A security is a tradable financial asset. The term refers to any form of financial instrument, but its legal definition varies by jurisdiction. In some jurisdictions the term excludes financial instruments other than equities and fixed income instruments. In some jurisdictions it includes some instruments that are close to equities and fixed income, e.g. equity warrants. In some countries and languages the term "security" is used in day-to-day parlance to mean any form of financial instrument though the underlying legal and regulatory regime may not have such a broad definition. In the United Kingdom, the national competent authority for financial markets regulation is the Financial Conduct Authority. In the United States, a security is a tradable financial asset of any kind. Securities are broadly categorized into: debt securities equity securities derivatives; the company or other entity issuing the security is called the issuer. A country's regulatory structure determines. For example, private investment pools may have some features of securities, but they may not be registered or regulated as such if they meet various restrictions.
Securities may be represented by a certificate or, more "non-certificated", in electronic or "book entry" only form. Certificates may be bearer, meaning they entitle the holder to rights under the security by holding the security, or registered, meaning they entitle the holder to rights only if he or she appears on a security register maintained by the issuer or an intermediary, they include shares of corporate stock or mutual funds, bonds issued by corporations or governmental agencies, stock options or other options, limited partnership units, various other formal investment instruments that are negotiable and fungible. Securities may be classified according to many categories or classification systems: Currency of denomination Ownership rights Terms to maturity Degree of liquidity Income payments Tax treatment Credit rating Industrial sector or "industry". Region or country Market capitalization State Securities are the traditional way that commercial enterprises raise new capital; these may be an attractive alternative to bank loans depending on their pricing and market demand for particular characteristics.
Another disadvantage of bank loans as a source of financing is that the bank may seek a measure of protection against default by the borrower via extensive financial covenants. Through securities, capital is provided by investors who purchase the securities upon their initial issuance. In a similar way, a government may issue securities too. Investors in securities may be retail, i.e. members of the public investing other than by way of business. The greatest part of investment, in terms of volume, is wholesale, i.e. by financial institutions acting on their own account, or on behalf of clients. Important institutional investors include investment banks, insurance companies, pension funds and other managed funds; the traditional economic function of the purchase of securities is investment, with the view to receiving income or achieving capital gain. Debt securities offer a higher rate of interest than bank deposits, equities may offer the prospect of capital growth. Equity investment may offer control of the business of the issuer.
Debt holdings may offer some measure of control to the investor if the company is a fledgling start-up or an old giant undergoing'restructuring'. In these cases, if interest payments are missed, the creditors may take control of the company and liquidate it to recover some of their investment; the last decade has seen an enormous growth in the use of securities as collateral. Purchasing securities with borrowed money secured by other securities or cash itself is called "buying on margin". Where A is owed a debt or other obligation by B, A may require B to deliver property rights in securities to A, either at inception or only in default. For institutional loans, property rights are not transferred but enable A to satisfy its claims in the event that B fails to make good on its obligations to A or otherwise becomes insolvent. Collateral arrangements are divided into two broad categories, namely security interests and outright collateral transfers. Commercial banks, investment banks, government agencies and other institutional investors such as mutual funds are significant collateral takers as well as providers.
In addition, private parties may utilize stocks or other securities as collateral for portfolio loans in securities lending scenarios. On the consumer level, loans against securities have grown into three distinct groups over the last decade: 1) Standard Institutional Loans offering low loan-to-value with
The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Europe and the US, in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. This transition included going from hand production methods to machines, new chemical manufacturing and iron production processes, the increasing use of steam power and water power, the development of machine tools and the rise of the mechanized factory system; the Industrial Revolution led to an unprecedented rise in the rate of population growth. Textiles were the dominant industry of the Industrial Revolution in terms of employment, value of output and capital invested; the textile industry was the first to use modern production methods. The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain, many of the technological innovations were of British origin. By the mid-18th century Britain was the world's leading commercial nation, controlling a global trading empire with colonies in North America and the Caribbean, with some political influence on the Indian subcontinent, through the activities of the East India Company.
