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in the Union at the time of the passage of the law, and to their respective proportions of that aggregate. Of course the aggregate number is increased by the admission of new States, as each State is entitled to at least one member.
$ 6. In the decade beginning with 1860, it will be observed, the number of members was fixed at 242. But, in 1861, many seats were vacated on account of the great Civil War which broke out in the early part of that year. All the representatives from those States that passed ordinances of secession resigned their seats; but since that time, the seceding States have returned to their former relations to the Union, and are now represented in this branch of Congress.
§ 7. On account of the vacancies caused by these acts of secession, the second session of the 39th Congress, numbered but 192 in the House.
Each organized Territory is allowed one delegate, who may participate in the discussions of the house, but is not permitted to vote. But this is not a constitutional provision: it is by act of Copgress.
- HOW APPORTIONED. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respectivenumbers, which shall include, 1. The whole number of free persons, excluding Indians not
taxed; 2. Those bound to service for a term of years ; 3. Indians who are taxed ; and, 4. Three-fifths of all other persons. 5. (See app. to Anal. C.)
$ 1. One of the most perplexing of all the questions that came before the Constitutional Convention was that which related to the apportionment of members of the House of Representatives among the several States. So great a change was proposed in regard to the composition of the legislative branch from that which had existed under the Confederation, that this matter of apportionment became a very difficult question to settle.
§ 2. In the first place, under the Confederation, there was but one house of Congress. In that house, the States, large and small
. had equal representation, and were equal in political influence and
The smaller States, as might reasonably be presumedl, were reluctant to surrender that advantage.
§ 3. In the second place, it was now proposed to have two houses of Congress, in one branch of which the smaller States insisted on equality of representation. This was opposed by the larger States, as it was claimed that political power should depend on population, or population and property.
§ 4. Here was a direct conflict of interests. The smaller States recognized this proposition as a blow aimed at their State sovereignty, and one which, if successful, would be humiliating to their State pride: it woull greatly diminish their power in the national councils.
$ 5. A considerable number of the States were in favor of making wealth, or wealth and population combined, the basis of representation. The Southern States, at that time, were richer than the Northern ; and this question was one of sectional interest.
$ 6. The smaller States at length yielded the point, consenting that population might be accepted as the basis of representation in the House. The larger States consented to equality of suffrage in the Senate. But now the question was, Who shall be included, and who excluded, in the representative population? Shall all persons be counted? or shall certain classes be omitted ? On this vexed question, there was probably more asperity of feeling demonstrated than on any other that came before the Convention.
$ 7. The question finally narrowed down to this: Shall the slaves be counted the same as free white inhabitants? The States having the most slaves said “ Yes ; ” those having but few said “ No.” All the States except Massachusetts at that time held slaves. But the Northern and Eastern States held but few comparatively; and it was apparent that even these few were rapidly diminishing in numbers.
§ 8. If slaves were to be counted as free persons, this would give the Southern States a great advantage. The South insisted that they should be included in the representative basis ; the North, that they should not Here was a direct conflict of opinion, based on conflict of interest. It became evident, that unless concessions were made from some quarter, or all quarters, the labors of the Convention were at an end.
§ 9. It should be remarked here, also, that the foreign slave-trade became a prominent element in the discussion. The idea of counting negroes imported from Africa, as soon as they were landed on our shores, as so many white men would count, when they were merely property, and in no manner contributed to the intelligence of the population, and of allowing that count to increase the number of Southern representatives in the House, to the minds of many of the great men in that Convention was offensive in the extreme.
$ 10. It was substantially saying to any State, North or South (for North and South were alike involved in the traffic), “ The more negroes you will import, the more members you may have in the national council; and the more you will increase the slave population, the greater shall be your political power and influence.”
§ 11. On the other hand, those States in which the slaves were most numerous, and were likely to go on increasing, contended, that although there was a sense in which the slaves were property, yet they were something more : they were human beings, brought within the pale of civilized society, and ought to be counted with the representative population.
