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the coasting trade, and fisheries, and the duties of seamen on board of vessels of the United States, to place buoys and build lighthouses, to remove obstructions in creeks and rivers, to enact quarantine laws, &c. Congress has also power to regulate commerce with the Indian tribes.


We have seen that the constitution of the United States was adopted by the people of the several states. All who voted, or who had a right to vote at that time were parties to the contract, and of course were entitled to the right of citizenship under the new government. This right of citizenship is, in a measure, a hereditary right which descends, so that all people born in the United States, of parents who were citizens, are entitled to the rights of citizenship also.

But persons coming from foreign countries are not entitled to the right of citizenship unless the United States choose to confer it upon them.

The process by which this right is conferred, is

What further rights has congress under this power?

What is said of the Indian tribes?

By whom was the constitution of the United States adopted?
Who were entitled to citizenship?

Are the children of citizens entitled to citizenship?

Are foreigners entitled to the rights of citizenship in the United States?

called naturalization. And the laws which prescribe this process are called naturalization laws.

If the power of enacting these laws was intrusted to the states, they might make conflicting laws. For instance, one state might require a residence of twenty-one years before a foreigner could be naturalized, while another state might require a residence of only two years. Now as the citizens of one state are entitled to the rights and privileges of citizens in another state, foreigners might come into the state which required only two years residence, and after becoming naturalized immediately remove into the state requiring 21 years, and claim the right of citizenship there.

In order to prevent all such and similar inconveniences the constitution gives congress power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization.

Accordingly in 1790, congress passed an act requiring a foreigner by birth, to reside two years in the United States before he could become a naturalized citizen. In 1795, another act was passed by congress lengthening the time of previous residence to five years.

In 1798 another act was passed extending the previous residence to fourteen years. In 1802 the time

What is meant by naturalization?

Why may not the states enact naturalization laws?

What power has congress over the subject of naturalization?

What did the act of 1790 require?

What did the act of 1795 require?

What did the act of 1798 require?

was again shortened to five years, and has so continued to the present time.

An alien in the United States cannot hold and transfer real estate, or lands, in his own name; so he sees the propriety of securing a citizenship in order to be upon an equal footing, in this respect, with native



Congress has power to establish "uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcy, throughout the United States."

Merchants and other individuals are exposed to sudden and heavy losses which no human foresight can provide against. A storm at sea, the burning of a ship or other property, a piratical cruiser, wars, blockades, embargoes, &c., may in a single hour, sweep away the products of a long life of industry and perseverance in business.

Commercial countries have therefore frequently adopted measures for the relief of insolvent debtors. England has had a bankrupt law for the last three hundred years. And also every commercial state in

How long a residence is now required before a foreigner can be naturalized?

Can an alien hold and transfer real estate or lands?

What power has congress over bankruptcy?

What class of people are liable to severe and sudden losses?

Why? How long has England had a bankrupt law?

Europe has for a long time had either bankrupt or insolvent laws.

The United States have attempted the experiment but seldom, and then for only a short time. The late bankrupt law was passed on the 19th of August, 1841. But it was so unpopular among the people that it was repealed, by the next congress, on the 3d of March, 1843.

The states have the power of passing bankrupt laws when there is no bankrupt law of the United States in force; but they are suspended if congress pass a bankrupt law, and conti ue suspended till the law of congress is repealed, and then revive.

Bankrupt laws generally provide that when a debtor gives up all his property, of every description, for the benefit of his creditors, that he shall forever after be exonerated from paying debts previously contracted.

Under insolvent laws, though a debtor may give up all his property for the benefit of his creditors, yet should he afterwards be able he would be liable for debts previously contracted.


The protection of commerce is thought to require a navy to be in a constant state of preparation.

What is said of other commercial states?

When was the late bankrupt law of the United States passed? When was it repealed?

Can the states pass bankrupt laws ?

Hence congress has been empowered " to provide and maintain a navy."

The foes of a government may not always be foes without. There may also be foes within. Riots, mobs, insurrections or civil wars may arise. To meet these and other dangers the constitution gives congress power to "provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions." Thus the militia was called out by President Washington to suppress the famous whiskey insurrection in the state of Pennsylvania in 1794.

The militia was also called out to repel invasion in the late war with Great Britain.

The militia have also been frequently called out to co-operate with the militia of the states in repelling the incursions of the Indians.

It belongs exclusively to the President to decide when the exigency has arisen, requiring the aid of the militia. He then issues the call, and all the subordinate officers and privates, according to militia discipline, are bound to obey. For the President is not only commander-in-chief of the militia when in the field, but he has power also to call them on to the field.

What power has congress as to a navy?

What power has congress as to the suppression of insurrections, mobs, &c.

When were the militia called out to suppress insurrection?
When were they called out to repel invasion?

Who is to decide when it is necessary to call out the militia?

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