepresentativeon thecommittee,laterreported thatthesubstanceof thecommittee'sreportinvolvedan interregionalquidpro quo betweenthenorthernandsouthernwingsoftheperipheralcoalition."The easternStates,notwithstandingtheiraversionto slavery,wereverywillingto indulgethesouthernStates,at leastwitha temporarylibertyto prosecutethe slave-trade,providedthesouthernStateswould,in theirturn,gratifythem,by layingno restrictionson navigationacts" (Farrand,1911, vol. 3, p. 210-11). The Deep Southwouldbe allowedto continueimportingslavesuntilat least 1800,whilethenorthernstateswouldbe allowedto setcommercialpolicyby simplemajorityvoteofthenationallegislature. The CommerceandSlaveTradeCompromisewas reportedto theflooron 24 Augustbutwas notdebateduntil25 August.In theinterim,theConvention returnedtothecomplexissueofexecutiveselection.Again,theMiddleAtlantic stateswerepowerlessagainsta unitedcoalitionofperipheralstates.Theprecise questionbeforetheConventionwas whetherthePeriphery'spreferenceforlegis- lativeselectionwouldbe exercisedbyseparateballotsintheHouseandSenate, or,as Rutledgenowsuggested,inthehopeofdrivinga wedgebetweenPennsyl- vaniaandVirginiaandtheirsmallstateallies,by "jointballot"ofbothhouses

votingtogether.Shermanimmediatelyobjectedthatthe"jointballot"wouldde-

privethesmallerstates"representedintheSenateofthenegativeintendedthem inthathouse." Whenthevotewas taken,NewHampshire,Massachusetts,and

theCarolinasweresupportedbythelargestoftheMiddleAtlanticstates,Penn-

sylvania,Maryland,andVirginia,inapprovingthemeasureseventofour.Dele-

gatesfromthesmallerstatesquicklysoughtto reestablishtheirinfluencein the presidentialselectionprocessbyproposingthateachstatedelegationshouldhave onevoteevenifthepollingwas doneby "jointballot."The motionwas lostby

a singlevote,fiveto six, whenPennsylvaniaandVirginiaagainjoinedthepe-

ripheralstatestoturnbacktheirformerallies.TheremnantsoftheMiddleAtlantic statecoalitionsuccessfullyavoidedfinaldefeatbypostponingtheissue. Whendebateon theprovisionsoftheCommerceandSlaveTradeCompro- miseopenedon themorningof 25 August,GeneralPinckneymovedto extend theperiodduringwhichfreeimportationofslaveswouldbe allowedfrom1800 to1808.Onthisamendment,andontheentireclauseas amended,thecommercial

northeast,NewHampshire,Massachusetts,andConnecticut,anticipatingnorth-

erncontrolovercommercialregulationindirectexchangefortheirsupportonthis

452 CalvinC. Jillsonand CecilL. Eubanks

matterof theslavetrade,joinedtheDeep Southto defeattheMiddleAtlantic statesof NewJersey,Pennsylvania,Delaware,andVirginia.Withthesouthern halfofthecompromisethuseasilyconfirmed,thenorthernsectionsdealingwith commercialregulationwerepostponedanddidnotreappearuntil29 August. In theinterim,thedelegatesfromSouthCarolinamaneuveredtogainaddi-

tionalsecurityfortheirpropertyin slaves,whilemanyothersouthernersgrew increasinglyapprehensivethattheyhadgivenup toomuchin agreeingto com- mercialregulationbysimplemajority.Whenthenorthernhalfofthecompromise didcomebeforetheConvention,CharlesPinckneymovedtostrikeoutthesection allowingsimplemajoritydecisionon commercialquestions.Fearingthattheen- tireCommerceand SlaveTradeCompromise(particularlytherightto continue importations)mightcomeunhinged,theolderPinckneyarguedthatthe"liberal conducttowardtheviewsofSouthCarolina"shownbythenorthernstateshad convincedhimthat"no fettersshouldbe imposedonthepowerofmakingcom- mercialregulations"(Farrand,1911,vol. 2, pp. 449-50). DespitetheassurancesofferedbyGeneralPinckney,opinioninthesouthern delegationsranstronglytotheviewthatcommercialregulationbysimplemajority was an invitationto southerndestruction.Masonarguedstrenuouslythat"the Majoritywillbe governedbytheirinterests.TheSouthernStatesaretheminority inbothHouses.Is ittobe expectedthattheywilldeliverthemselvesboundhand

