Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Journal of the Federal Convention August 13th 1787
Avalon Project ^ | James Madison

Posted on 08/13/2011 2:51:18 AM PDT by Jacquerie

Article IV Sections 2 & 5 Redux. Seven v. Three Years. Privileges & Immunities. Money Bills. Mason Speech. Evils in Republics. More Money. Dickenson Speech.

In Convention.

Art. IV. Sect. 2 [FN1], [FN2] reconsidered-

Mr. WILSON & Mr. RANDOLPH moved to strike out "7 years" and insert "4 years," as the requisite term of Citizenship to qualify for the House of Reps. Mr. Wilson said it was very proper the electors should govern themselves by this consideration; but unnecessary & improper that the Constitution should chain them down to it.

Mr. GERRY wished that in future the eligibility might be confined to Natives. Foreign powers will intermeddle in our affairs, and spare no expence to influence them. Persons having foreign attachments will be sent among us & insinuated into our councils, in order to be made i struments for their purposes. Every one knows the vast sums laid out in Europe for secret services. He was not singular in these ideas. A great many of the most influencial men in Massts. reasoned in the same manner.

Mr. WILLIAMSON moved to insert 9 years instead of seven. He wished this Country to acquire as fast as possible national habits. Wealthy emigrants do more harm by their luxurious examples, than good, by the money, they bring with them.

Col. HAMILTON was in general agst. embarrassing the Govt. with minute restrictions. There was on one side the possible danger that had been suggested. On the other side, the advantage of encouraging foreigners was obvious & admitted. Persons in Europe of moderate fortunes will be fond of coming here where they will be on a level with the first Citizens. He moved that the section be so altered as to require merely citizenship & inhabitancy. The right of determining the rule of naturalization will then leave a discretion to the Legislature on this subject which will answer every purpose.

Mr. MADISON seconded the motion. He wished to maintain the character of liberality which had been professed in all the Constitutions & publications of America. He wished to invite foreigners of merit & republican principles among us. America was indebted to emigrations for her settlement & Prosperity. That part of America which had encouraged them most had advanced most rapidly in population, agriculture & the arts. There was a possible danger he admitted that men with foreign predilections might obtain appointments but it was by no means probable that it would happen in any dangerous degree. For the same reason that they would be attached to their native Country, our own people wd. prefer natives of this Country to them. Experience proved this to be the case. Instances were rare of a foreigner being elected by the people within any short space after his coming among us. If bribery was to be practised by foreign powers, it would not be attempted among the electors but among the elected; and among natives having full Confidence of the people not among strangers who would be regarded with a jeoulous eye.

Mr. WILSON, cited Pennsylva. as a proof of the advantage of encouraging emigrations. It was perhaps the youngest [except Georgia] settlemt. on the Atlantic; yet it was at least among the foremost in population & prosperity. He remarked that almost all the Genl. officers of the Pena. line of the late army were foreigners. And no complaint had ever been made against their fidelity or merit. Three of her deputies to the Convention [Mr. R. Morris, Mr. Fitzimmons & himself] were also not natives. He had no objection to Col. Hamiltons motion & would withdraw the one made by himself.

Mr. BUTLER was strenuous agst. admitting foreigners into our public Councils.

[FN3]Question on Col. Hamilton's Motion

N. H. no. Mas. no. Ct. ay. N. J. no. Pa. ay. Del. no. Md. ay. Va. ay. N. C. no. S. C. no. Geo. no. [FN4]

[FN3]Question on Mr. Williamson's moution to insert 9 years instead of seven.

N. H. ay. Masts. no. Ct. no. N. J. no. Pa. no. Del. no. Md. no. Va. no. N. C. no. S. C. ay. Geo. ay. [FN5]

Mr. WILSON'S renewed the motion for 4 years instead of 7. & on [FN6] question

N. H. no. Mas. no. Ct. ay. N. J. no. Pa. no. Del. no. Md. ay. Va. ay. N. C. no. S. C. no. Geo. no. [FN7]

Mr. Govr. MORRIS moved to add to the end of the section [art IV. S. 2] a proviso that the limitation of seven years should not affect the rights of any person now a Citizen.

Mr. MERCER 2ded. the motion. It was necessary he said to revent a disfranchisement of persons who had become Citizens under and on [FN8] the faith & according to the laws & Constitution from being on a [FN9] level in all respects with natives.

Mr. RUTLIDGE. It might as well be said that all qualifications are disfranchisemts. and that to require the age of 25 years was a disfranchisement. The policy of the precaution was as great with regard to foreigners now Citizens; as to those who are to be naturalized in future.

Mr. SHERMAN. The U. States have not invited foreigners nor pledged their faith that they should enjoy equal privileges with native Citizens. The Individual States alone have done this. The former therefore are at liberty to make any discriminations they may judge requisite.

Mr. GHORUM. When foreigners are naturalized it wd. seem as if they stand on an equal footing with natives. He doubted then the propriety of giving a retrospective force to the restriction.

