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chiefly composed of the Delegates from the interior, pledged not to approve it. A discussion by paragraphs was proposed. This motion was objected to, and a proposition was offered—first to review the articles of the Confederation to ascertain its defects; and then to determine upon the necessity of adopting the new system.
This proposal failed, and the Constitution was debated in detail. The discussion commenced on the biennial Election of the House of Representatives. After an appeal similar to that made in Massachusetts, in favor of Annual Elections, it was insisted, that the State Legislatures ought to retain the right of recalling the members.
This idea was resisted, on the ground, that it would be a direct interference with the rights of popular election; that it would place the General Government at the mercy of the States; and destroy the salutary influence of the Senate.
After a debate of eight days, a great change of opinion was perceptible ; but, many of the members being fettered by instructions, an adjournment of four months was proposed by its friends. Their object was, to diffuse information through the towns, and to induce a revocation of these instructions. This proposition ultimately prevailed, by a majority of only five votes, in a body consisting of one hundred and eight members..
This adjournment, nevertheless, encouraged the adversaries of the new system, and checked the hopes of its friends. *
* March 27th, 1788, Nicholas Gillman, afterwards, Governor of New Hampshire, to General Sullivan. “The opposition is now reduced to system. The leaders are known to each other, and are indefatigable in their exertions. If they succeed, I am apprehensive the sword will be drawn, and your Excellency's early prediction be verified. I am by no means without hope of tranquillity, though I think appearances are very alarming.” King to Sullivan, April 9th. 1788. “The unfortunate check the New Constitution received in * Bossuet says: “Toleration is not a mark of the true Church."
The course of Luther Martin, in the General Convention, may have prompted a supposition, that he was sustained by a party of some weight in the State he represented. But it was not so. Every motive united to induce Maryland to adopt the Constitution.
This was the only North American Colony originally settled by Roman Catholics. Of these, a small body, emigrating from the southern counties of England, where they were most numerous, were planted by Lord Baltimore, a quarter of a century after the settlement of Virginia, on the small peninsula lying on the Chesapeake Bay, and the rivers Potomac and Patuxent. To this, they gave the name most favored in their calendar-St. Mary's. Hence they extended along either shore of this great bay, and the borders of these parallel streams. The Government was Proprietary, and it was the happiness of these colonists, that they held, successively, under single Proprietors, men of rank and affluence, of mild and liberal counsels. For it was their signal distinction, that, belonging to a Church denounced for her intolerance,* toleration was “coeval with this Colony."
Its population continued to be chiefly English, with a small admixture of Irish in their few towns, and of Germans in the County of Frederic, crossing from Pennsylvania. With no hostile frontier to defend, enjoying, under their charter, great commercial privileges and exemptions, composed almost entirely of planters and their
New Hampshire has given new life and spirits to the opponents of the proposed system, and damped the ardor of its friends. The arguments in Virginia are mostly local, although many ostensible ones will appear. Impositions of the Eastern States on their Commerce ;-and Treaties being the supreme law of the land, thereby compelling the payment of the British debts, will be the real objections of the greater part of the opposers, while some others regard a consolidation of the Union as a real evil.”
slaves, * under a genial climate, and with a fertile soil, this Colony rapidly grew in opulence. The first disturbing question was, when becoming a Royal Government, toleration ceased. The Church of England became the established Church, and acts were passed by the Legislature, to prevent the spread of Popery. The discontents thus generated, though not general, were sufficient to give strength to the opposition, which, in each Colony, arrayed itself against the influence of the Crown, and most was seen in grants of money. With no democratic element to control or question their influence, the spirit of these planters was high, and was vigorously shown in resistance to the restrictive policy of England; the more earnestly resisted, as being a direct violation of their chartered privileges, and the more severely felt, as thither was almost their only export, and thence their only supplies, in English vessels ; † they thus being wholly tributary. Hence, when the Revolution began, the power of the Crown seemed to vanish, and the planters erected a State Government, more removed from popular influence than that of any other of the States.
The Assembly, or “House of Delegates," was annual ; chosen by freeholders. The Senate was elected by electors, chosen by these freeholders, from the State at large; and had a duration of five years. The Governor was to be annually elected by the joint ballot of both houses.
The Legislature of seventeen hundred and eighty-eight, was convened in November, a few weeks after the question of adopting the Constitution was submitted by Congress to the people of the States. On the twenty-seventh of that month, a vote was taken on the call of a State
* More than one-third of the population were slaves-one-sixteenth artificers.—McMahon's History of Maryland.
+ The small trade to the West Indies was in New England craft.
Convention. After some difference of opinion as to the qualifications of the electors of this Convention, and, after a close division, as to the time of the election, the House of Delegates, by a majority of seven out of fortynine members, ordered the election of a Convention to assemble at Annapolis on the twenty-first of the following April. This vote was little indicative of the feelings of this State.' The Legislature had been elected before the question of the new Constitution had been proposed to the consideration of the people ; and, as soon as the prospect of establishing a National Government was opened to them, it was generally and warmly welcomed.
Her steadfast policy, as to the public domain, had evinced, as the matter was then regarded, her wise foresight of her interests as a member of an efficient Union. The rejection, by her Senate, of the much-urged issue of paper money,* gave marked evidence of the soundness and firmness of its views; looking for relief t to a solid system of National finance, commensurate with the National exigencies. Her recent compact with Virginia, as to the Chesapeake and its tributaries, showed her sense of the importance of enlarged commercial powers in the government of the Union; and she seemed most to feel the necessity of Hamilton's great idea of nationalizing all the waters of the States, and making them the common highways of one people.
The elections for delegates resulted in such an overwhelming majority of Federalists, that the Convention, which met at the appointed time, seemed to feel that their only office was to give a formal ratification to the Consti
*"Red money” and “black money” had been the distinguishing epithets of her circulating medium.
+ The assumption of the State Debts by the General Government was an important benefit to Maryland.
tution. The opponents of it, certain of defeat, with a view, as is stated, of operating on Virginia, proposed an adjournment, which was lost. A motion to consider the Constitution, by paragraphs—the only fair mode of discussion—followed, but was rejected by the votes of all, except five members. Being then read at large, its adoption was opposed by Samuel Chace, Paca, John Francis Mercer, and Luther Martin. The final vote was taken after a session of six days; and it was ratified by sixty-three to eleven voices. On this decisive result, several of its adversaries came forward, and pledged themselves to support it. A series of amendments was presented by Paca, and referred to a committee to be submitted to the people; and, if approved by them, to be laid before Congress for its action.
No record of the debates in this State has been found. Among a body of individuals of high character, and enlarged views, those most known to the country, from previous service, were Governor Johnson, Tilghman, Goldsborough, McHenry, Plater, Carroll, and Hanson, of whom several had been the framers of the Constitution of the State.
Baltimore, where the most strenuous opposition had been made, following the example of Boston, celebrated this act of the Convention by a triumphal procession, in which the most conspicuous object, was a miniature vessel, called “THE FEDERALIST.”
The unanimity of Georgia, followed by the decisive majority in Maryland, induced a strong expectation, that South Carolina would unite with equal ardor in the comtemplated change of Government. This expectation was heightened by the unanimous assent of her delegates in the Federal Convention, by their known influence in the Councils of their State ; and, with one exception, by their