The development of trade and the rise of business were major causes of the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution marks a major turning point in history. In particular, average income and population began to exhibit unprecedented sustained growth; some economists say that the major impact of the Industrial Revolution was that the standard of living for the general population began to increase for the first time in history, although others have said that it did not begin to meaningfully improve until the late 19th and 20th centuries. GDP per capita was broadly stable before the Industrial Revolution and the emergence of the modern capitalist economy, while the Industrial Revolution began an era of per-capita economic growth in capitalist economies. Economic historians are in agreement that the onset of the Industrial Revolution is the most important event in the history of humanity since the domestication of animals and plants. Although the structural change from agriculture to industry is associated with the Industrial Revolution, in the United Kingdom it was almost complete by 1760.
The precise start and end of the Industrial Revolution is still debated among historians, as is the pace of economic and social changes. Eric Hobsbawm held that the Industrial Revolution began in Britain in the 1780s and was not felt until the 1830s or 1840s, while T. S. Ashton held that it occurred between 1760 and 1830. Rapid industrialization first began in Britain, starting with mechanized spinning in the 1780s, with high rates of growth in steam power and iron production occurring after 1800. Mechanized textile production spread from Great Britain to continental Europe and the United States in the early 19th century, with important centres of textiles and coal emerging in Belgium and the United States and textiles in France. An economic recession occurred from the late 1830s to the early 1840s when the adoption of the original innovations of the Industrial Revolution, such as mechanized spinning and weaving and their markets matured. Innovations developed late in the period, such as the increasing adoption of locomotives and steamships, hot blast iron smelting and new technologies, such as the electrical telegraph introduced in the 1840s and 1850s, were not powerful enough to drive high rates of growth.
Rapid economic growth began to occur after 1870, springing from a new group of innovations in what has been called the Second Industrial Revolution. These new innovations included new steel making processes, mass-production, assembly lines, electrical grid systems, the large-scale manufacture of machine tools and the use of advanced machinery in steam-powered factories; the earliest recorded use of the term "Industrial Revolution" seems to have been in a letter from 6 July 1799 written by French envoy Louis-Guillaume Otto, announcing that France had entered the race to industrialise. In his 1976 book Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society, Raymond Williams states in the entry for "Industry": "The idea of a new social order based on major industrial change was clear in Southey and Owen, between 1811 and 1818, was implicit as early as Blake in the early 1790s and Wordsworth at the turn of the century." The term Industrial Revolution applied to technological change was becoming more common by the late 1830s, as in Jérôme-Adolphe Blanqui's description in 1837 of la révolution industrielle.
Friedrich Engels in The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844 spoke of "an industrial revolution, a revolution which at the same time changed the whole of civil society". However, although Engels wrote in the 1840s, his book was not translated into English until the late 1800s, his expression did not enter everyday language until then. Credit for popularising the term may be given to Arnold Toynbee, whose 1881 lectures gave a detailed account of the term; some historians, such as John Clapham and Nicholas Crafts, have argued that the economic and social changes occurred and the term revolution is a misnomer. This is still a subject of debate among some historians; the commencement of the Industrial Revolution is linked to a small number of innovations, beginning in the second half of the 18th century. By the 1830s the following gains had been made in important technologies: Textiles – mechanised cotton spinning powered by steam or water increased the output of a worker by a factor of around 500.
The power loom increased the output of a worker by a factor of over 40. The cotton gin increased productivity of removing seed from cotton by a factor of 50. Large gains in productivity occurred in spinning and weaving of w
The Great Debasement
The Great Debasement was a currency debasement policy introduced by in 1544 England under the order of Henry VIII which saw the amount of precious metal in gold and silver coins reduced and in some cases replaced with cheaper base metals such as copper. Overspending by Henry VIII to pay for his lavish lifestyle and to fund foreign wars with France and Scotland are cited as reasons for the policy's introduction; the main aim of the policy was to increase revenue for the Crown at the cost of taxpayers through savings in currency production with less bullion being required to mint new coins. During debasement gold standards dropped from the previous standard of 23 carat to as low as 20 carat while silver was reduced from 92.5% sterling silver to just 25%. Revoked in 1551 by Edward VI, the policy's economic effects continued for many years until 1560 when all debased currency was removed from circulation. In the 16th century, after suffering from the effects of the Black Death, Europe was in the middle of a economic expansion due in part to increased trade and newly discovered deposits of precious metals from the new world, England however was suffering with financial difficulty.