Mr. MADISON animadverted on the peculiarity of the doctrine of Mr. Sharman. It was a subtilty by which every national engagement might be evaded. By parity of reason, wherever our public debts, or foreign treaties become inconvenient nothing more would be necessary to relieve us from them, than to new [FN10] model the Constitution. It was said that the U. S. as such have not pledged their faith to the naturalized foreigners, & therefore are not bound. Be it so, & that the States alone are bound. Who are to form the New Constitution by which the condition of that class of citizens is to be made worse than the other class? Are not the States ye. Agents? will they not be the members of it? Did they not appoint this Convention? Are not they to ratify its proceedings? Will not the new Constitution be their Act? If the new Constitution then violates the faith pledged to any description of people will not the makers of it, will not the States, be the violators. To justify the doctrine it must be said that the States can get rid of their [FN11] obligation by revising the Constitution, though they could not do it by repealing the law under which foreigners held their privileges. He considered this a matter of real importance. It woud expose us to the reproaches of all those who should be affected by it, reproaches which wd. soon be ecchoed from the other side of the Atlantic; and would unnecessarily enlist among the Adversaries of the reform a very considerable body of Citizens: We should moreover reduce every State to the dilemma of rejecting it or of violating the faith pledged to a part of its Citizens.

Mr. Govr. MORRIS considered the case of persons under 25 years, [FN12] as very different from that of foreigners. No faith could be pleaded by the former in bar of the regulation. No assurance had ever been given that persons under that age should be in all cases on a level with those above it. But with regard to foreigners among us, the faith had been pledged that they should enjoy the privileges of Citizens. If the restriction as to age had been confined to natives, & had left foreigners under 25 years, [FN12] eligible in this case, the discrimination wd. have been an equal injustice on the other side.

Mr. PINKNEY remarked that the laws of the States had varied much the terms of naturalization in different parts of America; and contended that the U. S. could not be bound to respect them on such an occasion as the present. It was a sort of recurrence to first principles.

Col. MASON was struck not like [Mr. Madison] with the peculiarity, but the propriety of the doctrine of Mr. Sharman. The States have formed different qualifications themselves, for enjoying different rights of citizenship. Greater caution wd. be necessary in the ouset of the Govt. than afterwards. All the great objects wd. be then [FN13] provided for. Everything would be then set in Motion. If persons among us attached to G. B. should work themselves into our Councils, a turn might be given to our affairs & particularly to our Commercial regulations which might have pernicious consequences. The great Houses of British Merchants will spare no pains to insinuate the instruments of their views into the Govt.

Mr. WILSON read the clause in the Constitution of Pena. giving to foreigners after two years residence all the rights whatsoever of citizens, combined it with the article of Confederation making the Citizens of one State Citizens of all, inferred the obligation Pena. was under to maintain the faith thus pledged to her citizens of foreign birth, and the just complaints which her failure would authorize: He observed likewise that the Princes & States of Europe would avail themselves of such breach of faith to deter their subjects from emigrating to the U. S.

Mr. MERCER enforced the same idea of a breach of faith.

Mr. BALDWIN could not enter into the force of the arguments agst. extending the disqualification to foreigners now Citizens. The discrimination of the place of birth, was not more objectionable than that of age which all had concurred in the propriety of.

[FN14]Question on the proviso of Mr. Govr. Morris in favor of foreigners now Citizens

N. H. no. Mas. no. Ct. ay. N. J. ay. Pa. ay. Del. no. Maryd. ay. Va. ay. N. C. no. S. C. no. Geo. no. [FN15]

Mr. CARROL moved to insert "5 years" instead "of seven," in Section 2d. Art: IV

N. H. no. Mas. no. Ct. ay. N. J. no. Pa. divd. Del. no. Md. ay. Va. ay. N. C. no. S. C. no. Geo. no. [FN16]

The Section [Art IV. Sec. 2.] as formerly amended was then agreed to nem. con.

Mr. WILSON moved that [in Art: V. Sect. 3. [FN17]] 9 years be reduced to seven, which was disagd. to and the 3d. section [Art. V.] confirmed by the following vote.

N. H. ay. Mas. ay. Ct. no. N. J. ay. Pa. no. Del. ay. Md. no. Va. ay. N. C. ay. S. C. ay. Geo. ay. [FN18]

Art. IV. Sec 5. [FN19] being reconsidered. Mr. RANDOLPH moved that the clause be altered so as to read-"Bills for raising money for the purpose of revenue or for appropriating the same shall originate in the House of Representatives and shall not be so amended or altered by the Senate as to increase or diminish the sum to be raised, or change the mode of levying it, or the objects of its appropriation." -He would not repeat his reasons, but barely remind the members from the smaller States of the compromise by which the larger States were entitled to this privilege.

