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reignty in the highest degree.” Such are principally the rights or powers to make war and conclude peace, to enter into treaties of alliance and commerce, to send and receive ambassadors, to coin money, fix the standard of weights and measures, raise and equip fleets and armies, borrow money on the credit of the nation, and others of a similar nature.
Most of these powers were conferred, by the articles of confederation, on the congress of the United States; but it was in the power of any one of the states to withhold its share of the means for carrying them into execution. The congress therefore possessed the pageantry, the mere name of sovereignty, not sovereignty itself. It was the agent of thirteen sovereigns that might at any time defeat its measures, by refusing or neglecting to comply with its requisitions.
The framers of the present constitution found, of course, no difficulty in conferring on the new government the same powers that had been given, by the articles of confederation, to the congress of the United States, and they freely granted them in the same exclusive manner; but it was necessary, at the same time, to grant the means to execute them independently of the governments of the states; and that could not be done without putting into the hands of the national authorities the two great engines of national sovereignty, the purse and the sword. The convention
magnanimously agreed to this surrender. The congress was empowered to lay taxes, and to raise and maintain fleets and armies, with their own means, under trifling restrictions, which will be mentioned in their proper places.
It was not enough to give to the general government the use and the direction of the military sword, it was necessary also to place in their hands the sword of justice, at least as far as was necessary to enable them by its means, to give effect to the laws that they are authorized to make, and this was done in the manner that we shall presently show.
Thus far we have seen how the framers of our constitution, at the same time that they continued in the general government the jura summi imperii, which had been vested in the old congress, furnished it with ample means to carry those powers into execution. But this valuable instrument contains many important details, which
may, in a great measure, be considered as corollaries of the great principle on which the convention acted, and of which we have shown the most prominent features.
It cannot have escaped the observation of the reader, that the powers now vested in the general government, could not be confided to a single body, such as was the former congress; here was no longer a confederation, but
a national government, acting, within certain limits, independently of the states, upon all and every one of the individualsof which they were composed, andarmed with compulsory means to enforce obedience to its decrees; it was therefore indispensably necessary to divide those ample powers, so as to guard in the best possible manner against their abuse. Therefore the new government was established on the model of those of the states, with legislative, executive, and judicial departments, distinct and separate from each other. We shall now give a succinct view of its organization, and of the distribution of the powers granted among the several branches of the national government, showing at the same time, what powers are reserved to the states in their separate capacity, and upon the whole in what manner the state and the national authorities are ba. lanced and made to harmonize with each other,
ORGANIZATION OF THE GOVERNMENT.
Section 1.-Of the Legislative Department.
The legislature is composed of two branches, a senate and a house of representatives.
The senate represents the states in their federative capacities. Its members are elected for six years by the state legislatures; one-third of them go out every
Each state has two senators. When assembled, however, they vote individually and not by states; so that a state that has but one senator present, has in fact but half a vote.
The representatives are elected in each state by the people at large. Their numbers are in proportion to the population of the state which sends them; in states where there are slaves, three-fifths of them are included in the computation of their population; Indians, not taxed, are excluded every where. The number of representatives is not to exceed one for every thirty thousand; but each state is at least to have one. presentatives are elected for two years. Every ten
years a census, or enumeration of the inhabitants, is to be made; upon which congress determine by a law the number of representatives that each state is to send. The first of these enumerations was made in 1790, the last in 1830.
The times, places, and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives are prescribed by the legislature of each state; but congress may by law make or alter such regulations, except as to places for choosing senators. This, however, they have not yet done, but left it to the states, who elect senators by joint or separate ballots of the two houses of their legislatures, and representatives by popular election. The electors of the latter must be qualified to elect members of the most numerous branch of the legislature of their state.
The requisite qualifications for a senator are, to be 30 years of age, to have been nine years a citizen of the United States; to be a representative requires only 25 years of age, and seven years citizenship. Both senators and representatives must, at the time of their election, be inhabitants of the state for which they are chosen. The time of their previous residence is fixed by the constitutions or laws of the states themselves.
The vice-president of the United States presides over the senate, but has no vote in it, unless they be equally divided. The house of representatives elects its own