In the 1540s king Henry VIII began a campaign of excessive overspending of government money on his lavish lifestyle and to pay for wars with France and Scotland. In order to fund these Henry had raised great sums through the Dissolution of the Monasteries, selling off the Crown's land and by raising taxes however more money was still required. In May 1542 Henry VIII issued a secret indenture whereby he ordered that the amount of gold and silver within the country's coinage be secretly reduced and for the previous unsuccessful Testoon coin be reproduced. For the next two years the newly minted debased coins including the reintroduced Testoon were stockpiled in Jewel Tower in the Palace of Westminster while production of coins at the current standard continued. By May 1544 a lack of bullion arriving at the mint prompted the government to issue the secret indenture and allow the debased coins to enter into general circulation. Two months in July 1544 merchants of the Low Countries discovered that newly minted silver groats had become debased and begun offering a lower price for them.
The introduction of these debased coins caused coins at similar face value but with higher precious metal content to disappear from circulation in line with Gresham's law. Gold and silver standards continued to drop under Henry VIII: in 1545 gold was reduced to 22 carat and again to 20 carat in 1546. Silver content dropped numerous times from the fine silver to 50% in 1549 and again to 33% in 1546. Copper was used as a substitute for silver in the coins. Henry's stockpiled testoons were covered in a thin layer of silver which had a tendency to wear off over the protruding nose of his portrait, revealing the copper underneath, so much so that Henry was nicknamed Old Coppernose. After Henry VIII's death in 1547 his nine-year-old son Edward VI was crowned king; the young Edward continued his father's debasement however in 1548 made an attempt to improve fineness by increasing gold fineness to 22 carat at the cost of reducing coin size. After silver content reached a new low of just 25% in 1551; the debasement policy was revoked in October 1551 and silver fineness was returned to the pre-debasement standard of 92.5% fine silver.
Over the course of the seven years that the debasement occurred and silver content in coins fluctuated, as well as the coins' weights. During debasement the following coins circulated. During debasement the silver content of the penny dropped by more than 83%. 1544 the fineness of the silver was debased from the normal.925 fine down to.333 fine. Half-sovereigns were produced in four different standards. Sovereigns like that half sovereigns were produced in four different standards. By the time Elizabeth I came to power in 1558 the quality of England's coinage had greatly affected both confidence in the monarchy as well as the country's trading relations with foreign merchants refusing to accept the debased currency as payments. In concert with her advisers William Cecil and Thomas Gresham the queen became convinced that these problems could be solved by restoring England's coinage to its high standards by removing debased currency from circulation. Due to Gresham's law coins with higher fineness were hoarded while debased legal tender currency was used to pay debts.
The preparation for the removal of debased coinage the government enacted a law which forbid'good' coinage from entering foreign markets and ended the legal tender status of all debased currency. In 1560 under the instructions of the queen Thomas Gresham withdrew all debased coinage from circulation having them melted down and replaced with newly minted coins with high fineness. An estimated £50,000 was gained by the crown in the process. In 1561 milled coinage was introduced into England by French moneyer Eloy Mestrelle replacing the crude hammer struck coins; the Great Debasement
South Sea Company
The South Sea Company was a British joint-stock company founded in 1711, created as a public-private partnership to consolidate and reduce the cost of national debt. The company was granted a monopoly to trade with South America and nearby islands, hence its name; when the company was created, Britain was involved in the War of the Spanish Succession and Spain controlled South America. There was no realistic prospect that trade would take place, the company never realised any significant profit from its monopoly. Company stock rose in value as it expanded its operations dealing in government debt, peaking in 1720 before collapsing to little above its original flotation price; the Bubble Act 1720, which forbade the creation of joint-stock companies without royal charter, was promoted by the South Sea company itself before its collapse. In Great Britain, a considerable number of people were ruined by the share collapse, the national economy reduced as a result; the founders of the scheme engaged in insider trading, using their advance knowledge of when national debt was to be consolidated to make large profits from purchasing debt in advance.
