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domination, seek an effectual remedy. This we shall be compelled ^jf^"" most reluctantly to do, if these partial and unconstitutional measures are Strance. persevered in, without fear of imputation from our cotemporaries, or the impartial scrutiny of posterity. But does not the heart of philanthropy sicken at the prospect, that the American Constitution, justly esteemed by the friends of freedom throughout the world, as the great monument of the genius and patriotism of the last century, is in danger of being torn by manufacturing cupidity from its high place, while some of the immortal men whose hands aided in its elevation, are yet on earth to witness and deplore the sacrilegious deed!
Resolved, That the Governor be requested to forward a copy of the foregoing remonstrance to the Governors of the several States. Approved, Dec. 20, 1828.
JOHN FORSYTH, Governor.
RESOLUTIONS OF VIRGINIA, ON THE POWERS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
ORDERED TO BE PRINTED WITH THE ACTS AND RESOLUTIONS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, DEC. SESSION, 1829.
(See Pamphlet haws, Reports and Resolutions of 1829, page 71J
Report Of The Select Committee On The Resolutions Of Georgia And South Carolina.
The Select Committee to whom were referred the communication of the Governor, transmitting the proceedings of the Legislature of Georgia, in relation to resolutions from the States of South Carolina and Ohio, and the proceedings of the State of South Carolina on the subjects of the Tariff and Internal Improvements, have bestowed on those subjects their most profound consideration.
Having subjected the preambles and resolutions to strict examination and severe criticism, they find the annunciations and results to be mainly sustainable, so far as they pertain to the Acts of Congress, usually denominated the Tariff Laws, and thus designated in those several proceedings.
The proceedings of the Legislature of the State of Georgia, as well as those on which they are founded, emanating from the Legislature of South Carolina, announce and sustain the opinions of Virginia, heretofore proclaimed by successive Legislatures; opinions, which rest on truth and reason; which your committee can discern no cause to relinquish; but which they are ready to defend and sustain, as involving the most essential interests of the Commonwealth.
Respect for the dignity and character of Virginia, and an anxious regard for the tranquility of the Union, admonish your committee to withhold such remarks as might be suggested by the consciousness of oppression; such remarks could have no other tendency than to excite hostile emotions, ill-adapted to the grave consideration of the momentous question which they are deputed to examine. Your committee will, therefore, proceed with calmness and temperance, to examine the opinion heretofore expressed by preceding Legislatures of this State, that the several Acta of Congress, passed avowedly for the protection of domestic manufactures, are manifest infractions of the Federal Constitution, and dangerous violations of the sovereignty of the States.
The Government of the United States has ever been regarded by the sovereignty of Virginia, as Federative in character, and limited in power; as deriving its powers from concessions by the States, which concessions were clear and explicit, plainly declarative of all which was delegated, j^yi*"TM" and actually containing a specific enumeration of every power designed jg29. to be transferred. The purposes for which these powers may be exerted v_^»-v-^«. have been regarded as distinctly defined, and it was considered that the Government was prohibited, alike, from the exercise of any power not contained in the specific enumeration, as from the perversion of those actually delegated, to any purpose not contemplated in the grant. The Convention which, on the part of Virginia, ratified the Constitution of the United States, gave this interpretation to the instrument. Its advocates then urged its adoption, as constituting such a Government as is here described. It was insisted, on many occasions, that the powers of the Government were expressly enumerated; and that none others could be claimed. It was insisted, with equal earnestness, that the purposes for which these powers might be exerted, were as distinctly ascertained, and that they could not be perverted to any other object. The ablest and most zealous advocat.s of the Constitution inaisted, that such was its just construction, even according to the terms of the original text, and it must be aknowledged, that this construction is strengthened by the subsequent adoption of amendments to the Constitution. Those who opposed the ratification of the Constitution, founded their objection on a supposed absence of limitation, according to the plan originally submitted; and proposed, as an expedient to remedy this defect, the amendments which "were subsequently adopted. A majority, however, of the Convention, determined on the ratification of the original text, explained and defined by its advocates, as organizing a Government with limited powers, specifically enumerated, and restrained in the exercise of those powers to the attainment of specific ends. An anxious solicitude to establish indisputably this construction, induced the recommendation of those amendments "which have since been engrafted on the Constitution, establishing this construction even in the opinion of those who opposed the adoption of the Constitution.
This being the sense in which the Constitution of the United States was originally accepted, your committee have anxiously examined the record of succeeding times, to discover if any things have since occurred, calculated to change the import of the instrument; and after the most patient examination, they confidently report, that nothing has transpired, which could in any manner modify its just construction. If at any succeeding period, attempts have been made to pervert the import of the original compact, Virginia has ever been prompt to avow her unqualified disapprobation, and manifest her undisguised discontent. The imperishable history of '98, has perpetuated the memory of her laudable zeal, in sustaining the true principles of the Constitution, in maintaining the sovereign rights of the States, in successfully resisting the lawless usurpations of a Government bent on the acquisition of boundless power. The deliberations of the Legislature of this Commonwealth, during the period of '98 and '99, in relation to the construction of the Constitution, by a felicitous combination of circumstances resulted in a just and luminous exposition of the true principles of the Federal Compact. This expose clearly ascertained the just limitations of Federal power, and happily pointed out to future generations, the just rule of interpreting the instrument. The construction then placed on the Constitution, was submitted to the decision of the most august of all tribunals, and sustained by the judgment of United America.
