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occasion in behalf of another or of others; it is derived from two Latin words, re, signifying in fact, and presens, present-the people of the United States are considered as being virtually present in the persons of their representatives. What are the qualifications of the electors of the representatives? Why was not one uniform rule adopted, making these qualifications the same throughout the United States? Ans. It was impossible to fix upon any such rule suited to the circumstances of all the states; circumstances in one state might render a person fit for an elector which in another state would be insufficient for such a purpose.
What are the qualifications of representa. tives? What is the object of the qualification as to age? Ans. To make laws, requires a degree of wisdom and judgment which very young men cannot be supposed to have. Why was it required by the constitution that representatives should have been seven years citizens of the United States? Ans. It was to prevent foreigners, ignorant of our institutions, unacquainted with the interests and wants of the country, from obtaining a seat in the national councils. After a seven years citizenship, it may be supposed that foreigners would be much
better fitted for the office. Why was it required that representatives should be inhabitants of the state in which they are chosen? Ans. It is that they may be acquainted with the circumstances and interests of those by whom they are chosen. Although the representatives are to act for the best interests of the whole country, they can understand these interests only by a knowledge of the local interests of all the parts. It is probable also that in making this rule, some respect was paid to the idea of the confederation under which, the members of congress represented the states.
Remark. No person born a foreigner can be a representative in the British Parliament. Our constitution is more liberal in this respect, requiring only a citizenship of seven years. This is to encourage the population of the country by holding out inducements to foreigners to settle in it. Also, at the time of the adoption of the constitution, there were many persons, foreigners born, who had deserved much of the country, that would have suffered injustice by being excluded from seats in the national councils. The country also would have suffered by the loss of their services. The idea, too, of America being an asylum for
the oppressed, a home for the suffering friend of liberty, was kept in view. The British constitution requires that the representatives in the house of commons should possess a certain amount of property. Our constitution, founded on more republican principles, opens the door to merit independently of such considerations. The British constitution allows persons to be eligible as representatives at the age of twenty-one. Ours at the age of twenty-five. This was, as has been before intimated, on the ground that it was not to be supposed that persons under this age would in general possess sufficient wisdom and judgment.
In what manner are representatives apportioned among the several states? Ans. According to their respective numbers. How are the respective numbers determined? What is meant by three-fifths of all other persons ? Ans. In some of the states the free population, in consequence of the employment of slave-laborers, is small compared with that of the non-slave-holding states. The three-fifths of all other persons, or the slaves, are included in the enumeration, in order that these states may have a number of representatives proportioned to their importance. Why are In
dians not taxed excluded? Ans. Because they are considered as having no interest in the government of the United States, being merely dependent on it, and enjoying in some sort its protection as a favor. When was the first actual enumeration to be made? How often was it to be afterwards made? In what manner was it to be made?
What is the making of enumeration of the people of the United States termed? Ans. Taking the census. When was the first census taken? Ans. In 1790. How many census have been taken in all? Ans. Five. When was the last census taken? Ans. In 1830. Why are direct taxes apportioned among the states in the same manner as representatives? Ans. It is on the principle that representation and taxation go together; the slave population being in part taken into the account in apportioning the representatives, it was considered right that they should also be taken into the account in apportioning taxes among the states. Is the mode of raising money by direct taxes ever resorted to? Ans. Very rarely. What are direct taxes in the meaning of the constitution? Ans. It has been decided by the supreme court of the
United States, that they may be of two kinds, a poll-tax or tax on persons, and a tax on land. What number of inhabitants entitle to one representative? Ans. Every state is allowed to have at least one, whatever may be the number of its inhabitants; aside from this rule, the representatives must not exceed one for every thirty thousand inhabitants, but congress may by law require that a larger number shall be necessary. What is the number at present required for one representative by law of congress? Ans. By act of congress of 1832, the number is fixed at one for every 47,700 inhabitants. What is the present number in the house of representatives? Ans. 240. Why is congress allowed to enlarge the number necessary to entitle to a representative? Ans. If they were not allowed to do so, as the population of the United States increases, the house of representatives would become too large.
When vacancies happen in the representation of any state, how are they to be supplied? Who are the executive authority of the states? Ans. The governors. What is a writ of election? Ans. It is a written order from a governor to a sheriff, commanding him to