& footto theEasternStates?" (Farrand,1911,vol. 2, p. 451). Randolphwas

finallydrivento declarethat"therewerefeaturesso odiousin theConstitution as itnowstands,thathedoubtedwhetherheshouldbe abletoagreetoit" (ibid.,

p. 452). Puttingtheinterestsofthesouthernstatesin commercialregulationat

thedisposalofthenorthernstates"wouldcompleatthedeformityofthesystem" (ibid.).Despitethisdeeplyrootedsouthernopposition,a solidblocofsixnorthern

states,rangingfromNewHampshiretoDelaware,joinedonlybySouthCarolina, defeatedMaryland,Virginia,NorthCarolina,andGeorgiaonthequestion. SouthCarolina'sservicetothenorthernstateswas quicklyrewardedbyan additionalincrementof securityforherpropertyin slaves.The Conventionap-

provedButler's proposal that"any personbound to service

anotherState

[escaping] into

shall be deliveredup to thepersonjustlyclaimingtheirservice

orlabor" (Farrand,1911,vol. 2, p. 454). But,thecosttolargersoutherninter- ests,inwhichSouthCarolinaobviouslyshared,washigh.SouthCarolina'sblind pursuitofsecurityforherpropertyinslavesbroketheSouthas an effectiveforce intheConvention. Withtheperipheralcoalitionbrokenbytheshatteringofitssouthernwing andthecoalitionofMiddleAtlanticstatesdisruptedbya renewedtensionbetween itslargeandsmallmembers,thetoneoftheConvention'sfinaldayswas unmis- takablysetbythedebatesthatbeganon 30 Augustovercontroloftheunsettled westernlands.DanielCarrollofMarylandopenedthisconfrontationbymoving to strikeouta provisionrequiring"the consentoftheStateto [landsunderits jurisdiction]beingdivided"(Farrand,1911,vol. 2, p. 461). Carrollarguedthat thiswasanabsolutelyfundamentalpointwiththosestatesthatdidnotholdclaims

POLITICAL

STRUCTURE

OF CONSTITUTION

MAKING

453

to vasttractsof thewesternterritory(Jensen,1966,p. 150; Rakove,1979,p.

352).

Pennsylvania'sJamesWilsonopposedCarroll'smotion,arguingthat"he knewnothingthatwouldgivegreaterorjusteralarmthanthedoctrine,thata politicalsocietyis tobe tomeasunderwithoutitsownconsent"(Farrand,1911, vol.2, p. 462). Thisargumentstruckthedelegatesfromthesmallerstatesas yet anotherbrazenrejectionofprinciplein favorofinterest.LutherMartinsaidthat "he wishedMr.Wilsonhadthoughta littlesoonerofthevalueofpoliticalbodies. In thebeginning,whentherightsofthesmallStateswereinquestion,theywere phantoms,idealbeings.NowwhentheGreatStatesweretobe affected,political Societieswereofa sacrednature"(ibid.,p. 464). Whenthevoteswerecounted, NewJersey,Delaware,andMarylandstoodalone.

ItwaseminentlycleartothedelegatesfromthesmallerstatesthattheCon-

ventionwas onceagainslippingoutofcontrolandthatdangerousconsequences couldresult.If thelargerstateseffectivelydominatedtheexecutiveselection processand thevastresourcesrepresentedby theunsettledlandsin theWest, theirstatureinthenewsystemcouldonlybe enhanced,whilethatofthesmaller stateswouldjustas certainlydecline.Withtheseconcernsforemostintheminds ofthedelegatesfromthesmallerstates,a committeeofonememberfromeach statewasappointedon31 Augusttoresolvemattersthatstillremainedundecided. TheBrearleyCommitteeonpostponedandundecidedpartsreportedbrieflyon 1

