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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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8146. STATES, Admission of new.—
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8146. STATES, Admission of new.—

The 11th Article of Confederation admits
Canada to accede to the Confederation at
its own will, but adds that, “no other Colony
shall be admitted to the same, unless such
admission be agreed to by nine States”.
When the plan of April, 1784, for establishing
new States was on the carpet, the committee
who framed the report of that plan, had inserted
this clause, “provided nine States
agree to such admission, according to the
reservation of the 11th of the Articles of
Confederation”. It was objected, 1. That
the words of the Confederation, “no other
Colony”, could only refer to the residuary
possessions of Great Britain, as the two Floridas,
Nova Scotia, &c., not being already
parts of the Union; that the law for “ admitting ” a new member into the Union, could
not be applied to a territory which was already
in the Union, as making part of a
State which was a member of it. 2. That it
would be improper to allow “nine” States
to receive a new member, because the same
reasons which rendered that number proper
now, would render a greater one proper when
the number composing the Union should be
increased. They, therefore, struck out this
paragraph, and inserted a proviso, that “the
consent of so many States, in Congress, shall
be first obtained, as may, at the time be competent ”; thus leaving the question, whether
the 11th Article applies to the admission of
new States? to be decided when that admission
shall be asked. (See the Journal
of Congress of April 20, 1784.) Another
doubt was started in this debate, viz.:
whether the agreement of the nine States,
required by the Confederation, was to be
made by their legislatures, or by their delegates
in Congress? The expression adopted,
viz.: “so many States in Congress is first
obtained”, shows what was their sense in
this matter. If it be agreed that the 11th


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Article of the Confederation is not to be applied
to the admission of these new States,
then it is contended that their admission
comes within the 13th Article, which forbids
“any alteration, unless agreed to in a Congress
of the United States, and afterwards
confirmed by the legislatures of every State”.—
Answers to M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 251. Ford ed., iv, 156.
(P. 1786)

See Confederation, Defects.