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Mr. MERCER seconded the motion. It was necessary, he said, to prevent a disfranchisement of persons who had become citizens, under the faith and according to the laws and Constitution, from their actual level in all respects with natives.
Mr. RUTLEDGE. It might as well be said that all qualifications are disfranchisements, and that to require the age of twenty-five years was a disfranchisement. The policy of the precaution was as great with regard to foreigners now citizens, as to those who are to be naturalized in future.
Mr. SHERMAN. The United States have not invited foreigners, nor pledged their faith that they should enjoy equal privileges with native citizens. The individual States alone have done this. The former therefore are at liberty to make any discriminations they may judge requisite.
Mr. GORHAM. When foreigners are naturalized, it would seem as if they stand on an equal footing with natives. He doubted, then, the propriety of giving a retrospective force to the restriction.
Mr. Madison animadverted on the peculiarity of the doctrine of Mr. SHERMAN. It was a subtilty by which every national engagement might be evaded. By parity of reason, whenever our public debts or foreign treaties become inconvenient, nothing more would be necessary to relieve us from them, than to re-model the Constitution. It was said that the United States, as such, have not pledged their faith to the naturalized foreigners, and therefore are not bound. Be it so, and that the States alone are bound. Who are to form the new Constitution by which the condition of that class of citizens is to
be made worse than the other class ? Are not the States the agents? Will they not be the members of it? Did they not appoint this Convention ? Are not they to ratify its proceedings ? Will not the new Constitution be their act? If the new Constitution, then, violates the faith pledged to any description of people, will not the makers of it, will not the States, be the violaters? To justify the doctrine, it must be said that the States can get rid of the obligation by revising the Constitution, though they could not do it by repealing the law under which foreigners held their privileges. He considered this a matter of real importance. It would expose us to the reproaches of all those who should be affected by it, reproaches which would soon be echoed from the other side of the Atlantic; and would unnecessarily enlist among the adversaries of the reform a very considerable body of citizens. We should moreover reduce every State to the dilemma of rejecting it, or of violating the faith pledged to a part of its citizens.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS considered the case of persons under twenty-five years of age as very different from that of foreigners. No faith could be pleaded by the former in bar of the regulation. No assurance had ever been given that persons under that age should be in all cases on a level with those above it. But with regard to foreigners among us, the faith had been pledged that they should enjoy the privileges of citizens. If the restriction as to age had been confined to natives, and had left foreigners under twenty-five years of age eligible in
this case, the discrimination would have been an equal injustice on the other side.
Mr. PINCKNEY remarked that the laws of the States had varied much the terms of naturalization in different parts of America; and contended that the United States could not be bound to respect them on such an occasion as the present. It was a sort of recurrence to first principles.
Col. Mason was struck, not, like Mr. MADISON, with the peculiarity, but the propriety, of the doctrine of Mr. SHERMAN. The States have formed different qualifications themselves for enjoying different rights of citizenship. Greater caution would be necessary in the outset of the Government than afterwards. All the great objects would then be provided for. Every thing would be then set in motion. If persons among us attached to Great Britain should work themselves into our councils, a turn might be given to our affairs, and particularly to our commercial regulations, which might have pernicious consequences. The great houses of British merchants would spare no pains to insinuate the instruments of their views into the Government.
Mr. Wilson read the clause in the Constitution of Pennsylvania giving to foreigners, after two years' residence, all the rights whatsoever of citizens; combined it with the Article of Confederation making the citizens of one State citizens of all, inferred the obligation Pennsylvania was under to maintain the faith thus pledged to her citizens of foreign birth, and the just complaint which her failure would authorize. He observed, likewise, that the princes and states of Europe would avail themselves of such
breach of faith, to deter their subjects from emigrating to the United States.
Mr. MERCER enforced the same idea of a breach of faith.
Mr. BALDWIN could not enter into the force of the arguments against extending the disqualification to foreigners now citizens. The discrimination of the place of birth was not more objectionable than that of age, which all had concurred in the propriety of.
On the question on the proviso of Mr. GouverNEUR Morris in favor of foreigners now citizens,Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, aye—5; New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, no—6. Mr. CARROLL moved to insert "five"
instead of " seven” in Article 4, Sect. 2,-Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, aye—3; New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, no—7; Pennsylvania, divided.
The Section (Article 4, Sect. 2) as formerly amended, was then agreed to, nem. con.
Mr. Wilson moved that, in Article 5, Sect. 3, nine years be reduced to seven; which was disagreed to, and the Article 5, Sect. 3, confirmed by the following vote,-New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye—8; Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, no—3. 305
i Article 4, Sect. 5, being reconsidered,
Mr. RANDOLPH moved that the clause be altered so as to read : “Bills for raising money for the pur
pose of revenue, or for appropriating the same, shall originate in the House of Representatives; and shall not be so amended or altered by the Senate as to increase or diminish the sum to be raised, or change the mode of levying it, or the object of its appropriation.” He would not repeat his reasons, but barely remind the members from the smaller States of the compromise by which the larger States were entitled to this privilege.
Colonel MASON. This amendment removes all the objections urged against the section, as it stood at first. By specifying purposes of revenue, it obviated the objection that the section extended to all bills under which money might incidentally arise. By authorizing amendments in the Senate, it got rid of the objections that the Senate could not correct errors of any sort, and that it would introduce into the House of Representatives the practice of tacking foreign matter to money bills. These objections being removed, the arguments in favor of the proposed restraint on the Senate ought to have their full force. First, the Senate did not represent the people, but the States, in their political character. It was improper therefore that it should tax the people. The reason was the same against their doing it, as it had been against Congress doing it. Secondly, nor was it in any respect necessary, in order to cure the evils of our republican system. He admitted that, notwithstanding the superiority of the republican form over every other, it had its evils. The chief ones were, the danger of the majority oppressing the minority, and the mischievous influence of demagogues. The general government