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Constitutional Convention. Remarks in Favor of a Motion Increasing the Number in the House of Representatives, [8 September 1787]

Constitutional Convention. Remarks in Favor of
a Motion Increasing the Number
in the House of Representatives

[Philadelphia, September 8, 1787]

Col: Hamilton expressed himself with great earnestness and anxiety in favor of the motion.1 He avowed himself a friend to a vigorous Government, but would declare at the same time, that he held it essential that the popular branch of it should be on a broad foundation. He was seriously of opinion that the House of Representatives was on so narrow a scale as to be really dangerous, and to warrant a jealousy in the people for their liberties. He remarked that the connection between the President & Senate would tend to perpetuate him, by corrupt influence. It was the more necessary on this account that a numerous representation in the other branch of the Legislature should be established.2

Hunt and Scott, Debates description begins Gaillard Hunt and James Brown Scott, eds., The Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 Which Framed the Constitution of the United States of America. Reported by James Madison (New York, 1920). description ends , 538.

1Near the end of the session of September 8, Hugh Williamson, delegate from North Carolina, made a motion that “the clause relating to the number of the House of Representatives shd. be reconsidered for the purpose of increasing the number” (Hunt and Scott, Debates description begins Gaillard Hunt and James Brown Scott, eds., The Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 Which Framed the Constitution of the United States of America. Reported by James Madison (New York, 1920). description ends , 538). The clause to which he referred provided that, until the first census should be taken, the House of Representatives should consist of sixty-five members apportioned according to population among the several states.

2Williamson’s motion, supported by H, was negatived by the Convention.

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