The Guarantee Clause of the U.S. Constitution

By William M. Wiecek | Go to book overview

2
Drafting and Ratification

Delegate James Madison arrived in Philadelphia in May 1787 convinced that the upcoming convention would "decide forever the fate of republican government."1 As the Convention was called to order on May 25, he was busily caucusing with the Virginia delegation, working out the details of the blueprint for the constitution known as the Virginia Plan. Drawing on his experience in the Continental Congress, his pamphlet on the "Vices" of the Articles of Confederation, and his letter of April 8 to Edmund Randolph, Madison hammered out the earliest formulation of the guarantee clause. His April suggestion of "an article...expressly guaranteeing the tranquility of the states against internal as well as external danger" took form as section 11 of the Virginia Plan. It read: "Resd. that a Republican Government & the territory of each State, except in the instance of a voluntary junction of Government & territory, ought to be guaranteed by the United States to each state."2

____________________
1
Charles Warren, The Making of the Constitution ( Boston, 1928), 82.
2
Farrand, Records, I, 22 (Madison, 29 May). It is not known with certainty who actually drafted the plan presented by Randolph and sometimes called after him. The document corresponds so closely with Madison's thought that his biographer, Irving Brant, in James Madison: Father of the Constitution ( Indianapolis, 1950), ch. 2, concluded that he was its real author.

-51-

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The Guarantee Clause of the U.S. Constitution
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • Abbreviations xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - Beginnings 9
  • I - Origins 11
  • 2 - Drafting And Ratification 51
  • 3 - Domestic Violence 78
  • 4 - Luther V. Borden (1849) 111
  • Part II - Fruition 131
  • 5- Slavery in The American Republic 133
  • 6 - Reconstruction: Crescendo, 1861-1867 166
  • 7 - Reconstruction: Diminuendo, 1867-1877 210
  • Part III - Desuetude 245
  • 8 - The Progressive Era 247
  • 9- Baker V. Carr (1962) 270
  • Epilogue 290
  • Suggested Secondary Readings 305
  • Index 315
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