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executive council. This is the case in all the other counties of the state.
Are not these facts the most satisfactory proofs of the fallaoy, which has been employed against the branch of the federal government under consideration ? Has it appeared on trial, that the senators of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and NewYork; or the executive council of Pennsylvania; or the members of the assembly in the two last states, have betrayed any peculiar disposition to sacrifice the many to the fow; or are in uny respect less worthy of their places, than the representatives and magistrates appointed in other states, by very small divisions of the people?
But there are cases of a stronger complexion, than any which I have yet quoted. One branch of the legislature of Connecticut is so constituted, that each member of it is elected by the whole state. So is the governor of that state, of Massachusetts, and of this state, and the president of New Hampshire. I leave every man to decide, whether the result of any one of these experiments, can be said to countenance a suspicion, that a diffusive mode of choosing representatives of the people, tends to elevate traitors, and to undermine the public liberty.
NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 22, 1788.
THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED, IN RELATION TO THE FUTURE
AUGMENTATION OF THE MEMBERS.
The remaining charge against the house of representatives, which I am to examine, is grounded on a supposition that the number of members will not be augmented from time to time, as the progress of population may demand.
It has been admitted that this objection, if well supported, would have great weight. The following observations will show, tbat, like most other objections against the constitution, it can only proceed from a partial view of the subject; or from a jealousy which discolours and disfigures every object which it beholds.
1. Those who urge the objection, seem not to have recollected, that the federal constitution will not suffer by a comparison with the state constitutions, in the security provided for a gradual augmentation of the number of representatives. The number which is to prevail in the first instance, is declared to be temporary. Its duration is limited to the short term of
Within every successive term of ten years, a census of inbabitants is to be repeated. The unequivocal objects of these regulations are, first, to re-adjust, from time to time, the appor
tionment of representatives to the number of inbabitants; under the single exception, that each stato shall havo ono ropresentative at least : Secondly, to augment the number of reprosontatives at tho samo periods; under tho solo limitation, that the whole number shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand inhabitants. If we review the constitutions of the several states, we shall find that some of them contain no determinate regulations on this subject; that others correspond pretty much on this point with the federal constitution; and that the most effectual security in any of them, is resolvable into a mere directory provision.
2. As far as experience has taken place on this subject, a gradual increase of representatives under the state constitutions, has at least kept pace with that of the constituents; and it appears that the former have been as ready to concur in such measures, as the latter have been to call for them.
3. There is a peculiarity in the federal constitution, which insuros a watchful attention in a majority both of the peoplo and of their representatives, to a constitutional augmentation of the latter. The peculiarity lies in this, that one branch of the legislature is a representation of citizens; the other of the states : In the former, consequently, the largor states will have most weight; in the latter, the advantage will be in favour of the smaller states. From this circumstance it may with cer, tainty be inferred, that the larger states will be strenuous advocates for increasing the number and weight of that part of the legislature, in which their influence predominates. And it so happens, that four only of the largest, will have a majority of the whole votes in the house of representatives. Should tho representatives or people, therefore, of the smaller states, oppose at any time a reasonable addition of members, a coalition of a very few states will be sufficient to over-rule the opposi. tion; a coalition, which, notwithstanding the rivalship and local prejudices which might prevent it on ordinary occasions, would not fail to take place, when not merely prompted by
common interest, but justified by equity and the principles of the constitution.
It may be alleged, perhaps, that the senate would bo prompted by like motives to an adverse coalition; and as their concurrence would be indispensable, the just and constitutional views of the other branch might be defeated. This is the difficulty which has probably created the most serious apprehensions in the jealous friends of a numerous representation. Fortunately it is among the difficulties which, existing only in appearance, vanish on a close and accurate inspection. The following reflections will, if I mistake not, be admitted to be conclusive and satisfactory on this point.
Notwithstanding the equal authority which will subsist between the two houses on all legislative subjects, except the originating of monoy bills, it cannot bo doubted, that the house composed of the greater number, when supported by the more poworful states, and speaking the known and determined sense of a majority of the people, will have no small advantage in a question depending on the comparative firmness of the two houses.
This advantage must be increased by the consciousness felt by the same side, of being supported in its demands, by right, by reason, and by the constitution; and the consciousness on the opposite side, of contending against the force of all theso solemn considerations.
It is farther to be considered, that in the gradation between the smallest and largest states, there are several, which, though most likely in general to arrange themselves among the former, are too little removed in extent and population from the latter, to second an opposition to their just and legitimate pretensions. Hence it is by no means certain, that a majority of votes, even in the sonate, would be unfriendly to proper augmentations in the numbor of representatives.
It will not be looking too far to add, that the senators from all the new states may be gained over to the just views of tho bouse of representatives, by an expedient too obrious to be
overlooked. As these states will, for a great length of time, advancu in population with peculiar rapidity, they will be interested in frequent ro-apportionments of the representatives to the number of inhabitants. The large states, therefore, who will prevail in the house of representatives, will have nothing to do, but to make re-apportionments and augmentations mutually conditions of each other; and the senators from all the most growing states will be bound to contend for the latter, by the interest which their states will feel in the former.
These considerations seem to afford ample security on this subject; and ought alone to satisfy all the doubts and fears which have been indulged with regard to it. Admitting, however, that they should all be insufficient to subdue the unjust policy of the smaller states, or their predominant influenco in the councils of the senate; a constitutional and infallible resource still remains with the larger states, by which they will be able at all times to accomplish their just
purposes. The house of representatives can not only refuse, but they alone can propose the supplies requisite for the support of government. They, in a word, hold the purse; that powerful instrument by which we behold in the history of the British constitution an infant and humble representation of the people, gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance, and finally reducing, as far as it seems to havo wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government. This power over the purse, may in fact be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon, with which any constitution
arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.
But will not the house of representatives be as much interested as the senate, in maintaining the government in its proper functions, and will they not therefore be unwilling to stake its existence or its reputation on the pliancy of the senate? Or if such a trial of firmness between the two branches were hazarded, would not the one be as likely first to yield as the