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right of choosing a speaker, without any appeal to, or approval by any other department of the government, is an improvement upon the British system. It secures

now in Pennsylvania assembly: whereas the other construction reduces the apportionment always to an arithmetical operation, about which no two men can possibly differ.

"3. It leaves in full force the violation of the precept which declares, that representatives shall be apportioned among the states according to their numbers, that is, by some common ratio.

"Viewing this bill either as a violation of the constitution, or as giving an inconvenient exposition to its words, is it a case wherein the president ought to interpose his negative? I think it is.

"1. The non-user of his negative begins already to excite a belief, that no president will ever venture to use it; and, consequently, has begotten a desire to raise up barriers in the state legislatures against congress throwing off the control of the constitution.

"2. It cann ever be used more pleasingly to the public, than in the protection of the constitution.

"3. No invasions of the constitution are so fundamentally dangerous, as the tricks played on their own numbers, apportionment, and other circumstances respecting themselves, and affecting their legal qualifications to legislate for the Union.


"4. The majorities, by which this bill has been carried, (to wit, of one in the senate, and two in the house of representatives,) show how divided the opinions were there.

"5. The whole of both houses admit the constitution will bear the other exposition; whereas the minorities in both deny it will bear that of the bill.

"6. The application of any one ratio is intelligible to the people, and will, therefore, be approved; whereas the complex operations of this bill will never be comprehended by them; and, though they may acquiesce, they cannot approve, what they do not understand."

Mr. Webster's report on the same subject, in the senate in April, 1832, presents the leading arguments on the other side.

"This bill, like all laws on the same subject, must be regarded, as of an interesting and delicate nature. It respects the distribution of political power among the states of the Union. It is to determine the number of voices, which, for ten years to come, each state is to possess in the popular branch of the legislature. In the opinion of the committee, there can be few or no questions, which it is more desirable should be settled on just, fair, and satisfactory principles, than this; and, availing themselves of the benefit of the discussion, which the bill has already undergone in the senate, they have given to it a renewed and anxious consideration. The result is, that, in their opinion, the bill ought to be

a more independent and unlimited choice on the part of the house, according to the merits of the individual, and their own sense of duty. It avoids those incon

amended. Seeing the difficulties, which belong to the whole subject, they are fully convinced, that the bill has been framed and passed in the other house, with the sincerest desire to overcome those difficulties, and to enact a law, which should do as much justice as possible to all the states. But the committee are constrained to say, that this object appears to them not to have been obtained. The unequal operation of the bill on some of the states, should it become a law, seems to the committee most manifest; and they cannot but express a doubt, whether its actual apportionment of the representative power among the several states can be considered, as conformable to the spirit of the constitution. The bill provides, that, from and after the third of March, 1833, the house of representatives shall be composed of members, elected agreeably to a ratio of one representative for every forty-seven thousand and seven hundred persons in each state, computed according to the rule prescribed by the constitution. The addition of the seven hundred to the forty-seven thousand, in the composition of this ratio, produces no effect whatever in regard to the constitution of the house. It neither adds to, nor takes from, the number of members assigned to any state. Its only effect is, a reduction of the apparent amount of the fractions, as they are usually called, or residuary numbers, after the application of the ratio. For all other purposes, the result is precisely the same, as if the ratio had been 47,000.

"As it seems generally admitted, that inequalities do exist in this bill, and that injurious consequences will arise from its operation, which it would be desirable to avert, if any proper means of averting them, without producing others equally injurious, could be found, the committee do not think it necessary to go into a full and particular statement of these consequences. They will content themselves with presenting a few examples only of these results, and such as they find it most difficult to reconcile with justice, and the spirit of the constitution.

"In exhibiting these examples, the committee must necessarily speak of particular states; but it is hardly necessary to say, that they speak of them as examples only, and with the most perfect respect, not only for the states themselves, but for all those, who represent them here.

“Although the bill does not commence by fixing the whole number of the proposed house of representatives, yet the process adopted by it brings out the number of two hundred and forty members. Of these two hundred and forty members, forty are assigned to the state of NewYork, that is to say, precisely one sixth part of the whole. This assignment would seem to require, that New-York should contain one sixth part of the whole population of the United States; and would be bound

veniences and collisions, which might arise from the interposition of a negative in times of high party excitement. It extinguishes a constant source of jealousy

to pay one sixth part of all her direct taxes. Yet neither of these is the case. The whole representative population of the United States is 11,929,005; that of New-York is 1,918,623, which is less than one sixth of the whole, by nearly 70,000. Of a direct tax of two hundred and forty thousand dollars, New-York would pay only $38.59. But if, instead of comparing the numbers assigned to New-York with the whole numbers of the house, we compare her with other states, the inequality is still more evident and striking.

"To the state of Vermont, the bill assigns five members. It gives, therefore, eight times as many representatives to New-York, as to Vermont; but the population of New-York is not equal to eight times the population of Vermont, by more than three hundred thousand. Vermont has five members only for 280,657 persons. If the same proportion were to be applied to New-York, it would reduce the number of her members from forty to thirty-four — making a difference more than equal to the whole representation of Vermont, and more than sufficient to overcome her whole power in the house of representatives.