September,butit was notuntil4 and 5 Septemberthatit deliveredthemain

componentsofitscomplexandcontroversialcompromisereporttothefullCon-

vention. Table4 highlightsboththeimpactof theissuesthatbrokethedominant coalitionsinlateAugustandthenatureofthenewalignmentsthatemergedfrom theBrearleyCommitteetodominatetheConvention'sfinaldays.Thelargestates wereeffectivelyisolated(see factor2 ofTable4), whilethefivesouthernstates, theirinfluenceintheConventionlargelyspent,werescatteredharmlesslyacross

all threefactorsin Table4. The smallstates,on theotherhand,emergedfrom theBrearleyCommitteedeterminedto defenda reportthatwas designedto en- hancedramaticallytheirpotentialforinfluencein thenewgovernment(Warren,

1928,p. 664). Mostofthemembersofthenewmajorityofsmallandnorthernstateshad longpreferredexecutiveselectionby speciallychosenelectorsto legislativese- lection.TheBrearleyCommitteereportenvisioneda returntoelectoralselection, butperhapsmoreimportantly,thefailureofanycandidatetoreceivea majority oftheelectoralvoteswouldresultinthereferenceofthefiveleadingcandidates totheSenate(wherethesmallstateshadan equal votewiththelargestates)for

finalselection.Madison,Morris,andMasonfearedthattheSenatewouldulti-

matelydecide"nineteentimesintwenty"(Farrand,1911,vol. 2, p. 500). Fur- ther,treaties,as well as ambassadorial,SupremeCourt,and othermajor administrativeappointmentswereto be madeby thePresidentonly"withthe Adviceand Consentof theSenate" (ibid.,pp. 498-99). Andfinally,although

454 CalvinC. Jillsonand CecilL. Eubanks

TABLE 4

A NewNorthernMajorityDefendstheRoleoftheSmallStates- Three-FactorSolutionforRoll-CallVotes441-569,4-17 September, VarimaxRotation(Ortho)

1

2

3

Northern LargeState Southern Majority Minority Minority h2

New Hampshire

(.72)

.44

.25

.77

Massachusetts

(.62)

(.55)

-.18

.73

Connecticut

(.78)

.22

.03

.63

New York

absent

absent

absent

absent

NewJersey

(.81)

.04

.18

.69

Pennsylvania

.16

(.80)

.03

.66

Delaware

(.74)

.04

.18

.59

Maryland

.45

.23

(.59)

.61

Virginia

-.07

(.76)

.38

.73

NorthCarolina

.04

.05

(.81)

.65

SouthCarolina

.38

(.55)

.11

.45

Georgia

.45

.37

.45

.53

Sumofsquares

3.29

2.26

1.51

7.06

Percentageofvariance

explained

29.90

20.50

13.90

64.30

theHousewouldchargethePresidentinimpeachableoffenses,thefinaldisposi-

tionofthesechargeswouldoccurintheSenate.Theseprovisionsgavethesmaller stateswhatmanyofthedelegatesthoughtwouldbe fearfullydirectcontrolover theappointment,conductinoffice,andremovalofthePresident.Boththelarger states(factor2 ofTable4) andtheDeep South(dispersedacrossfactors1,2, and 3 ofTable4) opposedthesedramaticenhancementsofsenatorialauthority.Yet, as theConventionentereditsfinaldays,neitherthelargestatesnorthesouthern

stateswereina positiontoopposeeffectivelytheBrearleyCommitteereportand thedeterminedphalanxofsmallMiddleAtlanticandnortheasternstatesthatstood behindit. ThegreatfearofmanydelegateswasthatthepowersaddedtotheSenateto enhancetheroleofthesmallstatesin thenewgovernmenthadsetthestagefor aristocracy.Muchof5 Septemberwas takenup bytheexpressionofsuchfears andbythesearchforwaystoalleviatethemwithoutreducingtheinfluenceofthe

smallerstatesovertheprocessofexecutiveselection.Masonfearedthat,"con-

sideringthepowersofthePresident&

establishedbetweenthesetwobranches,theywillbe ableto subverttheConsti-

tution(Farrand,1911, vol. 2, p. 512). Randolph'scomments"dwelton the

theSenate,ifa coalitionshouldbe

POLITICAL

STRUCTURE

OF CONSTITUTION

MAKING

455

tendencyofsuchan influencein theSenateovertheelectionofthePresidentin additiontoitsotherpowers,toconvertthatbodyintoa real& dangerousAristoc- racy"(ibid.,p. 513). In lightof thesefears,feltby smallstatemenas well as large,it is not surprisingthattheresponsewas immediateand overwhelminglypositivewhen

