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restriction much further. The Constitution limits the ineligibility to the period of continuance in office under the United States. Seve eral of the members were in favor of extending this incompetency to hold a federal office for from one to three or four years beyond the expiration of the term of service for which a senator or representative should be elected.
$ 5. But their deliberations resulted in prohibiting any officer under the General Government from being a member of either house of Congress during his continuance in office. This provision originated in a deference to State jealousy, and fear that the General Government would obtain an undue intluence in the national councils. If a Federal officer were allowed to be member of either house, he might wield an undue influence over those with whom he would be associated in legislative deliberations.
Members of the House of Representatives are chosen every second year. 3.
§ 1. There was much difference of opinion in the Convention as to what length of time ought to constitute a representative term. One class was in favor of limiting it to one year; urging that the people were, and would continue to be, in favor of frequent elections; that such was the only defense of the people against tyranny ; and that this plan, bringing representative and constituency more frequently face to face, would be likely to give a stronger sense of official responsibility.
§ 2. Another class urged that a term of three years was preferable to one ; that instability is one of the great vices of a republic ; that time should be given for members to acquire a competent knowledge of the various interests of States to which they did not belong. It was claimed that one year would be almost consumed in preparing for official duty, and traveling to and from the seat of national business.
$ 3. It was also urged against the annual plan, that frequency of elections tended to make the people regardless of them, and to facilitate the success of little cabals. It had been found necessary
in some States, where the elections were annual, to force attendance and voting by severe regulations.
§ 4. But, as was usual in the Convention, a compromise of opinion prevailed ; and it was accepted that members be chosen every second year. The representative term always expires in the years of odd numbers, as 1867, ’69, '71, &c.
ART. V.- BY WHOM ELECTED.
By the people of the several States. 3.
§ 1. It was not easy for the Convention to agree on the question, “By whom shall the representatives be elected ?” It was urged by some members, that the people were incapable of properly exercising this high and important trust; that they should have as little to do as possible about the government; that they were ignorant, and constantly liable to be misled ; that great evils would result from such an excess of democracy; and that, while the people were not wanting in purity of motive, they were liable to become the dupes of pretended patriots.
§ 2. On the contrary, it was urged that the election of this branch of Congress should be by the people; that the House of Representatives was to be the grand depository of the democratic principle of the government; that it was to be our House of Commons; that it ought to know and sympathize with every part of the community, and ought, therefore, to be taken, not only from different parts of the whole republic, but from the various districts of the larger States.
§ 3. It was claimed that this was emphatically the people's own government; that, bowever elevated the situation of the more wealthy might be to-day, a few years not only might, but certainly would, distribute their posterity throughout the lowest classes of society. Every selfish motive, therefore, and every family attach ment, ought to lead the Convention to provide no less carefully for the rights and happiness of the lowest than of the highest order of citizens.
§ 4. The members of the Convention who were opposed to an election of representatives by the people were in favor of electing
them by the legislatures of the several States; maintaining that it would be utterly impracticable to elect them by the people. By a close vote, however, it was decided to place the election of members of the house in the hands of the people of the several States.
ART. VI.-ELECTORS. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous brunch of the State legislaturca. 3.
§ 1. The word “ electors," as used here, is synonymous ters. It was necessary to adopt some rule that would apply to all the States in determining or defining the qualifications of voters for members of the House of Representatives. On this subject, there were three classes of opinions :
§ 2. The first class proposed to require the same qualifications that were requisite to vote for members of the several State legislatures. This was objected to on two grounds :
1st. That it would thus be left to the States to settle the question of qualifications.
2d. That it would be impracticable in many of the States, as the qualifications to vote for a State senator were higher than were required to vote for the members of the most numerous branch.
Another proposition was, that freeholders only should be allowed to vote for members of the House of Representatives. This found favor with many of the ablest members of that body, but failed.
§ 3. The test finally adopted was, perhaps, the best among the number proposed, or that could be proposed; which leaves it in the hands of the States themselves, with this limitation, that whatever test they see fit to adopt as a qualification to vote for the most numerous branch of their own legislatures respectively, shall settle the question as to whether the elector may vote for a member of the House of Representatives.
§ 4. No State, therefore, has the right to require any higher or different qualifications of its citizens, to vote for a member of the House of Representatives, than it requires of them to vote for the popular branch of its own legislature.
§ 5. Members of the House of Representatives are elected in the several States by Congressional districts. When it has been ascertained how many members each State is entitled to, the legise latures of the several States divide them respectively into as many Congressional districts as they are each entitled to members. These Congressional districts are numbered, for convenience, 1st, 2d, 3d, &c., and are known by their numbers.
The electors of each district vote for but one candidate, though that candidate need not necessarily be a resident of the voter's district. He must, however, as we have seen, be an inhabitant of the State in which he shall be chosen.
$ 6. Several of the States formerly elected their representatives by general ticket; that is, each elector voted for all the members to which the State was entitled, or for a number equal to that number. Until 1842, there was no act of Congress requiring elections of members by Congressional districts; but, June 25 of that year, a law was passed requiring the States to elect by districts, and allowing each district to elect but one representative.
ART. VII.- VACANCIES. When vacancies happen in the representation from any State, the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies. 6.
$ 1. The writ of election is directed to the Congressional district in which the vacancy
The election held in pursuance of such writ is called a special election.
§ 2. The representative elected to fill a vacancy does not serve a full term, but the remainder of the term for which his predecessor was elected. Vacancies can happen only by death, resignation, or expulsion of the incumbent from his seat in the house.
ART. VIII.- CENSUS.
1. How MADE. In such manner as Congress shall by law direct. 2. WHEN MADE. 1st. The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of Congress. 2d. It shall be made within every subsequent term
of ten years.
§ 1. The manner of taking the census is under the control of Congress, to be fixed by law. It has been taken ten times since the organization of the government; viz., 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1810, 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880.
§ 2. Since the organization of the Department of the Interior (1849), that department has had general supervision of the matter. The Tenth Census was by law placed under the immediate direction of the Superintendent of the Census, who was made the head of the Census Office. Supervisors had charge of limited districts, one or more in each State, under whose direction the enumerators canvassed their respective subdistricts during the month of June, 1880.
§ 3. The duties of these enumerators consisted in visiting personally every dwelling-house and family within the limits of their respective jurisdictions, and propounding to some member of the family, of suitable age and intelligence, such questions as are required by Act of Congress.
§ 4. These questions relate not only to the number of inhabitants, but their ages, sex, color, ability to read and write, facts relating to agriculture, manufactures, commerce, resources of the country, i's productions, and, in fact, every thing that may be necessary to give a general view of the condition of the United States.
§ 5. Nor is it left to the discretion of persons questioned, whether they will answer these interrogatories. They are compelled to answer under a penalty of thirty dollars for each refusal; and the person so refusing can be imprisoned until the penalty is paid ; and a new refusal can be followed by a new penalty and imprisonment.
§ 6. The Constitution requires that the census shall be taken once in ten years. By act of Congress, it was taken the first time in 1790; and it has been taken decenially ever since. In the Constitutional Convention, the proposition was considered, to take it once in twenty years, and once in fifteen ; but once in ten was finally adopted. Once in ten years was thought to be sufficiently frequent for all practical purposes. It is attended with considerable expense ; costing for instance, in 1850, nearly a million and a half of dollars.
§ 7. The following table shows the aggregate population of the