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gle legislative Assembly, instead of two branches, which other statesmen have considered preferable, and which have since been adopted in all the States of the Union, as well as in other countries where the experiment of popular forms has been tried. There is no doubt that this was a favorite theory with him, because he explained and gave his reasons for it on another occasion. The perpetual conflict between the two branches under the proprietary government of Pennsylvania, in which the best laws, after having been passed by the representatives of the people, were constantly defeated by the veto of the Governor and Council, seems to have produced a strong impression on his mind. He also referred to the British Parliament as a proof, that the voice of the people, expressed by their representatives, is often silenced by an order of men in the legislature, who have interests to serve distinct from those of the body of the nation. In his opinion, the collected wisdom of the law-makers could be turned to a better account by their meeting in one assembly, where they could profit by each other's intelligence and counsels. He disapproved, also, of the distinctions of rank incident to two assemblies, one being called the Upper and the other the Lower House, as having an aristocratical tendency, unfavorable to the liberty and equality, which are the essence of republican institutions. The point is said to have been carried in the convention by a brief speech from the President, who compared a legislature with two branches to a loaded wagon with a team at each end, pulling in opposite directions. At another time, in referring to the same subject, he illustrated it by what he called the fable of the snake with two heads and one body. “She was going to a brook to drink, and in her way was WOL. I. 52 I I

to pass through a hedge, a twig of which opposed her direct course; one head chose to go on the right side of the twig, the other on the left; so that time was spent in the contest, and, before the decision was completed, the poor snake died with thirst.” This theory of a single assembly has been combated by able writers. Mr. Adams has encountered it with great force in his “Defence of the American Constitutions,” and appears to have exhausted the subject, as far as it could be done by argument and historical proofs. It found advocates in France, and was extolled by such men as Turgot, Condorcet, and La Rochefoucauld. These philosophers saw in it the perfection of simplicity, by which the machine of government was divested of the numerous clogs and counterpoises, which had hitherto obstructed its free and natural movements. “Franklin,” says La Rochefoucauld, “was the first who dared to put this idea in practice. The respect, which the Pennsylvanians entertained for him, induced them to adopt it; but the other States were terrified at it, and even the constitution of Pennsylvania has since been altered. In Europe this opinion has been more successful.” This was said, after the National Assembly of France had adopted the constitution, in which the idea was again put in practice, as much by his influence as by that of any other individual. It speedily crumbled and fell, involving in its ruins, among others, the amiable La Rochefoucauld himself, the friend of liberty and the friend of man. The experiment of a single assembly in France was not such as to encourage imitation, and in America even the theory has been exploded. By a rule of the first Congress, which was continued afterwards till the constitution of the United States went into operation, each Colony or State had a single vote. When the delegates assembled for the first time, it was found that the colonies were very unequally represented, and, if a vote had been allowed to each member, an undue preponderance would have been given to the colonies which sent the largest numbers; for it had not been attempted at the elections to regulate the number of delegates by the relative importance of a colony, either in regard to the amount of its population, its extent, or wealth. Nor was it possible at that time for Congress to fix any such proportion. From the necessity of the case, therefore, it was agreed, that each colony should have one vote. When the delegates from any colony were not unanimous, the vote was decided by a majority of those delegates; if they were equally divided, the vote was lost. A few days after the declaration of independence, a plan of confederation was reported to Congress, and this provision of a single vote for each State constituted one of its articles. Franklin opposed it strenuously in the debates, as unjust and preposterous, since it gave to the smallest State the same power as to the largest. He said, that, if the practice had heretofore been necessary, it was no longer so, because it was easy to ascertain the comparative importance of the States, and to adjust the representation according to the number of inhabitants, and the degree of strength afforded by them respectively to the united body; and that each delegate ought to have a vote in Congress. Moreover, this method of voting by States had a mischievous effect in another point of view. The delegates acted as representatives of States, and not of the people, and were naturally biased by local partialities and a tenacious adherence to State rights, which it was extremely desirable to keep out of sight at this time of common peril and calamity, and even for ever, if it was intended to strengthen and perpetuate the unlon. So lively an interest did he take in this subject, and so strongly was he convinced that the system of representation must be equitably balanced, before any hope of a lasting union could be entertained, that, while the convention of Pennsylvania was sitting, he drew up a Protest, containing the principal arguments against the plan of voting by States, which was designed to be presented by the convention to Congress, as affording the reasons why Pennsylvania could not enter into the confederation, if this article were retained. He was dissuaded from endeavouring to carry it through, however, on account of the critical situation of the country, at a time when harmony between the parts was essential to the safety of the whole. The evil was left to encumber and obstruct the operations of government, and impede the prosperity of the nation, till it was remedied by the Federal Constitution. From the King's speech at the opening of Parliament it appeared, that he contemplated sending out commissioners to America, with power to grant pardon to such persons as they should think fit, and to receive the submission of such as should be disposed to return to their allegiance. In the early part of the session, Lord North brought forward his Prohibitory Bill, interdicting all trade and intercourse with the colonies. By an awkward association, he incorporated into this bill a provision for appointing commissioners to effect the object mentioned in the King's speech. In the spring of 1776, the main body of the American army under General Washington was stationed at New York. General Howe arrived there with his army from Halifax in June, and he was soon after joined by his brother, Lord Howe, at the head of a fleet with troops from Europe. The two brothers had been appointed commissioners. Lord Howe immediately sent on shore a despatch, containing a circular letter to the colonial governors, and a “Declaration,” stating the nature of his mission and his powers, and requesting that the declaration should be published. The commissioners were not instructed to negotiate with any particular public body. Pardon was osfered to all, who should be penitent and submissive; to provinces, towns, assemblies, and individuals. This despatch was conveyed to General Washington, by whom it was forwarded to Congress. It occasioned but little debate. The letter and declaration were directed to be published, “that the few,” as expressed in the resolve, “who still remain suspended by a hope, founded either in the justice or moderation of their late King, may now at length be convinced, that the valor alone of their country is to save its liberties.” Lord Howe likewise wrote a private and friendly letter to Dr. Franklin, evincing respect for his character, and an earnest desire that all the differences between the two countries might be accommodated in the way now proposed. It was answered by Dr. Franklin in a spirit not less friendly and respectful; but, in regard to the public communications, he said, he was sorry to find them of such a nature, since “it must give his Lordship pain to be sent so far on so hopeless a business.” After some other remarks, touching the conduct and designs of the ministry, he added; “Long did I endeavour, with unfeigned and unwearied zeal, to preserve from breaking that fine and noble China vase, the British empire; for I knew, that,

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