THE CONNECTICUT COMPROMISE.
FROM 19 JUNE TO 2 JULY 1787.
THE convention, which had shown itself so resolute for consolidating the union, next bethought itself of home rule. In reply to what had fallen from Hamilton, Wilson said, on the nineteenth of June : “I am for a national government, but not one that will swallow up the state governments; these are absolutely necessary for purposes which the national government cannot reach.”
“I did not intend yesterday,” exclaimed Hamilton, “a total extinguishment of state governments; but that a national government must have indefinite sovereignty; for if it were limited at all, the rivalship of the states would gradually subvert it.* The states must retain subordinate jurisdictions.”† “If the states,” said King, “retain some portion of their sovereignty, they have certainly divested themselves of essential portions of it. If, in some respects, they form a confederacy, in others they form a nation.”
Martin held that the separation from Great Britain placed the thirteen states in a state of nature toward each other,‡ This Wilson denied, saying : “In the declaration of independence the united colonies were declared to be free and independent states, independent, not individually, but unitedly.”#
Connecticut, which was in all sincerity partly federal and partly national, was now compelled to take the lead. As a
* Gilpin, 904; Elliot, 212.
† Yates in Elliot, i., 426.
‡ Gilpin, 906, 907; Elliot, 213.
# Gilpin, 907; Elliot, 213.