Col. MASON. This amendment removes all the objections urged agst. the section as it stood at first. By specifying purposes of revenue, it obviated the objection that the Section extended to all bills under which money might incidentally arise. By authorising amendments in the Senate it got rid of the objections that the Senate could not correct errors of any sort, & that it would introduce into the House of Reps. the practice of tacking foreign matter to money bills. These objections being removed, the arguments in favor of the proposed restraint on the Senate ought to have their full force. 1. [FN20] the Senate did not represent the people, but the States in their political character. It was improper therefore that it should tax the people. The reason was the same agst. their doing it; as it had been agst. Congs. doing it. [FN21] Nor was it in any respect necessary in order to cure the evils of our Republican system.

He admitted that notwithstanding the superiority of the Republican form over every other, it had its evils. The chief ones, were the danger of the majority oppressing the minority, and the mischievous influence of demagogues. The Genl. Government of itself will cure these. [FN22] As the States will not concur at the same time in their unjust & oppressive plans, the General Govt. will be able to check & defeat them, whether they result from the wickedness of the majority, or from the misguidance of demagogues. Again, the Senate is not like the H. of Reps. chosen frequently and obliged to return frequently among the people. They are to be chosen by the Sts for 6 years, will probably settle themselves at the seat of Govt. will pursue schemes for their own aggrandizement-will be able by wearyg. out the H. of Reps. and taking advantage of their impatience at the close of a long Session, to extort measures for that purpose. If they should be paid as he expected would be yet determined & wished to be so, out of the Natl. Treasury, they will particularly extort an increase of their wages.

A bare negative was a very different thing from that of originating bills. The practice in Engld. was in point. The House of Lords does not represent nor tax the people, because not elected by the people. If the Senate can originate, they will in the recess of the Legislative Sessions, hatch their mischievous projects, for their own purposes, and have their money bills ready [FN23] cut & dried, (to use a common phrase) for the meeting of the H. of Reps. He compared the case to Poyning's law-and signified that the House of Reps. might be rendered by degrees like the Parliament of Paris, the mere depository of the decrees of the Senate. As to the compromise so much had passed on that subject that he would say nothing about it. He did not mean by what he had said to oppose the permanency of the Senate. On the contrary he had no repugnance to an increase of it-nor to allowing it a negative, though the Senate was not by its present constitution entitled to it. But in all events he would contend that the purse strings should be in the hands of the Representatives of the people.

Mr. WILSON was himself directly opposed to the equality of votes granted to the Senate by its present Constitution. At the same time he wished not to multiply the vices of the system. He did not mean to enlarge on a subject which had been so much canvassed, but would remark as an insuperable objection agst. the proposed restriction of money bills to the H. of Reps. that it would be a source of perpetual contentions where there was no mediator to decide them. The Presidt. here could not like the Executive Magistrate in England interpose by a prorogation, or dissolution. This restriction had been found pregnant with altercation in every State where the Constitution had established it. The House of Reps. will insert other things in money bills, and by making them conditions of each other, destroy the deliberative liberty of the Senate. He stated the case of a Preamble to a money bill sent up by the House of Commons in the reign of Queen Anne, to the H. of Lords, in which the conduct of the displaced Ministry, who were to be impeached before the Lords, was condemned; the Commons thus extorting a premature judgmt. without any hearing of the Parties to be tried, and the H. of Lords being thus reduced to the poor & disgraceful expedient of opposing to the authority of a law, a protest on their Journals agst. its being drawn into precedent. If there was any thing like Poynings law in the present case, it was in the attempt to vest the exclusive right of originating in the H. of Reps. and so far he was agst. it. He should be equally so if the right were to be exclusively vested in the Senate. With regard to the purse strings, it was to be observed that the purse was to have two strings, one of which was in the hands of the H. of Reps. the other in those of the Senate. Both houses must concur in untying, and of what importance could it be which untied first, which last. He could not conceive it to be any objection to the Senate's preparing the bills, that they would have leisure for that purpose and would be in the habits of business. War, Commerce, & Revenue were the great objects of the Genl. Government. All of them are connected with money.

The restriction in favor of the H. of Represts. would exclude the Senate from originating any important bills whatever.

Mr. GERRY considered this as a part of the plan that would be much scrutinized. Taxation & representation are strongly associated in the minds of the people, and they will not agree that any but their immediate representatives shall meddle with their purses. In short the acceptance of the plan will inevitably fail, if the Senate be not restrained from originating Money bills.

Mr. GOVERNR. MORRIS All the arguments suppose the right to originate money [FN24] & to tax, to be exclusively vested in the Senate. -The effects commented on may be produced by a Negative only in the Senate. They can tire out the other House, and extort their concurrence in favorite measures, as well by withholding their negative, as by adhering to a bill introduced by themselves.