Huge bribes were given to politicians to support the Acts of Parliament necessary for the scheme. Company money was used to deal in its own shares, selected individuals purchasing shares were given loans backed by those same shares to spend on purchasing more shares; the expectation of profits from trade with South America was used to encourage the public to purchase shares, but the bubble prices reached far beyond the profits of the slave trade. A parliamentary inquiry was held after the crash to discover its causes. A number of politicians were disgraced, people found to have profited unlawfully from the company had assets confiscated proportionate to their gains; the company was continued to operate for more than a century after the Bubble. The headquarters were at the centre of the financial district in London. At the time of these events, the Bank of England was a private company dealing in national debt, the crash of its rival consolidated its position as banker to the British government..
In August 1710 Robert Harley was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer in a government of commission. The government at this time had become reliant on the Bank of England; this was a owned company, chartered 16 years which had obtained a monopoly as the lender to Westminster, in return for arranging and managing loans to the government. The government had become dissatisfied with the service it was receiving and Harley was seeking new ways to improve the national finances. A new Parliament met in November 1710 with a resolve to attend to national finances, which were suffering from two simultaneous wars: the war with France, which ended in 1713, the Great Northern War, not to end until 1721. Harley came prepared, with detailed accounts of the situation of the national debt, customarily a piecemeal affair, with different government departments arranging their own loans as the need arose, he released the information continually adding new reports of debts incurred and scandalous expenditure, until in January 1711 the House of Commons agreed to appoint a committee to investigate the entire debt.
The committee included Harley himself. Included were the Secretary of the Treasury, William Lowndes, who had had significant responsibility for reminting the entire debased British coinage in 1696. Harley's first concern was to find £300,000 for the next quarter's pay for the British army operating in Europe under Marlborough; this was provided by a private consortium of George Caswall and Hoare's Bank. The Bank of England had been operating a state lottery on behalf of the government, but this had not been successful in 1710, another had begun in 1711; this too was performing poorly, so Harley granted authority to sell tickets to John Blunt, a director of the Hollow Sword Blade Company, which despite its name was an unofficial bank. With sales commencing on 3 March 1711, tickets had sold out by the 7th; this was the first successful English state lottery. The success was shortly followed by another, lottery, "The Two Million Adventure" or "The Classis", with tickets costing £100, a top prize of £20,000 and every ticket winning a prize of at least £10.
Although prizes were advertised by their total amount, they were paid in the form of a fixed annuity over a period of years, so that the government held the prize money as a loan until it was paid out to the winners. Marketing was handled by members of the Sword Blade syndicate, Gibbon selling £200,000 of tickets and earning £4,500 commission, Blunt selling £993,000. Charles Blunt was made Paymaster of the lottery with expenses of £5,000; the national debt investigation had concluded that a total of £9,000,000 was owed, without any allocated income to pay it off. Edward Harley and John Blunt together had devised a scheme to consolidate this debt in much the same way that the Bank of England had consolidated previous debt
George Washington was an American political leader, military general and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. He led Patriot forces to victory in the nation's War of Independence, he presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 which established the new federal government, he has been called the "Father of His Country" for his manifold leadership in the formative days of the new nation. Washington received his initial military training and command with the Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War, he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses and was named a delegate to the Continental Congress, where he was appointed Commanding General of the nation's Continental Army. Washington allied with France, in the defeat of the British at Yorktown. Once victory for the United States was in hand in 1783, Washington resigned his commission. Washington played a key role in the adoption and ratification of the Constitution and was elected president by the Electoral College in the first two elections.
