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Oliver Ellsworth Essay

I, Oliver Ellsworth representative of Connecticut, propose that the basis of representation in the legislative branch remain by state as under the Articles of Confederation. I support the system of government that maintains the principle of local rule and I understand central government as the body that will strengthen the rights of property and the harmony of the republic, therefore I claim “we” are partly national and partly federal. Under this I shall introduce the resolution with my ally Roger Sherman along with William S. Johnson, The Great Compromise, breaking the deadlock between the large and small states over representative, allowing United States senators to be elected by state legislature. I do agree with Randolph’s notion of a three-fold division, but move to strike the phrase, “national government” into “government of the United States.”

I also advise that the House of Representatives be chosen or elected every year as Roger Sherman will also come to agree with. Favoring the three-fifths compromise on the enumeration of slaves, I do although; oppose the abolition of the foreign slave trade. Slaveholders from Maryland and Virginia can afford to oppose the slave trade, because slaves multiply accordingly fast in Virginia and Maryland, it is cheaper to raise then import them, whilst in the sickly rice swamps [of South Carolina and Georgia] foreign supplies are necessary. Ending the slave trade can also benefit slave-owners in the Chesapeake region, since the demand for slaves in other parts of the South will increase the price of slaves once the external supply is cut off. Then, shall I concur that in order for individual rights to be protected “we” must help shape America with an independent judiciary and as system of federalism.

-Oliver Ellsworth, Connecticut Representative.


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