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Enjoy this classic work today. These selected paragraphs distill the contents and give you a quick look inside History of the Origin, Formation, and Adoption of the Constitution of the United States, Vol. 1 - With Notices of its Principle Framers:
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Many years ago, I formed the design of writing such a work, for the purpose of exhibiting the deep causes which at once rendered the Convention of 1787 inevitable, and controlled or directed its course and decisions; the mode in which its great work was accomplished; and the foundations on which our national liberty and prosperity were then deliberately settled by the statesmen to whom the American Revolution gave birth, and on which they have rested ever since. ...That, having duly considered the several matters to them submitted, they conceive it unnecessary to examine into the merits or policy of the instructions or declaration of the General Assembly of Maryland, or of the remonstrances of the General Assembly of Virginia, as they involve questions a discussion of which was declined, on mature consideration, when the Articles of Confederation were debated; nor, in the opinion of the committee, can such questions be now revived with any prospect of conciliation: That it appears more advisable to press upon these States which can remove the embarrassments respecting the Western507 country a liberal surrender of a portion of their territorial claims, since they cannot be preserved entire without endangering the stability of the general confederacy; to remind them how indispensably necessary it is to establish the Federal Union on a fixed and permanent basis, and on principles acceptable to all its respective members; how essential to public credit and confidence, to the support of our army, to the vigor of our councils, and success of our measures, to our tranquillity at home, our reputation abroad, to our very existence as a free, sovereign, and independent people; that we are fully persuaded the wisdom of the respective legislatures will lead them to a full and impartial consideration of a subject so interesting to the United States, and so necessary to the happy establishment of the Federal Union; that they are confirmed in these expectations by a view of the before-mentioned act of the legislature of New York, submitted to their consideration; that this act is expressly calculated to accelerate the federal alliance, by removing, as far as depends on that State, the impediment arising from the Western country, and for that purpose to yield up a portion of territorial claim for the general benefit. ...'Whereas, the commissioners who assembled at Annapolis, on the 14th day of September last, for the purpose of devising and reporting the means of enabling Congress to provide effectually for the commercial interests of the United States, have represented the necessity of extending the revision of the federal system to all its defects, and have recommended that deputies for that purpose be appointed by the several legislatures, to meet in convention in the city of Philadelphia, on the 2d day of May next,—a provision which was preferable to a discussion of the subject in