Mr. MADISON thought If the substitute offered by Mr. Randolph for the original section is to be adopted it would be proper to allow the Senate at least so to amend as to diminish the sum [FN25] to be raised. Why should they be restrained from checking the extravagance of the other House? One of the greatest evils incident to Republican Govt. was the spirit of contention & faction. The proposed substitute, which in some respects lessened the objections agst. the section, had a contrary effect with respect to this particular. It laid a foundation for new difficulties and disputes between the two houses. The word revenue was ambiguous. In many acts, particularly in the regulations of trade, the object would be twofold. The raising of revenue would be one of them. How could it be determined which was the primary or predominant one; or whether it was necessary that revenue shd. be the sole object, in exclusion even of other incidental effects. When the Contest was first opened with G. B. their power to regulate trade was admitted. Their power to raise revenue rejected. An accurate investigation of the subject afterward proved that no line could be drawn between the two cases.

The words amend or alter, form an equal source of doubt & altercation. When an obnoxious paragraph shall be sent down from the Senate to the House of Reps-it will be called an origination under the name of an amendment. The Senate may actually couch extraneous matter under that name. In these cases, the question will turn on the degree of connection between the matter & object of the bill and the alteration or amendment offered to it. Can there be a more fruitful source of dispute, or a kind of dispute more difficult to be settled? His apprehensions on this point were not conjectural. Disputes had actually flowed from this source in Virga. where the Senate can originate no bill.

The words "so as to increase or diminish the sum to be raised," were liable to the same objections. In levying indirect taxes, which it seemed to be understood were to form the principal revenue of the new Govt. the sum to be raised, would be increased or diminished by a variety of collateral circumstances influencing the consumption, in general, the consumption of foreign or of domestic articles-of this or that particular species of articles, and even by the mode of collection which may be closely connected with the productiveness of a tax. -The friends of the section had argued its necessity from the permanency of the Senate. He could not see how this argumt. applied. The Senate was not more permanent now than in the form it bore in the original propositions of Mr. Randolph and at the time when no objection whatever was hinted agst. its originating money bills. Or if in consequence of a loss of the present question, a proportional vote in the Senate should be reinstated as has been urged as the indemnification the permanency of the Senate will remain the same. -If the right to originate be vested exclusively in the House of Reps. either the Senate must yield agst. its judgment to that House, in which case the Utility of the check will be lost-or the Senate will be inflexible & the H. of Reps. must adapt its money bill to the views of the Senate, in which case, the exclusive right will be of no avail.

As to the Compromise of which so much had been said, he would make a single observation. There were 5 States which had opposed the equality of votes in the Senate, viz. Masts. Penna. Virga. N. Carolina & S. Carola. As a compensation for the sacrifice extorted from them on this head, the exclusive origination of money bills in the other House had been tendered. Of the five States a majority viz. Penna. Virga. & S. Carola. have uniformly voted agst. the proposed compensation, on its own merits, as rendering the plan of Govt. still more objectionable. Massts. has been divided. N. Carolina alone has set a value on the compensation, and voted on that principle. What obligation then can the small States be under to concur agst. their judgments in reinstating the section? Mr. DICKENSON. Experience must be our only guide. Reason may mislead us. It was not Reason that discovered the singular & admirable mechanism of the English Constitution. It was not Reason that discovered or ever could have discovered the odd & in the eye of those who are governed by reason, the absurd mode of trial by Jury. Accidents probably produced these discoveries, and experience has give a sanction to them. This is then our guide. And has not experience verified the utility of restraining money bills to the immediate representatives of the people. Whence the effect may have proceeded he could not say; whether from the respect with which this privilege inspired the other branches of Govt. to the H. of Commons, or from the turn of thinking it gave to the people at large with regard to their rights, but the effect was visible & could not be doubted-Shall we oppose to this long experience, the short experience of 11 Years which we had ourselves, on this subject. As to disputes, they could not be avoided any way. If both Houses should originate, each would have a different bill to which it would be attached, and for which it would contend. -He observed that all the prejudices of the people would be offended by refusing this exclusive privilege to the H. of Repress. and these prejudices shd. never be disregarded by us when no essential purpose was to be served. When this plan goes forth it will be attacked by the popular leaders. Aristocracy will be the watchword; the Shibboleth among its adversaries. Eight States have inserted in their Constitutions the exclusive right of originating money bills in favor of the popular branch of the Legislature. Most of them however allowed the other branch to amend. This he thought would be proper for us to do.

Mr. RANDOLPH regarded this point as of such consequence, that as he valued the peace of this Country, he would press the adoption of it. We had numerous & monstrous difficulties to combat. Surely we ought not to increase them. When the people behold in the Senate, the countenance of an aristocracy; and in the president, the form at least of a little monarch, will not their alarms be sufficiently raised without taking from their immediate representatives, a right which has been so long appropriated to them. -The Executive will have more influence over the Senate, than over the H. of Reps. Allow the Senate to originate in this case, & that influence will be sure to mix itself in their deliberations & plans. The Declaration of War he conceived ought not to be in the Senate composed of 26 men only, but rather in the other House. In the other House ought to be placed the origination of the means of war. As to Commercial regulations which may involve revenue, the difficulty may be avoided by restraining the definition to bills, for the mere or sole, purpose of raising revenue. The Senate will be more likely to be corrupt than the H. of Reps. and should therefore have less to do with money matters. His principal object however was to prevent popular objections against the plan, and to secure its adoption.