He implemented a strong, well-financed national government while remaining impartial in a fierce rivalry between cabinet members Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. During the French Revolution, he proclaimed a policy of neutrality while sanctioning the Jay Treaty, he set enduring precedents for the office of president, including the title "President of the United States", his Farewell Address is regarded as a pre-eminent statement on republicanism. Washington utilized slave labor and trading African American slaves, but he became troubled with the institution of slavery and freed them in his 1799 will, he was a member of the Anglican Church and the Freemasons, he urged tolerance for all religions in his roles as general and president. Upon his death, he was eulogized as "first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen." He has been memorialized by monuments, geographical locations and currency, many scholars and polls rank him among the top American presidents. Washington's great-grandfather John Washington immigrated in 1656 from Sulgrave, England to the British Colony of Virginia where he accumulated 5,000 acres of land, including Little Hunting Creek on the Potomac River.
George Washington was born February 22, 1732 at Popes Creek in Westmoreland County and was the first of six children of Augustine and Mary Ball Washington. His father was a justice of the peace and a prominent public figure who had three additional children from his first marriage to Jane Butler; the family moved to Little Hunting Creek to Ferry Farm near Fredericksburg, Virginia. When Augustine died in 1743, Washington inherited ten slaves. Washington did not have the formal education that his older brothers received at Appleby Grammar School in England, but he did learn mathematics and surveying, he was talented in draftsmanship and map-making. By early adulthood, he was writing with "considerable force" and "precision."Washington visited Mount Vernon and Belvoir, the plantation that belonged to Lawrence's father-in-law William Fairfax, which fueled ambition for the lifestyle of the planter aristocracy. Fairfax became Washington's patron and surrogate father, Washington spent a month in 1748 with a team surveying Fairfax's Shenandoah Valley property.
He received a surveyor's license the following year from the College of Mary. He resigned from the job in 1750 and had bought 1,500 acres in the Valley, he owned 2,315 acres by 1752. In 1751, Washington made his only trip abroad when he accompanied Lawrence to Barbados, hoping that the climate would cure his brother's tuberculosis. Washington contracted smallpox during that trip, which immunized him but left his face scarred. Lawrence died in 1752, Washington leased Mount Vernon from his widow. Lawrence's service as adjutant general of the Virginia militia inspired Washington to seek a commission, Virginia's Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie appointed him as a major in December 1752 and as commander of one of the four militia districts; the British and French were competing for control of the Ohio Valley at the time, the British building forts along the Ohio River and the French doing between Lake Erie and the Ohio River. In October 1753, Dinwiddie appointed Washington as a special envoy to demand that the French vacate territory which the British had claimed.
Dinwiddie appointed him to make peace with the Iroquois Confederacy and to gather intelligence about the French forces. Washington met with Half-King Tanacharison and other Iroquois chiefs at Logstown to secure their promise of support against the French, his party reached the Ohio River in November, they were intercepted by a French patrol and escorted to Fort Le Boeuf where Washington was received in a friendly manner. He delivered the British demand to vacate to French commander Saint-Pierre, but the French refused to leave. Saint-Pierre gave Washington his official answer in a sealed envelope after a few days' delay, he gave Washington's party food and extra winter clothing for the trip back to Virginia. Washington completed the precarious mission in 77 days in difficult winter conditions and achieved a measure of distinction when his report was published in Virginia and London. In February 1754, Dinwiddie promoted Washington to lieutenant colonel and second-in-command of the 300-strong Virginia R
A bank is a financial institution that accepts deposits from the public and creates credit. Lending activities can be performed either indirectly through capital markets. Due to their importance in the financial stability of a country, banks are regulated in most countries. Most nations have institutionalized a system known as fractional reserve banking under which banks hold liquid assets equal to only a portion of their current liabilities. In addition to other regulations intended to ensure liquidity, banks are subject to minimum capital requirements based on an international set of capital standards, known as the Basel Accords. Banking in its modern sense evolved in the 14th century in the prosperous cities of Renaissance Italy but in many ways was a continuation of ideas and concepts of credit and lending that had their roots in the ancient world. In the history of banking, a number of banking dynasties – notably, the Medicis, the Fuggers, the Welsers, the Berenbergs, the Rothschilds – have played a central role over many centuries.
