James Wilson

Govt P.1 Chance Woodruff

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James Wilson Bio

James Wilson (September 14, 1742 – August 21, 1798) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence. Wilson was elected twice to the Continental Congress, where he represented Pennsylvania, and was a major force in drafting the United States Constitution. A leading legal theorist, he was one of the six original justices appointed by George Washington to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Contributions to US Government

James Wilson, delegate from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was, like James Madison and George Wythe of Virginia, was a scholar who came to the convention understanding how 13 States could share a government of tripartite powers: legislative, judicial, and executive. Wilson, along with the others (and Hamilton) applied such knowledge to the developing Constitution of the Convention.

During debate the question of power of the proposed federal government and in this the old concept of the Confederacy (implying also the proposed Union) was a league of States. James Wilson follow the course he had laid out long before declared that individuals, not States were the objects of government care. Continuing that logic he asked, why should annexing the name of a State give ten thousand men the rights equal to forty thousand under the name of another State? This, he said, was magic not logic.