Mr. RUTLIDGE. The friends of this motion are not consistent in their reasoning. They tell us that we ought to be guided by the long experience of G. B. & not our own experience of 11 years: and yet they themselves propose to depart from it. The H. of Commons not only have the exclusive right of originating, but the Lords are not allowed to alter or amend a money bill. Will not the people say that this restriction is but a mere tub to the whale. They cannot but see that it is of no real consequence; and will be more likely to be displeased with it as an attempt to bubble them, than to impute it to a watchfulness over their rights. For his part, he would prefer giving the exclusive right to the Senate, if it was to be given exclusively at all. The Senate being more conversant in business, and having more leisure, will digest the bills much better, and as they are to have no effect, till examined & approved by the H. of Reps. there can be no possible danger.

These clauses in the Constitutions of the States had been put in through a blind adherence to the British model. If the work was to be done over now, they would be omitted. The experiment in S. Carolina, where the Senate cannot originate or amend money bills, has shewn that it answers no good purpose; and produces the very bad one of continually dividing & heating the two houses. Sometimes indeed if the matter of the amendment of the Senate is pleasing to the other House they wink at the encroachment; if it be displeasing, then the Constitution is appealed to. Every Session is distracted by altercations on this subject. The practice now becoming frequent is for the Senate not to make formal amendments; but to send down a schedule of the alterations which will procure the bill their assent.

Mr. CARROL. The most ingenious men in Maryd. are puzzled to define the case of money bills, or explain the Constitution on that point; tho' it seemed to be worded with all possible plainness & precision. It is a source of continual difficulty & squabble between the two houses.

Mr. Mc.Henry mentioned an instance of extraordinary subterfuge, to get rid of the apparent force of the Constitution.

On [FN26] Question on the first part of the motion as to the exclusive originating of Money bills in [FN26] H. of Reps.

N. H. ay. Mas. ay. Ct. no. N. J. no. Pa. no. Del. no. Md. no. Virga. ay. Mr. Blair & Mr. M. no. Mr. R. Col. Mason and [FN27] Genl. Washington ay N. C. ay. S. C. no. Geo. no. [FN28]

[FN29]Question on Originating by [FN30] H. of Reps. & amending by [FN30] Senate, as reported Art. IV. Sect. 5.

N. H. ay. Mas. ay. Ct. no. N. J. no. Pa. no. Del. no. Md. no. Va. [FN31] ay. N. C. ay. S. C. no. Geo. no. [FN32]

[FN29] Question on the last clause of Sect: 5-Art. IV-viz "No money shall be drawn from the Public Treasury, but in pursuance of appropriations that shall originate in the House of Reps. It passed in the negative

N.H. no. Mas. ay Con. no. N.J. no. Pa. no Del. no. Md. no. Va. no. N.C. no. S.C. no. Geo. no. [FN33]


FN1 See ante.

FN2 The word "being" is here inserted in the transcript.

FN3 The words "On the" are here inserted in the transcript.

FN4 In the transcript the vote reads: "Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, aye-4; New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, no-7."

FN5 In the transcript the vote reads: "New Hampshire, South Carolina, Georgia, aye-3; Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, no-8."

FN6 The word "the" is here inserted in the transcript.

FN7 In the transcript the vote reads: "Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, aye- 3; New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, no-8."

FN8 The words "and on" are omitted in the transcript.

FN9 The words "their actual" are substituted in the transcript for "being on a."

FN10 In the transcript the word "new" is crossed out and the syllable "re" is written above it.

FN11 The word "the" is substituted in the transcript for "their."

FN12 The words "of age" are here inserted in the transcript.

FN13 The words "be then" are transposed in the transcript to read "then be."

FN14 The words "On the" are here inserted in the transcript.

FN15 In the transcript the vote reads: "Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, aye-5; New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Delaware, North Carolina, South, Carolina, Georgia, no-6."

FN16 In the transcript the vote reads: "Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, aye- 3; New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, no-7; Pennsylvania, Divided."

FN17 See ante.

FN18 In the transcript the vote reads: "New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye-8; Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, no-3."

FN19 See ante.

FN20 The figure "1" is changed to "First" in the transcript.

FN21 The word "Secondly" is here inserted in the transcript.

FN22 The word "them" is substituted in the transcript for "these."

FN23 The word "ready" is omitted in the transcript.

FN24 The word "money" is omitted in the transcript. In Madison's notes it is written above the words "originate" and "&" without a caret indicating its position. It appears to have been omitted in all previous editions.

FN25 The transcript uses the word "sum" in the plural.

FN26 The word "the" is here inserted in the transcript.