The oldest existing retail bank is Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, while the oldest existing merchant bank is Berenberg Bank. The concept of banking may have begun in ancient Assyria and Babylonia, with merchants offering loans of grain as collateral within a barter system. Lenders in ancient Greece and during the Roman Empire added two important innovations: they accepted deposits and changed money. Archaeology from this period in ancient China and India shows evidence of money lending. More modern banking can be traced to medieval and early Renaissance Italy, to the rich cities in the centre and north like Florence, Siena and Genoa; the Bardi and Peruzzi families dominated banking in 14th-century Florence, establishing branches in many other parts of Europe. One of the most famous Italian banks was the Medici Bank, set up by Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici in 1397; the earliest known state deposit bank, Banco di San Giorgio, was founded in 1407 at Italy. Modern banking practices, including fractional reserve banking and the issue of banknotes, emerged in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Merchants started to store their gold with the goldsmiths of London, who possessed private vaults, charged a fee for that service. In exchange for each deposit of precious metal, the goldsmiths issued receipts certifying the quantity and purity of the metal they held as a bailee; the goldsmiths began to lend the money out on behalf of the depositor, which led to the development of modern banking practices. The goldsmith paid interest on these deposits. Since the promissory notes were payable on demand, the advances to the goldsmith's customers were repayable over a longer time period, this was an early form of fractional reserve banking; the promissory notes developed into an assignable instrument which could circulate as a safe and convenient form of money backed by the goldsmith's promise to pay, allowing goldsmiths to advance loans with little risk of default. Thus, the goldsmiths of London became the forerunners of banking by creating new money based on credit; the Bank of England was the first to begin the permanent issue of banknotes, in 1695.
The Royal Bank of Scotland established the first overdraft facility in 1728. By the beginning of the 19th century a bankers' clearing house was established in London to allow multiple banks to clear transactions; the Rothschilds pioneered international finance on a large scale, financing the purchase of the Suez canal for the British government. The word bank was taken Middle English from Middle French banque, from Old Italian banco, meaning "table", from Old High German banc, bank "bench, counter". Benches were used as makeshift desks or exchange counters during the Renaissance by Jewish Florentine bankers, who used to make their transactions atop desks covered by green tablecloths; the definition of a bank varies from country to country. See the relevant country pages under for more information. Under English common law, a banker is defined as a person who carries on the business of banking by conducting current accounts for his customers, paying cheques drawn on him/her and collecting cheques for his/her customers.
In most common law jurisdictions there is a Bills of Exchange Act that codifies the law in relation to negotiable instruments, including cheques, this Act contains a statutory definition of the term banker: banker includes a body of persons, whether incorporated or not, who carry on the business of banking'. Although this definition seems circular, it is functional, because it ensures that the legal basis for bank transactions such as cheques does not depend on how the bank is structured or regulated; the business of banking is in many English common law countries not defined by statute but by common law, the definition above. In other English common law jurisdictions there are statutory definitions of the business of banking or banking business; when looking at these definitions it is important to keep in mind that they are defining the business of banking for the purposes of the legislation, not in general. In particular, most of the definitions are from legislation that has the purpose of regulating and supervising banks rather than regulating the actual business of banking.
