Sherman suggested that both the states and Congress could propose amendments, by a 2/3 supermajority. But he also wanted the states to ratify unanimously. Wilson said that was unworkable, and suggested the states instead ratify by the same 2/3 required for proposal. Several thought THAT was foolish, and so Wilson changed his proposal to ratification by 3/4 of the states. This time everyone said okay. But they still weren't finished...

There’s no mention of anyone saying so at the time, but how pointless and silly would it have been if ratification only required the agreement of the same 2/3 of the states that had proposed the amendment? Might as well not even bother with a second step.

Even so, Wilson’s 2/3 – 2/3 idea nearly passed on the first vote. NH, PA, DE, MD, and VA all voted yes, and MA, CT, NJ, NC, SC, and GA said no. (When he changed it to 3/4, it passed unanimously.) And that was that.


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Join the conversation! There are now 2 comments on “What were they thinking? pg 25
  1. From what I have seen, pointless and silly is not much of an impediment to the creation of laws.

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