FN27 He disapproved & till now voted agst. the exclusive privilege, he gave up his judgment he said because it was not of very material weight with him & was made an essential point with others who if disappointed, might be less cordial in other points of real weight.

FN28 In the transcript the vote reads: "New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Virginia [mr. Blair, and Mr. Madison no, Mr. Randolph, Colonel Mason and General Washington, [FN*] aye], North Carolina, aye-4; Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, South Carolina, Georgia, no-7."

FN29 The words "On the" are here inserted in the transcript.

FN30 The word "the" is here inserted in the transcript.

FN31 In the printed Journ Virga.-no.

FN32 In the transcript the vote reads: "New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Virginia, [FN31] North Carolina aye-4; Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, South Carolina, Georgia, no-7."

FN33 In the transcript the vote reads: "Massachusetts, aye-1; New Hampshire Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, no-10."

TOPICS: Government; Reference
KEYWORDS: constitution; convention; framers; freeperbookclub; madison
The Draft Constitution as reported August 6th may be viewed here.

Article IV Sect. 2 was up for reconsideration, “Every member of the House of Representatives shall be of the age of twenty five years at least; shall have been a citizen in the United States for at least seven years before his election; and shall be, at the time of his election, an inhabitant of the State in which he shall be chosen.”

James Wilson (PA) & Governor Edmund Randolph (I have to remind myself these are Madison’s notes, not a court recording. Members often met after hours and on Sunday to discuss the next day’s events as Mr. Wilson and Mr. Randolph apparently did here.) motioned to replace “seven” with “four.” (I admit I do not follow their reason for the change.)

Elbridge Gerry (MA) repeated an argument made and considered just a few days prior. Foreign governments will send agents to infest our councils if a short duration of citizenship is allowed. He cautioned not to discount the sums paid for secret services by European governments. He favored native inhabitants.

(Article IV Section 2 passed as amended without opposition on August 8th. Mr. Gerry did not comment that day, so it is reasonable to suspect he was not in attendance.)

Hugh Williamson (NC) motioned for nine years. He wished the nation to “acquire National habits.” (Yes, most regarded themselves as citizens of their States. I wonder how long it took for most Americans to regard themselves first as citizens of the US. Didn’t Robert E. Lee seventy years later regard VA as his country?)

Alexander Hamilton (NY) (who had been absent since late June) motioned to require only citizenship and inhabitancy. He did not wish to embarrass the Constitution with minutiae. Congress will make rules for naturalization which would suffice for National political office.

James Madison (VA) seconded. State Constitutions possessed a liberal character that should be promoted at the National level. We were a nation of immigrants. The most prosperous areas of the country encourage them. It was possible for foreign agents to gain office, but it was remote. Besides, the locals would prefer their natives for office. If bribery was to be practiced by foreign powers, look for as much of it among our native born politicians.

James Wilson cited PA as an example of a prosperous country due to liberal immigration. Only GA was younger, but PA was nearly as prosperous and populous as VA. Three Pennsylvania’s delegates to the Convention were not native, himself, Robert Morris (PA), and Thomas Fitzsimmons (PA). He had no objection to Mr. Hamilton’s motion and would withdraw his own.

Pierce Butler (SC) strongly opposed admitting foreigners to our councils.

Mr. Hamilton’s motion was defeated 7-4.

On Mr. Williamson’s motion to insert nine years instead of seven, it failed 8-3.

Mr. Wilson motion to replace seven years with four, failed 8-3 as well.

Governeur Morris (PA) motioned and John Mercer (MD) seconded to add to the end of the section a provision that the seven year limitation would not affect or disenfranchise any current citizen.

John Rutlidge (SC) pointed out that all qualifications are disenfranchisements in the their own way.

Roger Sherman (CN) said the US had been silent as to the privileges to be enjoyed by immigrants. It could discriminate as it wished, despite what State law specifies.

Nathaniel Gorham (MA) would treat naturalized citizens as equal with natives in all respects.

James Madison (VA) delved into the subtlety, the downwind ramifications of Mr. Sherman’s statement. It was said the US had not pledged its faith to Naturalized foreigners and was not bound (by State pledges?). Mr. Madison thought then that anytime the Nation or States wished to evade debt or other commitments, all need be done was to write another Constitution. (I think he means that delegates who wish to impair the rights of foreign born citizens should not rely on the new Constitution to do it.) (Whew)

Governeur Morris (PA) discriminated between the 25 years of age requirement and foreigners. There was no right to serve as a representative by any certain age; it was up to the Convention’s discretion. In good faith, naturalized citizens should enjoy equal privileges.

Charles Pinckney (SC) said there were many variations in Naturalization laws among the States and could not be bound to respect them all. It was akin to first principles.

George Mason (VA) noted the US must be careful at the outset of the new government. He did not doubt future British attempts to affect commercial legislation.

