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“slavery,” is not in the instrument. These words were carefully and intentionally omitted. In the thirteenth Article of Amendments, the word “slavery” appears for the first time in the Constitution; and that article abolishes the institution throughout the United States and their territories.
§ 2. Section second of the thirteenth Article of Amendments gives Congress legislative authority over the subject. As four or five millions of men, women, and children, were suddenly transferred from slavery to freedom, it was presumed that national legislation would become necessary to protect them in their new condition. Congress bas already exercised this power in the passage of several statutes on the subject. This matter will receive further attention in considering State prohibitions.
2.- FOREIGN SLAVE-TRADE.
§ 3. The provision of the Constitution relating to this subject reads as follows:
“ The migration or importation of such persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight; but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person."
At the time of the formation of the Constitution, all the States held slaves, except one ; and the foreign slave-trade was lawful among all nations of the world.
$ 4. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution, the general opinion prevailed that slavery would gradually diminish until it would become extinct in all the States. This opinion was based on the supposition that free labor would ultimately be found to be more profitable than slave labor, and that slaves would soon become valueless. At that time, it must be remembered, cotton was not the leading article of commerce which it has become during the present century.
$ 5. At that time, the processes of separating the seed from the cotton, spinning the cotton into yarn, and weaving the yarn into cloth, were so slow and clumsy compared with the methods of doing
the same things at the present day, that this article did not promise to become a leading fabric with which to clothe the world. But little cotton was worn, and that little was expensive. A vast expenditure of labor was required to convert it from the raw material into cloth.
§ 6. But, near the close of the last century, three inventions, each contributing to the same end, produced a wonderful revolution in the mechanical processes of converting cotton into cloth. The cotton-gin by Eli Whitney of Connecticut, the spinning-jenny by Sir Richard Arkwright, and the power-loom by Edmund Cartwright, both of England, have accomplished this great change. By means of these inventions, the products of human industry in the manufacture of cotton goods bave been multiplied more than a hundred-fold.
§ 7. The facilities for the manufacture of cotton goods being thus multiplied, the goods were greatly reduced in price, the call for them in the markets of the world was proportionally extended, and, of course, the demand for the raw material was correspondingly increased. This demand increased the call for slave-labor, this call enbanced the price of slaves, and all combined advanced the slaveholding interests of the South. Of course, all these changes were unforeseen by the authors of the Constitution.
$ 8. Congress passed a law prohibiting the foreign slave-trade after the first day of January, 1808 ; imposing mild penalties of fine and imprisonment for its breach. But the slave-trade had become profitable, and the law was frequently disobeyed. In 1820, Con. gress passed a law making the foreign slave-trade piracy, punishable by death.
In 1865, slavery was abolished by a Constitutional amendment, as has been stated.
ART. XVI.- GENERAL LAW-MAKING.
Shall have power to make all laws which shall be necessary
and proper for carrying into execution the powers vested by the Constitution,
1. In the government of the United States; or,
§ 1. This general power to make laws, able commentators say, is merely a specification of what would have been implied even had this provision of the Constitution been omitted; for the granting of any power implies consent on the part of the grantor, that the necessary means may be adopted to render that power effective. This reasoning, however, does not prove that this provision is mere surplusage ; for there were several powers granted in the Articles of Confederation, which, for want of others to render them effective, were but a mockery
§ 2 As it is impossible to specify in the fundamental law of a nation all the powers which at some time it may be indispensably necessary to exercise for the common good, this provision seems to be among the wisest to be found in the Constitution. Had the attempt been made to enumerate affirmatively all laws necessary and proper which Congress might pass, it must have resulted in failure As Judge Story says, it would have rendered necessary plete digest of all laws on every subject to which the Constitution relates. It must have embraced all future as well as all present exigencies, and been accommodated to all times and all occasions, and all changes of situation and character.”
ART. XVII.- MEETING.
1. Shall assemble at least once in every year; which meeting
shall be on the first Monday in December, unless, 2. They shall appoint a different day. 16.
§ 1. In England, the sovereign has the sole power to convene and dissolve the two houses of Parliament: he can call them together at any time he sees fit. So the President of the United States can convene either or both houses of Congress on extraordinary occasions. But, if it should so happen that the President was essentially at variance with Congress, had he the power to prevent their meeting, he would be likely to exercise that power, and perhaps to the detriment of the nation. A bad President might prefer to have no Congress during his administration. In such case, there would be a practical demonstration of the necessity of this provision.
§ 2. Again : it seems necessary that the Constitution should con
tain some such provision, as, otherwise, the two houses might not agree in reference to the time of assembling. By this provision, if they can not agree on any other time, they must meet the first Monday of December. The place of meeting is not designated, and probably for two reasons : first, the seat of the National Government had not been established at the time when the Constitution was formed ; and, second, war or pestilence might at times interfere with the meeting at any place that might be named in the Constitution.
ARTICLE I. - PROCEEDINGS. A bill may become a law through any one of the three following processes :
1. The bill shall pass both houses of Congress. 2. It shall then be presented to the President. 3. If he approve, he shall sign it. 24.
1 The bill shall pass both houses of Congress. 2. It shall then be presented to the President. 3. If he disapprove it, he shall return it, with his objections,
to that house in which it originated. 4. That house shall enter objections at large on their journal. 5. They shall proceed to reconsider it; and if, after such recon
sideration, tro-thirds of the house shall agree to pass it, 6. It shall be sent, with the objections, to the other house. 7. The other house shall reconsider the bill. 8. If approved by two-thirds of that house, it shall become a lavo. 9. The votes of both houses shall be determined by the yeas and nays
in all such cases. 10. The names of the persons voting for and against the bill
shall be entered on the journal of each house respectively. 24.
1. The bill shall pass both houses of Congress. 2. It shalt then be sent to the President. 8. He neglects to approve and sign it. 4. He also neglects to return it to the house in which it origi.
nated. 5. It becomes a law at the end of ten days (Sundays ex
cepted), unless Congress, by adjournment within that
time, prevents its return. 24. § 1. A bill, as here used, is the draught of a proposed law. It may be introduced by any one of several methods. 1st. It may be introduced, with the leave of the house, by any
member. 2d. It
be introduced by order of either house ; or, 3d. It may be introduced by the report of a standing or select
committee. § 2. A standing committee is one that is appointed to continue during the session or term of the body from which it is chosen. To this committee is usually referred all that class of subjects which appropriately comes within its jurisdiction. Its name is usually suggestive of its business ; as the Committee on Agriculture, Committee on Finance, Committee on Military Affairs, Committee of Ways and Means, Judiciary Committee; and so on. A subject may be presented, however, that does not appropriately belong to any standing committee. Such matter is usually referred to a committee appointed expressly for this purpose, which is called a select committee. Au deliberative and legislative bodies have their committees usually appointed by the presiding officer; though they are not always so appointed : it is sometimes done by the assembly.
$ 3. A bill in Congress must receive three several readings before it is put upon its final passage. No bill can be read more than once on the same day without the special permission of the house. The vote is taken on its third reading. The arguments for and against the bill, if any, are made before its third reading, or between its third reading and the taking of the vote. If the bill passes,
it is signed by the presiding officer, ard sent to the other house.