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The different provisions in these sections were debated from time to time, and after the provision relative to export duties had been retained in the Constitution by a vote of seven States to four, 60 the remainder of the fourth clause and the fifth and sixth clauses of the seventh article were referred to a special committee of eleven (one from each State), who reported the following Compromise:
“Strike out so much of the Fourth Section as was referred to the Committee and insert: “The migration or importation of such persons as the several States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Legislature prior to the year 1800,61 but a tax or duty may be imposed upon such migration or importation at a rate not exceeding the average of the duties laid on imports.
"The Fifth Section to remain as in the report. “The Sixth Section to be stricken out."
The report is in the nature of a general compromise. On the question of the prohibition of the slave trade the South secured the certainty of its continuance for twenty years, but conceded that Congress might abolish it at the end of this period and might tax the slaves imported during the next twenty years. The South also succeeded in keeping the prohibition against export duties in the Constitution, and in return for this aided New England in striking out the requirement for a two-thirds vote of Congress to pass a Navigation Act. This Compromise was carried through by the vote of the extreme Southern and the New England States against those of the Central States. It is interesting to notice that next to Pennsylvania, the State whose delegates were most bitterly opposed to the continuation of the slave trade was Virginia. In theory there is much to be condemned and little to be approved in this Compromise. It was, * Massachusetts,
Connecticut, 62 The vote of the compromise Maryland, Virginia, North Caro- provision as to the slave trade lina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye was as follows: New Hampshire, —7; New Hampshire, New Jer- Massachusetts, Connecticut, Marysey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, no land, North Carolina, South Caro-4.
lina, Georgia, aye—7; New Jersey, € Afterwards extended by vote Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, of the Convention to the year 1808.
however, a practical necessity if the Constitution was to be adopted. If the slave trade had been prohibited South Carolina and Georgia would have rejected the Constitution and their defection would have been as fatal to its success as would the loss of Delaware and New Jersey.
$77. The Closing Work of the Convention.-On September 10th the Constitution was referred to a Committee of Style, who on September 12th reported back the Constitution to the Convention in practically its present form, and on September 17th the Convention finished its work and ordered the Constitution which it had prepared forwarded to Congress and to the several States. This Constitution as reported to Congress and to the States did not suit anyone exactly. It was the result of compromise in which all had yielded something. It is from this standpoint that it must be judged. The United States Constitution is the product of gradual growth and the needs of the times, not of abstract reasoning.
$78. The Adoption of the Constitution by the States.Even with its compromises the fate of the proposed Constitution hung in the balance for many months. After eight days' discussion it was submitted to the several States by Congress. Delaware led the way in ratification by a unanimous vote in her Convention on the 6th day of December. Pennsylvania and New Jersey followed during the same month, the latter unanimously, the former by a two-thirds vote. Georgia opened the year 1788 by ratifying it unanimously on January 2d, and Connecticut ratified a week later by a vote of more than three to one. The first hard fight occurred in Massachusetts, where the contest in the Convention lasted four weeks. The action of Samuel Adams in finally declaring for it turned the scale and the Constitution was ratified by a vote of 187 to 168. This ratification, however, was accompanied by the proposal of certain amendments to the Constitution, which became largely the basis of the first ten amendments. Maryland in April and South Carolina in May next ratified the Constitution by large majorities. New Hampshire secured the honor of being the ninth State to ratify the Constitution and thus assuring its adoption by ratifying it on June 21st, and the ratification of Virginia followed four days later. $ 79.
On July 26th the New York Convention, mainly through the influence of Alexander Hamilton, ratified the Constitution by a narrow majority. Rhode Island and North Carolina at first rejected the Constitution.63
The Amendments to the Constitution.—The first Congress took steps to supply the absence of a Bill of Rights in the Constitution by submitting twelve proposed amendments to the States by Resolution of 1789. Ten of these were ratified by a sufficient number of States and became the first ten amendments. The decision of the Supreme Court in Chisholm vs. Georgia to the effect that a State could be sued by a citizen of another State led to the Eleventh Amendment. The Twelfth Amendment resulted from the unsatisfactory state of the law governing the election of President as shown by the elections of 1796 and 1800. The last three amendments arose out of the slavery question and the Civil War.64
63 The Constitution was ratified by the thirteen states, as follows: (1) Delaware, Dec. 6, 1787; (2) Pennsylvania, Dec. 12, 1787; (3) New Jersey, Dec. 18, 1787; (4) Georgia, Jan. 2, 1788; (5) Connecticut, Jan. 9, 1788; (6) Massachusetts, Feb. 6, 1788; (7) Mary.
land, April 28, 1788; (8) South Carolina, May 23, 1788; (9) New Hampshire, June 21, 1788; (10) Virginia, June 25, 1788; (11) New York, July 26, 1788; (12) North Carolina, Nov. 21, 1789; (13) Rhode Island, May 29, 1790.
6+ See Chapter XIII.
THE DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS BETWEEN THE GOVERN-
OF THE STATES.
$ 80. The most difficult problems of the Federal Convention. --The members of the Federal Constitutional Convention met in May, 1787, not as the representatives of the United States, chosen to draft a new system of government for an already unified people, but as the diplomatic representatives of twelve existing and more than semi-independent States, at that time joined together in the loosest of “leagues of friendship.” The most important and also the most difficult of the problems which presented themselves before the Convention was the determination of the relations which were to exist between the new central Government and the thirteen States, and the powers which were to be granted to the former or reserved to the latter.
$ 81. Conflicting views as to the proper relation between the governments of the United States and those of the States.
- The provisions of the Virginia and New Jersey plans, already discussed, show the divergent views upon this question held by the various members of the Federal Constitutional Convention. Nor did this difference of opinion end with the adoption of the Constitution. Prior to this event the contest had been upon the question as to what provisions should be inserted into the Constitution; the question later changed into one as to the interpretation of the provisions contained in the Constitution. Among the American people many different views were held as to the essential nature of the new Government which they had created. Under one view the United States was a true nation, created by the Constitution, which had been adopted by the
1 Rhode Island not being repre- vention. sented at any period of the con
people of the whole country, acting in the exercise of the original sovereignty ever residing in the people of every country. The States had been retained merely as convenient instrumentalities for the exercise of certain functions of government relating to matters of a local character, and in strict subordination to the National Government; the United States, under this view had become a Statesbund. This theory denied the contention that the United States Government was adopted by the States as such.
The central idea of the second theory was that the United States, even after the adoption of the Constitution, was still in the nature of a confederation or a Bundesstaat, and that the Constitution had been adopted by the States, or at least by the people of the several States, and not by the people of the United States. Under this theory the States were of the primary importance, and the Government of the United States merely their agent, created for certain specific purposes, and with clear and narrow limits upon its power and authority.
The keystone of the Constitution was, in the minds of the supporters of the first theory, the second clause of the Sixth Article; in the minds of the upholders of the second, the ninth and tenth amendments.
§ 82. Contest in American history between the conflicting views as to the relations between the Government of the United States and those of the States.—This contention as to the relative powers of the Government of the United States and of the State governments naturally became the principal dividing line between the American political parties, in the early days of the Republic. It was, in fact, by politics as much as by law, that the settlement of the question was effected. It must be borne in mind that in spite of the small changes which have been made by amendments in the text of the Constitution since its adoption, the relations which the States bear to the general government at the present time is a very different thing from the relation which they bore in the early days of the Constitution. The weight of power, the center of gravity, which at first inclined towards the individual States has now swung far over towards the central Government. The movement in this direction has been almost continuous throughout the hundred and