James Wilson read the clause in the PA Constitution which granted equal citizenship rights after two years residency. Also, Article IV of the Articles of Confederation declared, “. . . the free inhabitants of each of these States . . . shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several States . . . “

John Mercer (MD) agreed it would be a breach of faith to violate State Naturalization laws.

Abraham Baldwin (GA) would not disqualify those currently qualified as citizens, nor did he view discrimination as to place of birth any worse than the age qualification.

On Mr. Morris’ question to not discriminate against current naturalized citizens, it narrowly lost, 6-5.

Daniel Carroll (MD) motioned to replace “seven years” with five in Article IV Section 2. The motion failed 7-3.

After all was said and done, Article IV Section 2 remained as amended few days prior, “Every member of the House of Representatives shall be of the age of twenty five years at least; shall have been a citizen in the United States for at least seven years before his election; and shall be, at the time of his election, an inhabitant of the State in which he shall be chosen.”

(This section would appear unaltered in substance in Article 1 Section 1 of the Constitution)

James Wilson (PA) moved to replace “nine years” in Article V Section 3 with seven.

“Every member of the Senate shall be of the age of thirty years at least; shall have been a citizen in the United States for at least nine years before his election; and shall be, at the time of his election, a resident of the State for which he shall be chosen.”

Mr. Wilson’s motion was defeated and the Convention approved the amended Section once again, by a vote of 8-3.

Article IV Sect. 5, was reconsidered. “All bills for raising or appropriating money, and for fixing the salaries of the officers of Government, shall originate in the House of Representatives, and shall not be altered or amended by the Senate. No money shall be drawn from the Public Treasury, but in pursuance of appropriations that shall originate in the House of Representatives.” (This Section was deleted in its entirety on August 8th.)

Governor Edmund Randolph motioned to replace the deleted Section with, “Bills for raising money for the purpose of revenue or for appropriating the same shall originate in the House of Representatives and shall not be so amended or altered by the Senate as to increase or diminish the sum to be raised, or change the mode of levying it, or the objects of its appropriation." Mr. Randolph reminded the Small States in a delicate fashion that this Section was their side of the Senate Suffrage bargain.

George Mason (VA) (Drew subtle differences between the original Section 5 and Mr. Randolph’s version that I do not understand.) supported Mr. Randolph’s motion. Money Bill origination should remain with the Representatives of the people and not be shared with ambassadors from the States because the taxing power will act directly on the people. (Congress under the Articles did not tax the people directly; the people were not represented.) While the Republican form was superior to the purely Federal, there were still evils to overcome.

The tendency of majorities to oppress minorities and the influence of silver tongued demagogues must be guarded against. (Do these evils not afflict our republic today?) Mr. Mason viewed the structure of proposed government as adequate security against those vices. Among the differences between the House and Senate were source and length of terms. It was envisioned that Representatives would regularly return to their communities while Senators would likely remain in government for multiple term representing their States. The Senate would come to dominate the House and feather their personal nests.

Just as the British House of Lords could not originate money bills, neither should the Senate. Given a chance, our upper house would connive between sessions to create money bills to impose on the House. The House would become little more than like the “Parliament of Paris.” He would not allow the Senate to have anything to do with money bills whatsoever. They belong in the hands of the people’s Representatives.

(One of the reasons Mr. Mason would not sign the Constitution was due to a change allowing the Senate to amend money bills.)

James Wilson (PA) still opposed equal Senate suffrage. He drew distinctions between the British and American systems and opposed restricting Senate involvement with Money Bills. As an obviously experienced politician and statesman, Mr. Wilson predicted that the House would attach all sorts of peripheral, abhorrent amendments to Money Bills in order to bypass Senate scrutiny. (So true) War, Commerce, and Revenue were the great preoccupations of Government and the Senate should have a say.

Elbridge Gerry (MA) forecast this Section would be closely scrutinized and predicted rejection of the Constitution by the people if money matters were not restricted to their Representatives.

Governeur Morris (PA) predicted the Senate would extort what they wished with threats to negative House money bills.

James Madison (VA) thought the Senate should be able to reduce the amount of money in revenue bills from the House. Faction and contention were synonymous with republican governments and Mr. Randolph’s amendment did not diminish these, but rather laid a foundation for new difficulties. The word “revenue” itself is ambiguous. Should the Senate not have a hand in determining imposts on commerce and therefore trade policy?

In the events leading to war with Great Britain, it was acknowledged she had the right to regulate our trade, but no right to tax us without our permission. However, it was shown afterwards the two are actually inseparable.

Mr. Madison saw problems with the words “alter or amended,” as used in Section 5. The House would contend anything obnoxious to be an amendment that remotely affected what they considered to be a money bill. Similarly, the phrase, "so as to increase or diminish the sum to be raised," was equally liable to objection. It was thought that excises and imposts were to be the principal sources of revenue. If the Senate were to modify or originate bills that were clearly commerce oriented, they still affected sums raised. Mr. Madison did not see the danger of letting the Senate in on modifying money bills.