"A disproportion, almost equally striking, is manifested, if we compare New-York with Alabama. The population of Alabama is 262,208; for this, she is allowed five members. The rule of proportion, which gives to her but five members for her number, would give to New-York but thirty-six for her number. Yet New-York receives forty. As compared with Alabama, then, New-York has an excess of representation equal to four fifths of the whole representation of Alabama; and this excess itself will give her, of course, as much weight in the house, as the whole delegation of Alabama, within a single vote. Can it be said, then, that representatives are apportioned to these states according to their respective numbers?

"The ratio assumed by the bill, it will be perceived, leaves large fractions, so called, or residuary numbers, in several of the small states, to the manifest loss of a part of their just proportion of representative power. Such is the operation of the ratio, in this respect, that NewYork, with a population less than that of New-England by thirty or thirty-five thousand, has yet two more members, than all the New-England states; and there are seven states in the Union, whose members amount to the number of 123, being a clear majority of the whole house, whose aggregate fractions altogether amount only to fifty-three thousand; while Vermont and New-Jersey, having together but eleven members, have a joint fraction of seventy-five thousand.

"Pennsylvania by the bill will have, as it happens, just as many members as Vermont, New-Hampshire, Massachusetts, and New-Jersey;

and heart-burning; and a disposition on one side to exert an undue influence, and on the other, to assume a hostile opposition. It relieves the executive depart

but her population is not equal to theirs by a hundred and thirty thousand; and the reason of this advantage, derived to her from the provisions of the bill, is, that her fraction, or residuum, is twelve thousand only, while theirs is a hundred and forty-four.

"But the subject is capable of being presented in a more exact and mathematical form. The house is to consist of two hundred and forty members. Now the precise proportion of power, out of the whole mass represented by the numbers two hundred and forty, which New-York would be entitled to according to her population, is 38.59; that is to say, she would be entitled to thirty-eight members, and would have a residuum, or fraction; and, even if a member were given her for that fraction, she would still have but thirty-nine; but the bill gives her forty.

"These are a part, and but a part, of those results produced by the bill in its present form, which the committee cannot bring themselves to approve. While it is not to be denied, that, under any rule of apportionment, some degree of relative inequality must always exist, the committee cannot believe, that the senate will sanction inequality and injustice to the extent, in which they exist in this bill, if they can be avoided. But recollecting the opinions, which had been expressed in the discussions of the senate, the committee have diligently sought to learn, whether there was not some other number, which might be taken for a ratio, the application of which would work out more justice and equality. In this pursuit the committee have not been successful. There are, it is true, other numbers, the adoption of which would relieve many of the states, which suffer under the present; but this relief would be obtained only by shifting the pressure on to other States, thus creating new grounds of complaint in other quarters. The number forty-four thousand has been generally spoken of, as the most acceptable substitute for forty-seven thousand seven hundred; but should this be adopted, great relative inequality would fall on several states, and, among them, on some of the new and growing states, whose relative disproportion, thus already great, would be constantly increasing. The committee, therefore, are of opinion, that the bill should be altered in the mode of apportionment. They think, that the process, which begins by assuming a ratio, should be abandoned, and that the bill ought to be framed on the principle of the amendment, which has been the main subject of discussion before the senate. The fairness of the principle of this amendment, and the general equity of its results, compared with those, which flow from the other process, seem plain and undeniable. The main question has been, whether the principle itself be constitutional; and this question the committee proceeded to exam

ment from all the embarrassments of opposing the popular will; and the house from all the irritation of not consulting the cabinet wishes.

ine, respectfully asking of those, who have doubted its constitutional propriety, to deem the question of so much importance, as to justify a second reflection.

"The words of the constitution are, 'representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states, which may be included within this Union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians, three fifths of all other persons. The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner, as they shall by law direct. The number of representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but cach state shall have at least one representative.'

"There would seem to be little difficulty in understanding these provisions. The terms used are designed, doubtless, to be received in no peculiar or technical sense, but according to their common and popular acceptation. To apportion, is to distribute by right measure; to set off in just parts; to assign in due and proper proportion. These clauses of the constitution respect, not only the portions of power, but the portions of the public burden, also, which should fall to the several states; and the same language is applied to both. Representatives are to be apportioned among the states according to their respective numbers, and direct taxes are to be apportioned by the same rule. The end aimed at is, that representation and taxation should go hand in hand; that each state should be represented in the same extent, to which it is made subject to the public charges by direct taxation. But, between the apportionment of representatives and the apportionment of taxes there necessarily exists one essential difference. Representation, founded on numbers, must have some limit; and being, from its nature, a thing not capable of indefinite subdivision, it cannot be made precisely equal. A tax, indeed, cannot always, or often be apportioned with perfect exactness; as, in other matters of account, there will be fractional parts of the smallest coins, and the smallest denomination of money of account, yet, by the usual subdivisions of the coin, and of the denomination of money, the apportionment of taxes is capable of being made so exact, that the inequality becomes minute and invisible. But representation cannot be thus divided. Of representation, there can be nothing less than one representative; nor by our constitution, more representatives than one for every thirty thousand. It is quite obvious, therefore, that the apportionment of representative power can never be precise and

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