Daniel Carroll (MD) asked the Convention to delete the power of states to subdivide, and grant western backlands to the US. This would remove the burden of State building from State Legislatures. It would also quell Small State fears of already Large States growing to enormous size. He moved to commit the Article.
Luther Martin (MD) seconded.
John Rutlidge asked if States were to be cut up without their consent. He attempted to soothe Small State fears, saying there was no way VA or NC would extend their government over the mountains. (Look at a relief map of the US. Their western borders, including West VA, are more or less just over the Appalachian Mountains.)
Hugh Williamson said NC was also inclined to give up her Western lands, but not to have them taken away. He was for doing nothing about it in the Constitution.
James Wilson was against commitment and would not yield on this point to the minority interest. He would not vote to allow a political society to be torn asunder without its consent.
Mr. Carrolls motion to commit failed 8-3.
Roger Sherman motioned to postpone a vote on the substitute Article XVII agreed to yesterday, in order to consider, The Legislature shall have power to admit other States into the Union, and new States to be formed by the division or junction of States now in the Union, with the consent of the Legislature of such States."
Mr. Shermans motion failed 6-5.
Dr. Samuel Johnson moved to insert hereafter formed or, to the substitute Article XVII so as to read, New States may be admitted by the Legislature into this Union: but no new State shall be hereafter formed or erected within the limits of any of the present States, without the consent of the Legislature of such State, as well as of the Genl. Legislature. His term, hereafter formed or, was intended to specifically remove the consent of NY from the business of admitting Vermont to the Union. (NY delegates left the convention several weeks prior.)
Dr. Johnsons motion passed 9-2.
Governeur Morris motioned to replace limits, with jurisdiction, which was another effort to remove VT from NY dominance.
Mr. Morris motion passed 7-4.
(Luther Martin then let loose a broadside.) The new peoples of the western lands and Maine should not have to seek consent from VA, NC and MA to form states. They would end up oppressed in their small numbers by State Legislatures weeks away over dangerous mountain ranges. No, the Small States would guarantee the extended land claims of the Large. Mr. Martin sarcastically reminded Mr. Wilson of his earlier statements regarding states as mere phantoms of irrelevance, whereas now they were of the most incredible importance. He countered Mr. Morris threat yesterday to leave the convention with one of his own.
Mr. Martin motioned to substitute Mr. Morris substitution with, The Legislature of the U. S. shall have power to erect New States within as well as without the territory claimed by the several States or either of them, and admit the same into the Union: provided that nothing in this constitution shall be construed to affect the claim of the U. S. to vacant lands ceded to them by the late treaty of peace.
Mr. Martins motion failed to pass, 8-3.
Mr. Morris motion from yesterday, the substitute amendment to Article XVII, New States may be admitted by the Legislature into the Union: but no new State shall be hereafter formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any of the present States without the consent of the Legislature of such State as well as of the General Legislature," passed 8-3.
John Dickinson motioned to add to Article XVII, "Nor shall any State be formed by the junction of two or more States or parts thereof, without the consent of the Legislatures of such States, as well as of the Legislature of the U. States," which passed without a formal vote.
Daniel Carroll motioned to add, -"Provided nevertheless that nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to affect the claim of the U. S. to vacant lands ceded to them by the Treaty of peace." He so much as admitted his motion was vague.
James Wilson opposed the motion. Leave this litigated issue alone.
James Madison brought up the Judicial Power and its jurisdiction over such matters. He also thought it best to be silent on the subject aside from declaring to leave particular State claims alone.
Roger Sherman thought Mr. Carrolls proviso harmless.
Abraham Baldwin (GA), as a delegate with an interest in western lands, did not press his states claims. But, he reminded the Convention that his State ran the risk of loss of territory during the war, in violation of Uti Possidetis. (Uti Possidetis, from a quick wiki search, is an ancient concept that a newly independent States should not lose territory to neighbors)
John Rutlidge would not accept the addition of near meaningless provisions to the Constitution.
Daniel Carroll withdrew his motion. But, he then motioned, Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to alter the claims of the U. S. or of the individual States to the Western territory, but all such claims shall be examined into & decided upon, by the Supreme Court of the U. States." (Punting difficult issues to the Supreme Court is apparently an old American tradition.)
