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creditor class; and in this way many whose property had been sold on a credit, received not more than a half, or perhaps a fourth, or yet less, of what was justly due to them.

Such a state of things was also productive of moral mischief. It tended to unsettle men's notions of right and wrong; it familiarized them to injustice, and it held out temptations to perpetrate it. As soon as depreciation began, the more wary and sagacious part of the community, foreseeing that it must continue to increase with the still increasing quantity, were tempted to become purchasers of land and other property on a credit, from a confident expectation, that, however liberal the price then appeared, that price would be greatly reduced at the time of payment by the intermediate depreciation. At length, every one was desirous of parting with money whose value was gradually melting away; and thus an eager and restless spirit of traffic was evoked throughout the community.

In this way an undue thirst for gain was engendered, as well as a greater disregard for the means of gratifying it; and careful observers might perceive these effects long after their original causes ceased to operate.

The ordinary increase of the population had been little affected by the war, except that which was derived from immigration; and at the time of the peace, it must have somewhat exceeded three millions.

It was soon found that the war had only terminated one set of public cares and duties to give rise to another. The States were subjected to heavy debts, both as members of the Confederation, and in their separate character. They were required to regulate and protect their foreign commerce, and to provide a system of revenue and taxation adapted to their new wants, and to a state of peace.



The committee appointed to report a plan for the temporary government of the Western Territory, consisting of Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Chase, and Mr. Howell, presented a plan,' which, after various amendments, provided,

That so much of the ceded territory as is, or shall be purchased of the Indians, shall be divided into States by lines of latitude and other boundaries then designated; on which the settlers may establish a temporary government, by adopting the Constitution and laws of any one of the original States; and when their population reaches twenty thousand, they may be authorised by Congress to call a convention, and make a Constitution and government for themselves; but that both the temporary and permanent government be established on the following principles:

First. They are ever to remain a part of the United States of America.

Second. They shall be subject to all the articles of Confederation. .

Third. They shall not interfere with the disposal of the soil by the United States, nor with the ordinances made by Congress to secure the title to such soil.

Fourth. They shall be subject to a part of the public debts by the same rule as the other States.

Fifth. That no tax shall be imposed on lands of the United States.

Sixth. That their respective governments shall be republican.

Seventh. That the lands of non-residents shall not be taxed higher than those of residents, before the admission of the new State to a vote in Congress.

That whenever any of the new States shall have a population equal to that of the least numerous State, it 1 X. Journals of Congress, page 153.





may be admitted into the Union, with the consent, at present, of nine States; and that it be proposed hereafter, that wherever the concurrence of nine States is now required, two-thirds shall hereafter be necessary. Until such admission, the State may send a member to Congress, who shall have the right of debating, but not of voting.

That until they form a temporary government, measures for the preservation of peace and good order may be taken by Congress.

That the preceding principles shall be formed into a charter of compact, and shall stand as fundamental constitutions between the thirteen original States and each of the new States, unalterable but by the joint consent of Congress and the particular States.

The plan thus reported received the affirmative votes of every State present, except of South Carolina. Delaware, and Georgia were absent.

One of the fundamental principles proposed in the report had been,

"That after the year 1800 of the Christian era, there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the said States, otherwise than in punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been convicted to have been personally guilty."

But, on the motion of Mr. Spaight, of North Carolina, seconded by Mr. Reed, of South Carolina, it was rejected

all the States north of Maryland voting in favor of it; Maryland, Virginia and South Carolina voting against it; North Carolina was divided; Delaware and Georgia were unrepresented. Mr. Jefferson was in favor of it, but was outvoted by his colleagues.

It was only after the lapse of some years, as we shall find, that this subject was disposed of.



[CHAP. IV. The foreign commerce of the States next engaged the attention of Congress. On this topic a committee, consisting of Messrs. Gerry, Reed, Williamson, Chase, and Jefferson, had been appointed, who made a report, in which they advised a recommendation to the State Legislatures, to vest in Congress for fifteen years a power to prohibit the importation of any commodities into the States, except in vessels belonging to, and navigated by, their own citizens, or the subjects of those foreign powers with whom the United States had treaties of commerce. As an amendment to this part of the report, it was proposed to extend the exception to those nations which admitted of a reciprocity in their trade with American citizens, and also to prohibit the subjects of any foreign State from importing into the United States goods that are not the produce or manufacture of such foreign State; but the amendment was lost.

The report, as agreed to,' after reciting that Great Britain had already adopted regulations destructive of the commerce of the United States with her West India Islands, remarks, that Congress have not the power of imposing similar restrictions, and that, without adequate powers of protection, their commerce must decline, and be finally annihilated. Congress therefore recommends to the States to give the power of protection already mentioned for fifteen years, and also the prohibition to foreigners to import any articles not the produce or manufacture of their State; provided that all acts of Congress made in pursuance of such powers should have the concurrence of nine States.

As the British navigation had been thus brought to bear on American commerce, they proposed to impose similar restrictions on British shipping and commerce.

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It also appeared, in a report from another committee, that if the commerce with England was circumscribed by the late regulations with that country, those with France were likely to be extended. By the exertions of La Fayette in behalf of the commerce of the United States, the French minister proposed to make L'Orient and Bayonne free ports, where the Americans might import and sell their tobacco, rice, lumber, and other products, on as favorable terms as any other nation.

It appearing that Mr. Jay, who had been associated with Dr. Franklin and Mr. Adams, for the purpose of negotiating treaties of commerce, was about to return home, he was elected Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Jefferson was elected to supply his place as foreign minister.

On the seventh of May, the committee to whom the report on sundry letters from the ministers of the United States in Europe to Congress, had been referred, came to the following resolutions :

That it will be advantageous to the United States to conclude treaties of amity and commerce with Russia, the Court of Vienna, Prussia, Denmark, Saxony, Hamburg, Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, Genoa, Tuscany, Rome, Naples, Venice, Sardinia, and the Ottoman Porte.

That, in the formation of these treaties, the following points be carefully stipulated:

First. Each party to have a right to carry their produce in their own bottoms to the ports of the other, paying only such duties as are paid by the most favored nation, or to be mutually free.

Second. A similar intercourse with European colonies in America; or with certain free ports in such colonies; or if neither of the preceding, then for such colonies to bring their produce in their own bottoms to the United

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