Article 4, Section 4

Document 5

William Symmes to Capt. Peter Osgood, Jr.

15 Nov. 1787Storing 4.5.2

"The United States shall guarrantee to every State a Republican form of government."

Republics are either aristocratical or democratical: and the United States guarranty one of these forms to every State. But I disapprove of any guarranty in the matter. For though it is improbable, that any State will choose to alter the form of its government; yet it ought to be the privelege of every State to do as it will in this affair. If this regulation be admitted, it will be difficult to effect any important changes in State government. For the other States will have nearly as much to do with our government as we ourselves. And what Congress may see in our present constitution, or any future amendments, not strictly republican in their opinions, who can tell? Besides it is of no importance to any State how the government of any other State is administered, whether by a single magistrate or two, or by a king.

I therefore presume, that, as this clause meddles too much with the independence of the several States, so also it answers no valuable end to any or to the whole.

The Founders' Constitution
Volume 4, Article 4, Section 4, Document 5
The University of Chicago Press

Storing, Herbert J., ed. The Complete Anti-Federalist. 7 vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.

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