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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.

Adjourned.

1 posted on 08/13/2011 2:51:30 AM PDT by Jacquerie
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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.)
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