However, in many cases the statutory definition mirrors the common law one. Examples of statutory definitions: "banking business" means the business of receiving money on current or deposit account and collecting cheques drawn by or paid in by customers, the making
Edmund Jennings Randolph was an American attorney and politician. He was the seventh Governor of Virginia, as a delegate from Virginia, attended the Constitutional Convention, helping to create a national constitution, he was the second Secretary of State, the first United States Attorney General during George Washington's presidency. Randolph was born on August 10, 1753 to the influential Randolph family in Williamsburg in the Colony of Virginia, he was educated at the College of Mary. After graduation he began reading law with uncle, Peyton Randolph. In 1775, with the start of the American Revolution, Randolph's father remained a Loyalist and returned to Britain. Upon the death of his uncle Peyton Randolph in October 1775, Randolph returned to Virginia to act as executor of the estate, while there was elected as a representative to the Fourth Virginia Convention, he would go on to serve as mayor of Williamsburg, as the first Attorney General of the United States under the newly formed government.
He was married on August 29, 1776 to Elizabeth Nicholas, had a total of six children, including Peyton Randolph, Governor of Virginia from 1811 to 1812. Randolph was selected as one of eleven delegates to represent Virginia at the Continental Congress in 1779, served as a delegate through 1782. During this period he remained in private law practice, handling numerous legal issues for George Washington among others. Randolph was elected Governor of Virginia in 1786, that same year leading a delegation to the Annapolis Convention, he had taken on the young John Marshall as a student and law partner, transferred his lucrative law practice to Marshall when he became governor in 1786, since Virginia law forbade executive officers from private practice in its courts. The following year, as a delegate from Virginia to the Constitutional Convention, at age 34 Randolph introduced the Virginia Plan as an outline for a new national government, he argued against importation of slaves and in favor of a strong central government, advocating a plan for three chief executives from various parts of the country.
The Virginia Plan proposed a bicameral legislature, both houses of which comprising delegates chosen based on state population. Randolph additionally proposed, was supported by unanimous approval by the Convention's delegates, "that a Nationally Judiciary be established"; the Articles of Confederation lacked a national court system for the United States. Randolph was a member of the "Committee of Detail", tasked with converting the Virginia Plan's 15 resolutions into a first draft of the Constitution. Randolph refused to sign the final document, one of only three members who remained in the Constitutional Convention yet refused to sign. Randolph thought the final document lacked sufficient checks and balances, published an account of his objections in October 1787. Randolph had several objections to the Convention’s proposal, he thought the federal judiciary would pose a threat to state courts, he thought the Senate was too powerful and Congress’s power too broad. Randolph reversed his position at the Virginia Ratifying Convention in 1788.
He chaired that nearly divided convention, Mason resented Randolph's change of position. Mason and other opponents demanded amendments prior to ratification. Randolph noted that he had seen several responses to the insistence that amendments were necessary before ratification; some thought the objection insubstantial. In common with other advocates of amending the Constitution prior to ratification, Randolph insisted that it would be easier to amend the Constitution before ratifying it, when a majority might do so, than to ratify an imperfect Constitution and assemble the votes of three-fourths of the states, he did not think it desirable that the people should become accustomed to altering their constitution with any regularity once it was adopted. The Governor had written, “If after our best efforts for amendments, they cannot be obtained, I will adopt the constitution as it is.” Randolph said he voted for ratification of the Constitution because by June 2 eight other states had done so, he did not want to see Virginia left out of the new national government.
Randolph believed that Virginia must choose between the stark alternatives of ratification and disunion. Randolph never doubted union's advantages. Historians have missed the signal importance of Randolph’s role in the Richmond Convention. In the Richmond Ratification Convention, it was Randolph who pointed the way to an understanding of ratification with which Virginia’s leaders could be satisfied, he assured his fellow members of the Virginia political elite that the Constitution they were being asked to ratify in the summer of 1788 would have limited significance--that what they would be entering was more a league of sovereign states than a consolidated union. Randolph wrote that of the ten delegates whose views had been unknown, five had been swayed to vote for ratification by his gambit. In the end, Virginia’s Federalists secured the Constitution’s ratification by five votes. Washington rewarded Randolph for his support. Randolph was appointed as the first U. S. Attorney General in September 1789, maintaining pre