(I suppose by this time, many delegates were at wits end to come up with a solution. What to do over competing State and individual or corporate claims to lands given to the US by treaty? Do Sovereign States have just claims, or the US, or both? What of the claims of speculative companies (Illinois & Wasbash, Indiana Companies) to which Indians had sold large tracts? Some members of the Confederation Congress and influential State office holders had interests in these companies. Add political calculations over representation in a popularly elected House and equal State suffrage in the Senate, it was a real mess that befuddled our Framers.)
Governeur Morris motioned to postpone in order to consider, "The Legislature shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the U. States; and nothing in this constitution contained, shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims either of the U. S. or of any particular State," which was agreed to without opposition.
Luther Martin motioned to give the Supreme Court specific jurisdiction over the issue.
Governeur Morris pointed out that it was unnecessary. Scotus would have jurisdiction without it. Mr. Martins motion was defeated, 8-2.
Article XVIII was next. The United States shall guaranty to each State a Republican form of Government; and shall protect each State against foreign invasions, and, on the application of its Legislature, against domestic violence.
The word foreign was struck as superfluous.
John Dickinson moved to strike, "on the application of its Legislature, against." (If James Madison was Father of the Constitution, John Dickinson was parent to the Articles of Confederation. It is unfortunate Mr. Dickinson is another comparative unknown in this period.)
(Check Mr. Dickinsons words closely. With his change, the National Government would have power to put down rebellion in any form, from slaves or perhaps a Legislature preparing to vote for secession.)
Jonathan Dayton brought up RI as an example of why the amendment was needed. (Man, I wish I knew what he referred to. Once again, the absence of a court recorder denied our look into history.)
Mr. Dickinsons motion failed 8-3.
A motion made by an unidentified delegate to strike domestic violence and insert insurrections failed narrowly, 6-5.
John Dickinson moved to insert or Executive, after the words, application of its Legislature. A rebellion may prevent the meeting of a States Legislature.
Mr. Dickinsons motion passed 8-2.
Luther Martin moved to add, in the recess of the Legislature, after Executive, which failed to pass 10-1.
Article XVIII as amended, The United States shall guaranty to each State a Republican form of Government; and shall protect each State against invasions, and, on the application of its Legislature, or Executive against domestic violence.
Article XIX was next, On the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the States in the Union, for an amendment of this Constitution, the Legislature of the United States shall call a Convention for that purpose.
Governeur Morris thought the Legislature should be able to do so at will.
Article XIX passed without opposition.
Article XX, The members of the Legislatures, and the Executive and Judicial officers of the United States, and of the several States, shall be bound by oath to support this Constitution, was taken up.
An unidentified delegate motioned or affirmation, after oath. The motion passed.
(I suspect the work of three months weighed heavily on Madison by now. His recent notes showed noticeably less detail than in the early days of the Convention.)
Charles Pinckney motioned to add, "but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the authority of the U. States."
Roger Sherman disfavored the motion as unnecessary considering the liberality of the times.
Governeur Morris and General Pinckney approved. The motion, and then Article XX passed 9-1-1. Article XXI, The ratifications of the Conventions of ----- States shall be sufficient for organizing this Constitution, was next.
James Wilson proposed seven, being a majority of the whole.
Daniel Carroll motioned for postponement, in order to consider the tabled report from the Committee of Eleven (Ports & Trade). His motion was defeated, 8-3.
Governeur Morris attempted to make allowance (perhaps expectation) for noncontiguous State ratification.
Roger Sherman suggested ten states. The Confederation required unanimity to make changes.
Edmund Randolph proposed nine, being the number to pass most laws under the Confederation.
James Wilson sought eight. (Mr. Madison must be exhausted. There is little texture left to his notes.)
John Dickinson asked some difficult questions. Must Congress concur with the Constitution? What of States that do not ratify? Could Congress recommend a system that contravened the one they served?
James Madison thought whatever the number, the Constitution could be put in force over all the people.
(Bad idea, Mr. Madison)
James Wilson said (obviously) only those States which ratify can be bound. The people of each State will decide.
Pierce Butler favored nine. It was ridiculous to be bound by the restraint of two States.
Daniel Carroll went the other way, and offered all thirteen; that being the number necessary to dissolve the existing Confederacy.
The Convention adjourned without a further vote.
This day in particular seems reflect the sum of the Convention questions of Big or small— of the Majority vs. Minority — of States rights to be surrendered to a new and national system.
what State today speaks with such jealousy for guarding States rights-Texas comes to mind -but I fear all will surrender to the power now entrenched in our national system.