Page images
PDF
EPUB

Representatives and direct taxes are apportioned among the states according to their numbers. And the numbers are determined, in the slave states, by adding three-fifths of the slaves to the free persons. This was a compromise between the slave-holding and non-slave holding states.

Although representatives and direct taxes are apportioned in a similar manner, yet they are not in any way connected with, or dependent upon each other. The District of Columbia and the Territories of the United States have no representatives in congress, and yet are subject to taxation with other citizens of the government.

Each state shall have at least one representative. Delaware and Arkansas have each but one representative at present. Delaware is a small state. And Arkansas, though geographically large, has not a sufficient number of inhabitants to entitle it to a larger representation than Delaware. New York has 34 representatives, which is the largest number any state now has.

The ratio of representation established by act of

How are representatives and direct taxes apportioned?
How are these numbers determined?

Why was this arrangement made?

Are representatives and taxes dependent upon each other?

Are there any persons in the United States who are taxed but not represented?

What is the smallest number of representatives a state can have?

Which state now has the largest?

congress in 1843, is, as we have seen, one for 70,680 inhabitants.

In six of the states, an additional representative is allowed for the fractional numbers remaining. The house of representatives is now (1845) composed of 226 members. This number includes a member

from Florida and Texas.

If a vacancy happen in the representation by death, resignation, or otherwise, the executive of the state may issue a writ of election to fill the vacancy. The house of representatives choose their own speaker and other officers. The house also has the sole power of presenting a person for impeachment.

[ocr errors]

SENATE.

We have said that the legislative power in the government of the United States is vested in a congress, and that congress was composed of two branches, the house of representatives and the senate. We have already spoken of the house; let us now examine the senate.

The senate of the United States is composed of

Are there any representatives allowed for the fractional numbers?

How many such are there now?

How are vacancies in the house filled?

How is the speaker of the house chosen?

What part does the house take in impeachments?

Of what is the senate of the United States composed?

two senators from each state. The present number of senators is, therefore, fifty-six. Each senator has one vote. The political power and influence of all the states, great and small, is equal in the senate. Thus, the little state of Rhode Island has two senators, and the large state of New York, with about twenty times as many inhabitants, has no The senate, in some respects, resembles a

more.

congress of nations.

If the large states out vote the small ones in the house, the small ones have an equally disproportionate influence in the senate; so that one legislative branch counterbalances and checks the other.

SENATORS, HOW CHOSEN.

The senators are not chosen directly by the people, but are elected by the legislatures of the several states. The people vote directly for members of their own state legislatures, and the members of the state legislatures vote directly for the senators. The sen

ators are therefore the representatives of the state governments.

What is now (1845) the number of senators?
Is the power of each state equal in the senate?

What does the senate resemble?

Do the large, or the small states have the advantage in the senate?

Which has the advantage in the house?

How are the senators chosen?

What do the senators represent?

The time for which the senators are chosen is six years. Being elected for so long a period, and being the direct representatives of the states themselves, the senate is necessarily a very important body. Each senator feels as if the interests of his own state were intrusted to himself and his co-senator. And the eloquent and powerful arguments which have been made in the senate on questions of state rights, prove the zeal and fidelity with which the senators have labored for the interests of their respective states.

The length of time for which they hold their office, affords the senators an opportunity of becoming well acquainted with the mode of transacting business. It also renders the government of the United States less vacillating and changing than it would be if the term of office was shorter. This is of great consequence in entering into commercial relations and treaties with foreign governments, business which necessarily devolves, in part, upon the senate.

The senate is divided into three classes, so that they do not all go out of office at once, but one-third go out every two years, and a new third are elected to fill their places.

If a vacancy occur in the senate, by resignation or

For what time are the senators chosen?

Why do questions of state rights originate in the senate rather than in the house?

What advantage is there in having the term of senators so long? How is the senate divided?

How many go out of office every two years?

otherwise, during the recess of the legislature of the state, the executive of the state makes a temporary appointment till the legislature meets.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR A SENATOR.

1. To be a senator, a person must be thirty years of age. The senate being a smaller, and in some respects a more important body than the house, and the interests of the states being intrusted to them, the experience of mature years appears to be a necessary qualification.

2. To be a senator a person must have been nine years a citizen of the United States. Nine years residence is not sufficient. He must have been nine

years a citizen. The senate participates in the transactions of the government with foreign nations. It is not to be supposed that foreigners coming to the United States and being naturalized would lose their attachment to their native land, and become sufficiently identified with the interests of their adopted country in less time than a nine years citizenship.

How are vacancies in the senate filled during the recess of the legislature ?

What is the first qualification for a senator mentioned?

Why should he be thirty years of age?

What is the second qualification mentioned?

Why is it necessary he should be nine years a citizen?

« PreviousContinue »