Tag: Oliver Ellsworth

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Early Presidential Elections: The Questionable Use of Electors to Correct Voter Imbalances

An important issue that the Congressional delegates faced when drafting the Constitution was how to create an equitable balance in voting rights between the larger states (Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia) and the smaller ones (Delaware, Georgia, New Hampshire). Although the delegates were sworn to secrecy throughout their debates (May through September 1787), once the debates were […]

by Marvin L. Simner
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Hylton v. U.S. and Alexander Hamilton’s Defense of Congressional Taxing Authority

In 1796 Daniel Hylton, a wealthy Virginian farmer, brought a suit before the United States Supreme Court arguing that a federal tax on carriages violated a constitutional distinction between direct and indirect taxation. While the Constitution granted Congress unlimited authority to pass indirect taxes on imported goods, the framers insisted that direct taxes on property […]

by Nathan Hotes and Frank W. Garmon Jr.
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Impeachment: The Framers Debate and Discuss

Author’s Note: Selections from all resolutions and working drafts are italicized. Most of what we know about the framers’ discussions comes from James Madison’s Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787; material from Madison’s notes is identified by quotation marks or indented block quotes. The best print source, annotated by Adrienne Koch and […]

by Ray Raphael