Connecticut'sRogerSherman,speakingforthedominantmajorityofsmallnorth-

ernstates,proposedthatrecourseintheeventthatnocandidatehada majorityof theelectoralvotesforpresidentshouldnotbe totheSenate,butto "theHouseof eachStatehavingonevote"(Farrand,1911,vol.2, p. 527). Masonquicklyrespondedthathe "liked thelattermodebestas lesseningthe aristocraticinfluenceontheSenate"(ibid.). Nearlyeveryoneagreed,as thevote onSherman'smotionwasapprovedtentoone,withDelawarealonestilladamant aboutretainingthisauthorityintheSenate(ibid.).Thissolutionallowedthesmall statestoretaintheirdominantpositionin theexecutiveselectionprocess,while simultaneouslyalleviatingthefearthattheSenatehadcometobe a dangerously powerfulbody.Withthislastand mostdifficultquestionfinallyresolved,the Conventionhurriedtowardadjournment.

Conclusion

Webeganthisessaywithan argumentaboutthenatureofpoliticalreality, namely,thatit is characterizedby theinteractionof alternativevisionsof the community'sgeneralinterestor commongood withthepartialand exclusive interestsoftheindividuals,groups,classes,states,andregionsthatcomprisethe community.Throughoutthisessay,we havesoughtto showthatthedebatesand decisionsoftheFederalConventionbearthedistinctivemarksofthatgrudging accommodationbetweenprinciplesand intereststhatis characteristicof demo- craticpolitics. Generalprinciples,suchas republicanism,federalism,separationofpowers, checksandbalances,andbicameralism,definethestructureofgovernmentonly in vagueoutlines.Therefore,discussionof generalprinciplesservesmerelyto identifythebroadpathsalongwhichthegeneralinterestsandthecommongood ofthecommunitycanbe pursued.Otherconsiderations,primarilyderivingfrom diversepolitical,economic,andgeographicinterests,suggestandoftenvirtually

determinethemodifications,adjustments,andallowancesthatprincipledconsis-

tencymustmaketopoliticalexpediency.JamesMadisonmadepreciselythispoint in a letterthataccompanieda copyofthenewConstitutionsentto Jeffersonin Parisin lateOctober1787. Madisonexplainedthat"the natureof thesubject,

thediversityof

pretensionsofthelarge&

whichwillbe discoveredin[thenewgovernment's]structureandform"(Farrand,

1911,vol. 3, p. 136). Similarly,AlexanderHamiltonfeltconstrainedtowarnhis readersin thefirstnumberofTheFederalistthatthough"our choiceshouldbe directedbya judiciousestimateofourtrueinterests,unperplexedandunbiased

byconsiderationsnotconnectedwiththepublicgood,

thecollisionof local interests,and the fortheirregularities

affects

456 CalvinC. Jillsonand CecilL. Eubanks

toomanyparticularinterests,nottoinvolveinitsdiscussiona varietyofobjects foreigntoitsmerits"(Earle,1937,p. 3). Inourattempttoillustrateandexplaintheinteractionbetweenprinciplesand interestsintheFederalConvention,we usedthreeinterpretivedevices.Thefirst

was a theoreticaldistinctionbetweena "higher"levelofconstitutionalchoice, wherewe expectedand foundtheinfluenceofprincipleto guideaction,and a "lower" levelofconstitutionalchoice,wherewe expectedandfoundtheinflu- enceofpoliticalandeconomicintereststobe decisive.Theseconddevice,factor analysis,was usedto analyzetheroll-callvotingrecordleftbytheConvention. Throughthismeans,we identifiedthevotingcoalitionsthatformedamongthe statesat thevariousstagesoftheConvention'sbusiness.Finally,we engagedin

