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The United States officially began its existence as a federal republic with the meeting of the First Congress in March 1789. During the preceding fourteen years the Continental Congress had been the American central government. Now there was a three-branched federal mechanism, designed at Philadelphia in 1787 to cure the chronic ailments of its predecessor. The demands placed on the First...
Mr. Madison . I take the liberty Mr. Chairman, at this early stage of the business to introduce to the committee a subject, which appears to me, to be of the greatest magnitude; a subject, Sir, that requires our first attention, and our united exertions. No gentleman here can be unacquainted with the numerous claims upon our justice; nor with the impotency which prevented the late Congress of...