John Dickinson (DE) said to trust experience v. untried philosophy. (Good read here) Reason did not discover the admirable English Constitution, trial by Jury and lower House money bill origination in eight of the States. In most of them, they could not be modified by the upper House. Disputes were going to happen whether or not the Senate could modify the bills, but in all events, their origination should remain with the House of Representatives. He said the Constitution would be attacked in the States by popular leaders, the Aristocratic Senate in particular. Leave money bills with the House and do not let the Senate modify them as stated in Section 5.

Governor Edmund Randolph continued Mr. Dickinson’s reasoning. He viewed it as of fundamental importance to future peace and would not let go of it. There were horrendous difficulties to overcome; let’s not make them worse. In the Senate and Presidency the people will see shades of Aristocracy and Monarchy. The People’s House traditionally held the purse; do not let it slip into the hands of the Senate and President. (Congress at this point elected the President) The House should have the sole power to appropriate funds for war. As for commercial regulations which will involve revenue, it will serve to separate actual revenue raising from the other portions. The Senate will be more prone to corruption. He only wished to anticipate popular objections and promote its adoption.

John Rutlidge (SC) elaborated comparisons to the House of Commons. The House of Lords may not initiate nor amend money bills. If either House had exclusive right, he would give it to the Senate. By its nature, the Senate was a better institution to rationally judge such matters. It was by tradition that popular assemblies in the States originated money bills. If given another chance, he thought they would take a different approach. The proposed measure is practiced in SC. It only makes for heated divisions. When both Houses are in agreement, they wink at infractions. A typical ploy is for the Senate to inform the House of funding measures they will insist upon for approval.

Daniel Carroll (MD) said his State Constitution was precisely worded regarding money bills, yet there was no end to squabbles over it.

James McHenry (MD) (no elaboration by Mr. Madison here) spoke of some instance of subterfuge to get around the limitation.

On the new and improved Article IV Section 5, “Bills for raising money for the purpose of revenue or for appropriating the same shall originate in the House of Representatives and shall not be so amended or altered by the Senate as to increase or diminish the sum to be raised, or change the mode of levying it, or the objects of its appropriation," it failed 7-4.

On the original Article IV Section 5 from the 6 August Report, “All bills for raising or appropriating money, and for fixing the salaries of the officers of Government, shall originate in the House of Representatives, and shall not be altered or amended by the Senate. No money shall be drawn from the Public Treasury, but in pursuance of appropriations that shall originate in the House of Representatives,” it failed 8-3.

On the last clause of the reported Section 5, “"No money shall be drawn from the Public Treasury, but in pursuance of appropriations that shall originate in the House of Reps,” it failed 10-1.


1 posted on 08/13/2011 2:51:30 AM PDT by Jacquerie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Lady Jag; Ev Reeman; familyof5; NewMediaJournal; pallis; Kartographer; SuperLuminal; unixfox; ...
Constitutional Convention Ping!

Roger Sherman didn’t think foreigners or naturalized citizens should be enjoy the same privileges and immunities of American citizens.

While Nathaniel Gorham expressed disagreement, James Madison uncharacteristically jumped all over him.

A significant problem with the Articles of Confederation was that treaties signed by Congress were not binding on the individual States. Despite the Treaty of Peace with Great Britain which required American courts to recognize the standing of British Citizens to sue for pre-war debts, States passed laws specifically denying their right to seek payment.

In response, the British continued to hold frontier forts and encouraged Indian attacks on American settlers. The war was over in the East, but for most practical purposes it continued in the West. The Articles were getting Americans killed.

Treaties, along with the Constitution would soon be the Supreme Law of the Land. Under it, Supreme Court Justice John Jay would shoot down laws that prevented British citizens from suing in State courts.

2 posted on 08/13/2011 3:00:03 AM PDT by Jacquerie (What a government loses in moral authority will be compensated with force.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jacquerie
Thanx, Jacquerie.

It's a long read, but shows how much debate was put into the formulation of our Constitution.

3 posted on 08/13/2011 3:32:08 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Jacquerie
Roger Sherman didn’t think foreigners or naturalized citizens should be enjoy the same privileges and immunities of American citizens.

And apparently the majority were convinced as well since the document agreed to contains just such a provision.

Article II, Section 1

"No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

As anyone with the ability to read the English language can see they CLEARLY made a distinction between a natural born citizen and citizen ship attained by other means.

4 posted on 08/13/2011 3:56:11 AM PDT by Bigun ("The most fearsome words in the English language are I'm from the government and I'm here to help!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: knarf

Good to hear from you.

Nope, not much got by the Framers. They certainly knew human nature.

5 posted on 08/13/2011 3:58:07 AM PDT by Jacquerie (Obamadollars. Currency of Acorn Nation.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Jacquerie


6 posted on 08/13/2011 5:12:14 AM PDT by Repeal The 17th (Proud to be a (small) monthly donor.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson