Wilson Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Report of the
Convention’s Resolutions

July 24, 1787

Written by James Wilson, this draft lists what the Framers agreed to during the first two months of the convention. Wilson, serving on the Committee of Detail with four other delegates, used this document to create the next draft of the Constitution, which would expand and revise these resolutions.

1. RESOLVED
That the Government of the United States
ought to consist of a Supreme Legislative, Judiciary and Executive

2. RESOLVED
That the Legislature of the United States ought to consist of two Branches

3. RESOLVED
That the Members of the first Branch of the Legislature of the United States ought to be — elected by the People of the several States — for the Term of two Years — to be of the Age of twenty five Years at least — to be ineligible to and incapable of holding any Office under the Authority of the United States (except those peculiarly belonging to the Functions of the first Branch) during the Time of Service of the first Branch

4. RESOLVED
That the Members of the second Branch of the Legislature of the United States ought to be chosen by the Individual Legislatures — to be of the Age of thirty Years at least — to hold their Offices for the Term of six Years; one third to go out biennially—to receive a Compensation for the Devotion of their Time to the public Service — to be ineligible to and incapable of holding any Office under the Authority of the United States (except those peculiarly belonging to the Functions of the second Branch) during the Term for which they are elected, and for one Year thereafter.

5. RESOLVED
That each Branch ought to possess the Right of originating Acts.

6. RESOLVED
That the Right of Suffrage in the first Branch of the Legislature of the United States ought not to be according to the Rules established in the Articles of Confederation but according to some equitable Ratio of Representation.

7. RESOLVED
That in the original Formation of the Legislature of the United States the first Branch thereof shall consist of sixty five Members of which Number New-Hampshire shall send three — Massachussetts eight — Rhode Island one — Connecticut five — New. York six — New-Jersey four — Pennsylvania eight — Delaware one — Maryland six — Virginia ten —North. Carolina five — South Carolina five — Georgia three.

But as the present Situation of the States may probably alter in the Number of their Inhabitants, the Legislature of the United States shall be authorised from Time to Time to apportion the Number of Representatives; and in Case any of the States shall hereafter be divided, or enlarged by Addition of Territory, or any two or more States united, or any new States created within the Limits of the United States, the Legislature of the United States shall possess Authority to regulate the Number of Representatives in any of the foregoing Cases, upon the Principle of the Number of their Inhabitants, according to the Provisions herein after mentioned namely — Provided always that Representation ought to be proportioned according to direct Taxation: And in order to ascertain the Alteration in the direct Taxation, which may be required from Time to Time, by the Changes in the relative Circumstances of the States —

Resolved that a Census be taken, within six Years from the first Meeting of the Legislature of the United States, and once within the Term of every ten Years afterwards, of all the Inhabitants of the United States in the Manner and according to the Ratio recommended by Congress in their Resolution of April 18th. 1783— And that the Legislature of the United States shall proportion the direct Taxation accordingly.

Resolved that all Bills for raising or appropriating Money, and for fixing the Salaries of the Officers of the Government of the United States shall originate in the first Branch of the Legislature of the United States, and shall not be altered or amended by the second Branch; and that no Money shall be drawn from the public Treasury but in Pursuance of Appropriations to be originated by the first Branch

Resolved that from the first Meeting of the Legislature of the United States until a Census shall be taken, all Monies for supplying the public Treasury by direct Taxation shall be raised from the several States according to the Number of their Representatives respectively in the first Branch

8. RESOLVED
That in the second Branch of the Legislature of the United States each State shall have an equal Vote.

RESOLVED
That the Legislature of the United States ought to possess
the legislative Rights vested in Congress by the Confederation; and moreover to legislate in all Cases for the general Interests of the Union, and also in those Cases to which the States are separately incompetent, or in which the Harmony of the United States may be interrupted by the Exercise of individual Legislation.

RESOLVED
That the legislative Acts of the United States made by Virtue and in Pursuance of the Articles of Union, and all Treaties made and ratified under the Authority of the United States shall be the supreme Law of the respective States so far as those Acts or Treaties shall relate to the said States, or their Citizens and Inhabitants; and that the Judicatures of the several States shall be bound thereby in their Decisions, any Thing in the respective Laws of the individual States to the contrary notwithstanding.

RESOLVED
That a national Executive be instituted to consist of a single Person — to be chosen for the Term of six Years— with Power to carry into Execution the national Laws— to appoint to Offices in Cases not otherwise provided for — to be removeable on Impeachment and Conviction of mal Practice or Neglect of Duty — to receive a fixed Compensation for the Devotion of his Time to public Service — to be paid out of the public Treasury.

RESOLVED
That the national Executive shall have a Right to negative any legislative Act, which shall not be afterwards passed, unless by two third Parts of each Branch of the national Legislative/ure.

RESOLVED
That a national Judiciary be established to consist of one Supreme Tribunal — the Judges of which shall be appointed by the second Branch of the national Legislature — to hold their Offices during good Behaviour — to receive punctually at stated Times a fixed Compensation for their Services, in which no Diminution shall be made so as to affect the Persons actually in Office at the Time of such Diminution

RESOLVED
That the Jurisdiction of the national Judiciary shall extend to Cases arising under the Laws passed by the general Legislature, and to such other Questions as involve the national Peace and Harmony.

RESOLVED
That the national Legislature be empowered to appoint inferior Tribunals.

RESOLVED
That Provision ought to be made for the Admission of States lawfully arising within the Limits of the United States, whether from a voluntary Junction of Government and Territory, or otherwise, with the Consent of a Number of Voices in the national Legislature — less than the whole.

RESOLVED
That a Republican Form of Government shall be guarantied to each State; and that each State shall be protected against foreign and domestic Violence.

RESOLVED
That Provision ought to be made for the Amendment of the Articles
of Union, whensoever it shall seem necessary.

RESOLVED
That the legislative, executive and judiciary Powers, within the several States, and of the national Government, ought to be bound by Oath to support the Articles of Union.

RESOLVED
That the Amendments which shall be offered to the Confederation by the Convention ought at a proper Time or Times, after the Approbation of Congress, to be submitted to an Assembly or Assemblies of Representatives, recommended by the several Legislatures, to be expressly chosen by the People to consider and decide thereon.

RESOLVED
That the Representation in the second Branch of the Legislature of the United States consist of two Members from each State, who shall vote per capita.