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POWERS CONFERRED AND DENIED.

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tion; you thus will get the benefit of our counting him. We are willing to compromise the question on that basis. The compromise was accepted; five slaves became the equal of three freemen for the purposes of representation and taxation. Whether the North yielded its conscientious scruples any more easily because of the supposed benefit of counting the slave for the purposes of taxation cannot be answered. If so, it was badly cheated; for there never has been much resort to direct taxation. The duties upon imports, and the excises on whiskey and tobacco, and sometimes on other articles, have provided all the revenues. Direct taxation has been necessary in only a few cases, and then but for a very short time.

That duties should be laid upon importations from foreign countries was conceded to be a power which ought to be vested in the United States and taken away from the states. Thus a national revenue would be provided, and the duties would be uniform in every port. The commercial states of the North thought they were making a great sacrifice in surrendering this privilege, and they urged that the like power to impose duties upon exports should also be vested in the general government. But the South was firm in its opposition to this proposition. The South was not a commercial people. It exported largely tobacco grown in Virginia and North Carolina, and rice and indigo grown in the two Carolinas and Georgia. Cotton was scarcely known. The cotton gin and the

power loom had not then been invented. Northern men were traders. Their merchant marine was known in almost every foreign port. The northern delegates pressed the question of duties upon exports. Our exports, said the two Caro

. linas and Georgia, are our only means of getting any money. We must buy from you, and pay duties upon the goods your ships bring us from abroad. If you insist upon taxing our resources at both ends, both when we buy and sell, the business is at an end, we will stay out of the Union. But we consent that you tax imports — that tax falls upon the consumer. We and our slaves are consumers, and perhaps we shall consume more than you and thus pay more.

The North was constrained to agree, and the result was that a tax might be imposed upon imports, but no tax could ever be imposed upon exports.

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The power to regulate commerce with foreign nations was much discussed. It involved the power to pass laws to regulate or exclude the entry of foreign ships into our ports. The North wanted to give the United States full power. As the South did not own ships, it could get no benefit from the regulations, and might be compelled to pay too high prices to the North on freights. But foreign countries had not dealt with the American traders liberally; the British Orders in Council excluded our ships from the West India ports altogether. We must have the power of retaliation or we might be driven from the seas. The United States must have the power to make the regulations, and they must be uniform in all the states, in order that favorable treaties might be made. The South agreed to the justice of the proposed power, but wanted protection against its unjust application.

The South finally proposed the provision that Congress might regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the states, but that it should take a two thirds vote to pass any navigation laws. Give us that protection and we are safe. Not so, said the North ; you may prevent us from getting the protection we need against foreign severity and injustice. The question of the importation of slaves arose, for that was involved in the regulation of commerce, and the laying of duties. The North said slaves are imports and should be taxed as such. That will produce some revenue, and will tend to restrict the slave-trade. The South replied that the importation of slaves did not amount to much, and they would stop it themselves, for they would soon have all the slaves they wanted. The North pressed the tax upon slaves imported, and the restriction of their importation, with great firmness. The South thought that it had better concede something on the subject of navigation in order to escape pressure upon the slave question. And so another compromise was effected. Congress was given power to regulate commerce with foreign powers and among the states; the two thirds vote was not insisted upon. The power to impose a tax of ten dollars upon every slave imported was conceded, and a provision inserted that Congress should not prohibit the importation of slaves prior to 1808.

THE CONSTITUTION COMPLETED.

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It is proper to say that in 1808 Congress did pass a law prohibiting the importation of slaves, but punishment for the violation of the law was not inflicted until the administration of Abraham Lincoln. No tax, however, was ever imposed upon any slave imported.

No property qualification was required of any officer of the United States. Full faith should be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of another. Provision was made for the surrender of criminals, and of fugitive slaves. Amendments to the Constitution were provided for, but no amendment should depriye any state, without its consent, of its equal suffrage in the Senate. All the necessary details were perfected; the several provisions carefully expressed in plain and direct phrases, and arranged in suitable order. The revisers struck out the word “national ” from the Constitution, lest it should cause the opposition or unnecessary fear of the too jealous champions of state-rights; the names of the several states were stricken from the preamble, and “ The People” inserted instead, in order to signify that the power creating the Constitution came from the people, not from the states, and because all the states named might not ratify the Constitution. Provision was made for the ratification of the Constitution, not by Congress, not by the legislatures of the states, but by the conventions of at least nine states, thus again signifying the people as the source of

power. Finally, on the 17th of September, 1787, the Constitution was completed. It was not satisfactory to all the delegates, and several refused to sign it. “Done in convention by the unanimous consent of the states present," is the language of the attestation clause, not by the unanimous consent of all the states, or of all the delegates. It was, however, signed by the large majority. President Washington was authorized to transmit it to the Congress of the United States, with the recommendation that it be submitted for adoption to a convention of delegates, chosen by the people in every state. A letter was addressed to Congress, from which the following is an extract: “In all our deliberations we kept steadily in our view that which appears to us the greatest interest of every true American, the consolidation of our Union. . And thus the Constitution which we now present is the result of a spirit of amity, and of that mutual deference and concession which the peculiarity of our political situation rendered indispensable.” And thereupon the convention adjourned, leaving the Constitution to abide its fate at the hands of the conventions of delegates to be chosen by the people.

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LECTURE IV.

THE RATIFICATION OF THE CONSTITUTION. — PROCEEDINGS IN THE

CONVENTIONS OF THE SEVERAL STATES.

The fate of the proposed Constitution remained doubtful for many months after the adjournment of the convention. Hamilton said it would be arrogance to conjecture the result. Madison, writing to Washington, said: “ The majority in Virginia will be very small on whichever side it may be. The business is in the most ticklish state that can be conjectured.” Delaware was the first state to accept it. Gratified by the concession of equality in the federal Senate, the ratification was prompt, enthusiastic, and unanimous. Pennsylvania was the second. The opposition was sharp, but Franklin was president of the state, and Wilson a delegate to the state convention. Their influence was great. Wilson was the only delegate to the state convention who had also been a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. His great speeches in favor of the ratification of the Constitution are still quoted as aids to its exposition. The opposition was routed by bold and energetic measures, and the ratification was effected by a vote of forty-six to twenty-three. Then New Jersey and Georgia followed unanimously. Next came Connecticut by a vote of one hundred and twenty-eight to forty.

The result in these five states was the more easily obtained because the friends of the Constitution were prompt to act. With delay in the other states came a bitterness of contention which made the result doubtful. The first close struggle was in Massachusetts. The public creditor favored the proposed Constitution. He saw in it some hope of his long deferred pay. But the debtor class opposed it; for it would

. put an end to cheap paper money, with which they hoped to pay their debts, when it became still cheaper.

The merchants, manufacturers, lawyers, and clergy, and the

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