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“The apprehended danger from the experiment of universal suffrage applied to the whole legislative department is no dream of the imagination. . . . The tendency of universal suffrage is to jeopardize the rights of property and the principles of liberty. There is a constant tendency . . . in the poor to covet and to share the plunder of the rich; in the debtor to relax or avoid the obligation of contracts; in the majority to tyrannize over the minority and trample down their rights in the indolent and and the profligate to cast the whole burdens of society upon the industrious and virtuous . . . . We are no longer to remain plain and simple republics of farmers. . . . We are fast becoming a great nation, with great commerce, manufactures, population, wealth, luxuries, and with the vices and miseries that they engender.”
-James Kent, excerpt from the Proceedings and Debates of the Convention Assembled for the Purpose of Amending the Constitution of the State of New York, 1821