§ 12. It will be seen, that, if the basis of representation were fixed at one member for every thirty thousand inhabitants, a State having sixty thousand slaves would be entitled to two members on account of this slave population. Thus slavery would and should, the South contended, become an element of political power.
§ 13. As with many other questions in that Convention, this was finally settled by compromise, and on the following terms :
1st. Five slaves were to be counted as three persons.
2d. The slaves were to be counted on the same basis for purposes of direct taxation for the support of the General Government; and direct taxation was to be imposed in proportion to the representative population.
3d. The Northern State3 consented to a clause in the Constitution prohibiting legislative interference with the foreign slave-trade prior to 1808.
4th. The Southern States consented to the imposition of a tax or duty on imported slaves, not exceeding ten dollars for each person.
The clause " three-fifths of all other persons,” at the head of this article, refers to slaves.
§ 14. At that day it was generally supposed, that counting threefifths of the slaves for purposes of direct taxation would be a matter of considerable advantage to the Northern States ; for it was not then presumed that the expenses for the support of government would be chiefly paid through the custom-house revenue, as afterwards proved to be the case.
$ 15. But the advantage proved to be nearly all on the side of the Southern States : for, in the first place, only three-fifths of their slave population were to be counted for purposes of direct taxation ; while all the Northern population was to be reckoned for this object, except
few slaves held there. In the second place (and this was a matter which the Convention did not foresee), direct taxation has never been a matter of much importance until since the abolition of slavery. The only instances of this kind of taxation were in 1798, 1813, and 1815.
§ 16. By the XIIIth amendment to the Constitution slavery was finally abolished. The XIVth amendment made an important change in the basis of representation. It practically repealed the provision for the three-fifths representation of “all other persons,” and required that the negro, unless enfranchised, should be excluded from the count altogether. The XVth amendment, adopted in 1870, definitely enfranchised the negro and thus, in effect, fixed the basis of representation as “the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.” (See appendix to Analysis C and F.)
§ 17. It will be observed that the Constitution nowhere men. tions the word servitude, slave or slavery. Whenever it is necessary to allude to that class of persons, a definition is adopted instead of the word itself, except in the last three Amendments before alluded to. This was studiously intended by the authors of that instrument, feeling that it would be a stain on their work.
ART. III. - ELIGIBILITY. 1. A representative must have attained to the age of twenty
2. Must have been seven years a citizen of the United States. 3. When elected, must be an inhabitant of the State in which
chosen. 4. 4. No United- States officer shall be a member of either house
of Congress. 22. (See appendix to Analysis D.) $ 1. That a member of the House of Representatives should be at least twenty-five years old was adopted in the Convention without debate. Few men before that age have had sufficient experience to fit them for so important a trust; and as it seemed necessary to specify some age before which a person should be held ineligible to this position, perhaps twenty-five may be regarded as the most suitable.
$ 2. In order to be a representative, it is not necessary that he shall be a natural-born citizen. By the Constitution, however, he must have been a citizen of the United States seven years. If born under another government, he may become a citizen of this country by a process called naturalization. By a law of Congress, it requires five years' residence before this can be accomplished; which, added to seven years' citizenship, requires twelve years actual residence before an alien can become a representative in Congress. A much longer period than this, however, was strenuously insisted on by many of the members of the Convention.
$ 3. The Constitution requires that the member, when elected, shall be an inhabitant of the State in which he is chosen.
This is a provision so reasonable as to admit of neither debate in the Convention, nor of difference of opinion among the people. The inhabitancy of the State in which chosen is limited to the particular time when chosen, not requiring the representative to continue it there. He may hold his seat in the House, therefore, even should he change his residence to another State during his continuance as a representative.
Nor is it necessary that he shall reside in the particular Congressional district in which, or by which, he is chosen.
§ 4. No person holding any office under the United States is eligible to a seat in either house of Congress. On this provision, there was no difference of opinion among the members of the Constitutional Convention ; although many were in favor of carrying the