a close examinationoftheConvention'sdebatesin orderto linkthecontending

votingcoalitionstotheconflictingpatternsofpoliticalprincipleatthe"higher"

levelandtoopposingpatternsofpolitical,economic,andgeographicinterestsat

the"lower" levelofconstitutionalchoice. WeconcludethattheFederalConventionof 1787,fromitsopeningdayon 25 Mayuntilitsfinaladjournmenton 17 September,confrontedtwodistinct,but intimatelyrelated,aspectsofconstitutionaldesign.The firstwas general.What kindofrepublicangovernmentshouldbe constructed?As thedelegatesconsidered

anddiscussedalternativevisionsoftherelationshipbetweenhumannature,the institutionsofgovernment,andthequalityoftheresultingsocialorder,thetemper and toneof theirdeliberationswas quietand philosophical.Some measureof detachmentwas possibleat the"higher"levelofconstitutionalchoicebecause thedebatesovergeneralprinciplesprovidedlittleindicationofpreciselyhowthe choiceofone setofprinciplesoveranotherwouldaffectthespecificinterestsof particularindividuals,states,orregions. Whilethedelegatesconsideredquestionsofbasicconstitutionaldesign,they seemedalmostoblivioustotheconflictsofinterestthatinevitablyaroseas they movedto the"lower" levelof constitutionalchoice,wheretheirtheoriesand principleswouldbe shapedandmoldedintopracticalarrangementsforgoverning. Whendistributionalquestionscametothefore,debateintensified,tempersflared,

andconflictpredominated.Questionstouchingupontheallocationofrepresen-

tativesandpresidentialelectors,thestatusof slavery,andregulationofthena- tion'scommerceanditswesternlandsdirectlyaffectedthepolitical,economic, andsocialinterestsofdistinctclasses,states,andregions.Indeed,itwasonlyat this "lower" level of constitutionalconstruction,whereinterestsclashedso

loudly,thattheConventionwasthreatenedwithdissolution.

Manuscriptsubmitted21 September1983 Final manuscriptreceived5 January1984

APPENDIX

MethodologicalNote

In thisstudy,weemployfactoranalysisprimarilyinitsroleas a "confirmatory"or"hypothesis- testing"device.As Harman(1976) explains,"Confirmatoryfactoranalysismaybe usedtocheckor

POLITICAL STRUCTURE OF CONSTITUTION MAKING

457

a givenhypothesisaboutthestructureof thedata" (p. 6). The introductionto thispaper offersa hypothesisdesignedtoexplainthecomplexinteractionsthatcharacterizedtheFederalCon- vention'sbusiness.Othershaveofferedalternativeexplanations.Factoranalysiswillaid in showing whichoftheseexplanationscomportsmosteasilywiththeempirical"structureofthedata." This studyemploysa principalcomponentQ-factoranalysisthroughout(Rummel,1970, pp. 112-13). Wegroupstates(variablesinthematrixcolumns)onthebasisoftheirresponsestothe569 roll-callvotes(cases inthematrixrows)takenduringtheConvention.The 12 statesthatattendedthe

Conventioncomprisethevariablesinthisstudy.TheyareNewHampshire,Massachusetts,Connect-

icut,New York,NewJersey,Pennsylvania,Delaware,Maryland,Virginia,NorthCarolina,South Carolina,and Georgia.As indicatedabove,thecases are the569 roll-callvotestakenduringthe Conventionas recordedin Farrand'sTheRecordsoftheFederalConventionof1787 (1911). Votes werecodedforanalysisas follows:1-yes, 2-no, 3-absent, 4-divided. Each factoranalysisin thisstudybeginsfroma correlationmatrix(Nie, 1970). SincevotingintheConventionwas bystate delegation,ratherthanbyindividualdelegate,deletionofabsencesanddividedvotesallowseachcell ofeachcorrelationmatrixtodefinethedegreeofassociationbetweentwostatesinyesandnovoting.

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