The history of Virginia discloses several occasions, on which the Constitution was brought in review, and the committee have found that on
Virginia every occasion where the question was involved, the former Legislatures RE8(1829.I0nS °f tn's Commonweath have insisted on a limited construction of the instrument. Sustained by the concurrence of our predecessors, from the earliest history of the Constitution, your committee find but little difficulty in determining the Government of the United States, to be Federative in its character, and limited in its powers—That the powers vested in the Government, are conveyed in an express enumeration—That no power can be Constitutionally exercised, which is not contained in that enumeration—That the purposes for which the Government was instituted, are explained in the instrument; and that the powers specified in the enumeration, cannot be legitimately exerted, for any purpose not designated by the Constitution.
Regarding these propositions as true, it seems to your committee, that to determine on the constitutionality of' laws, passed for the protection of American manufactures, it can only be necessary to examine the enumeration of giants. If the power be there expressly delegated, then, indeed, the question ends. If, on the contrary, no such power be there expressly conveyed, we must recur to further reffection.
In examining this enumeration of grants, your committee have not been able to discover any such express delegation, authorizing the protection of American manufactures, by means of prohibitory, or protecting duties. They find, however, a clause in the Constitution, empowering Congress "to promote the progress of science and the useful arts, by securing, for limited times, to authors and inventors, the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." On a critical examination of this clause, it will be found to bear with much force on the question, whether or not Congress have the right to advance the manufacturing interest of America, by the imposition of prohibitory, or protecting duties. The ends which the government may attempt, are plainly ascertained by the terms of the compact. The means which may be legitimately exerted, for the accomplishment of these ends, are as plainly determined and described. The phrase useful arts, it will be conceded, embraces and describes the manufacturing art; and it is deemed competent for Congress to promote its progress, by securing for a time, to any fortunate or scientific artificer, the exclusive use of all his discoveries. The interest, then, of the manufacturing art, may be promoted after the manner indicated in this clause; but the suggestion of this particular mode operates as an exclusion of all other modes; and it seems to follow as a natural consequence, that the manufacturing interest may not be promoted by the imposition of prohibitory or protecting duties.
The proceedings which were had in the Federal Convention, confirms this construction of this clause. The plan of government finally adopted, was submitted to the consideration of the Convention on the 29th May, 1787, by an honorable member from the State of South Carolina. No such clause, as the one now under consideration, was contained in the original draft, nor was any such engrafted on that draft, by the select committee, to whose examination the plan was subjected. On the 18th day of August, succeeding, it was proposed to consider the propriety of conferring on the government additional powers; and among others, the following were suggested for reffection.
To give to Congress the power "to secure to literary authors, their copy rights for a limited time."
"To encourage, by proper premiums and provisions, the advancement of useful knowledge and discoveries."
"To grant patents for useful inventions."
"To establish public institutions, rewards and immunities, for the pro- revi*0inia motion of agriculture, commerce, trades and manufactures!' E9°lIffi9.IoSS'
These propositions were referred' to a select committee, who, after mature reflection, reported on the 5th of September following, the clause as it now stands in the body of the Constitution, investing Congress with the power "to promote the progress of science and the useful arts, by securing for limited times, to authors and inventors, the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." It became the duty of that committee, in the examination of the subjects to them referred, to inquire into the expediency of investing Congress with powers "for the promotion" of "manufactures." In the event that they should find it expedient, it became their duty further to ascertain the "proper premiums and provisions," over which Congress should be invested with power; what "public institutions, rewards and immunities" Congress should be authorised to "establish" "for the promotion of agriculture, commerce, trades and manufactures:" and after due deliberation, occupying the attention of the committee from the 18th of August to the 5th of September, it was determined that the only provision which should be made, was contained in the clause which at present occupies our attention. Thus, actually rejecting the propositions which were referred, and negatively declaring their intention, that Congress should have no other power "to promote the progress" of "manufactures," than that of "securing for limited times," "to inventors, the exclusive right to their respective" "discoveries." This report was sustained by the Convention, who thereby afforded unequivocal evidence of their will and design, in lelation to the subject of domestic manufactures. Manufactures had become the subject of their thoughts. They gravely deliberated on the powers necessary to be vested in the government, for the promotion of the manufacturing art, and after consultation of 17 days, solemnly determined, that the only power over the subject, which it was wise to confer on the government, was that of securing temporarily to inventors, any exclusive advantages which might result from their discoveries. Your committee cannot but regard these occurrences as a virtual, if not an actual rejection of the proposition to invest Congress with any other powers, for the promotion of manufactures. And they are, therefore, the more confirmed in their conviction, that manufactures cannot be legitimately promoted, by the imposition of prohibitory, or protecting duties.
Your committee would not rest assured of a faithful discharge of the important duties which devolve upon them, were they to withhold all comment on such clauses of the Constitution, as have been claimed to convey to Congress the right to protect domestic manufactures. The 8th section of 1st article has been relied on as conveying that right. This section provides, that "Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises, shall be uniform throughout the United States." It is insisted by the advocates of protecting duties, that Congress is invested by this clause, with unqualified power over the subject of duties and imposts; which may be well exerted for the advancement or advantage of the American manufacturer; but this proposition appears to your committee to be entirely unsustainable. So far from conveying to the government of the United States, unqualified power over the subject of duties and imposts, that government is restrained in the exercise of its power over the subject, to the accomplishment of objects enumerated in the very clause itself. The words "to pay the debts, and provide for the