Mason's primary concerns about government, both Virginia's and the new nation's, were aimed at preserving the rights and liberties of individuals above all else. While he wanted a strong nation, he feared giving the government too much power, and for this reason, had become a strict constructionist of the Articles of Confederation. Mason was particularly alarmed by the Continental Congress's appeal for the states to levy more taxes to support the army and to retire the public debt. He felt the central government was overstepping its bounds in not adhering to the specific powers delegated by the Articles of Confederation. On May 30, 1783, Mason drafted a letter of instructions to the Virginia General Assembly delegates on behalf of the Fairfax County Freeholders. He wrote:


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