« 上一頁繼續 »
"5. On the death, resignation, or removal of the governor, his authorities to be exercised by the president of the senate till a successor be appointed.
"6. The senate to have the sole power of declaring war; the power of advising and approving all treaties; the power of approving or rejecting all appointments of officers, except the heads or chiefs of the departments of finance, war, and foreign affairs.
"7. The supreme judicial authority to be vested in judges, to hold their offices during good behavior, with adequate and permanent salaries. This court to have original jurisdiction in all causes of capture, and an appellative jurisdiction in all causes in which the revenues of the general government, or the citizens of foreign nations, are concerned.
"8. The legislature of the United States to have power to institute courts in each state for the determination of all matters of general concern.
"9. The governor, senators, and all officers of the United States, to be liable to impeachment for mal and corrupt conduct; and, upon conviction, to be removed from office, and disqualified for holding any place of trust or profit; all impeachments to be tried by a court to consist of the
chief , or judge of the superior court of law of each
State, provided such judge shall hold his place during good behavior, and have a permanent salary.
"10. All laws of the particular States contrary to the Constitution or laws of the United States, to be utterly void; and, the better to prevent such laws being passed, the governor or president of each State shall be appointed by the general government, and shall have a negative upon the laws about to be passed in the State of which he is the governor or president.
"11. No State to have any forces, land or naval; and the militia of all the States to be under the sole and exclusive direction of the United States, the officers of which to be appointed and commissioned by them."
June 20. Hon. William Blount, from North Carolina, took his seat.
Mr. Lansing moved "that the power of legislation be vested in the United States in Congress." This proposition was discussed all day. It was adopted.
June 21. Hon. Jonathan Dayton, of New Jersey, took his seat.
The second resolution—" that the legislature shall consist of two branches," was taken up and discussed by Dr. Johnson, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Madison, and was adopted.
Gen. Pinckney moved that the first branch should be elected in such manner as the State legislatures should direct. This was opposed by Mr. Mason, Mr. Sherman and others, who advocated election by the people. The motion was lost.
On the original question of election of the first branch by the people, it was carried,—New Jersey alone voting No, and Maryland divided.
On the question that the members should be elected for three years, Mr. Randolph moved to amend by substituting "two years."
Mr. Wilson preferred annual elections, as likely to make the representative feel his dependence upon his constituents.
Mr. Madison thought annual elections, or even biennial, would be too great a burden upon the people, and attended with much inconvenience.
Col. Hamilton was for three years, and on the question, the amendment for two years was agreed to.
June 22. The question of compensation of members, their age, and eligibility, was discussed this and the day following.
June 25. The fourth resolution, "that the members of the second branch (Senate) ought to be chosen by the State Legislatures and hold their office seven years," was taken up.
Mr. Pinckney advocated the resolution. He thought there should be one branch removed from the influences to be apprehended from the fluctuations of the popular passions. The States, too, should be guaranteed some protection for their sovereignty, otherwise the State governments would be overborne by the national government.
Mr. Wilson opposed election by the legislatures as likely to foster local pride and prejudices.
On the question to elect by the State legislatures, it was agreed to, Pennsylvania and Virginia only voting No.
It was then agreed that no person should be eligible for senator till he had arrived at the age of thirty years.
June 26. The term of office for senators being under consideration,
Mr. Gorham moved six years. Mr. Pinckney was in favor of four years. Mr. Read favored nine years.
Mr. Madison said that we are now digesting a plan which in its operations will decide forever the fate of republican government. We ought therefore to provide every possible guard and check to liberty. Those charged with the public happiness may betray their trust. Prudence would dictate that we should so organize that one body might watch and check the other. We should select a limited number of enlightened citizens, whose firmness might be interposed against impetuous counsels.
Mr. Hamilton concurred with Mr. Madison. On the question for nine years it was lost; and on the question for six years it was agreed to.
On the question of compensation, Mr. Pinckney proposed that the senators should receive no pay, as that branch was designed to represent the wealth of the country, and it should be so ordered that none but the wealthy could take that office. Dr. Franklin seconded the motion. The motion was lost. Ayes 5, Noes 6.
It was then moved that the senators be paid by their respective States. Lost. And on the question that they be paid out of the national treasury, it was lost.
June 27. On the seventh resolution, that the right of suffrage in the first branch should be according to an equitable ratio.
Mr. Martin contended with great zeal that the general government was meant to preserve the State governments merely, and not to govern individuals; and that its powers ought, therefore, to be kept in very narrow limits. That to give representation according to population would place it in the power of the large States to crush out the small ones. The vote should be by States and then all would stand upon the same platform of equality.
June, 28. Mr. Madison replied to Mr. Martin's speech on representation, and in a lengthy argument advocated representation in the first branch (House) according to the population. The debate lasted two days during which much angry feeling was manifested. The small States were determined that no provision should pass that did not give them an equal vote with the large States. Some idea of the difficulties encountered at this time may be gathered from a speech of Dr. Franklin near the close of the second day's proceedings.' We copy it entire:
Dr. Franklin.—Mr. President: The small progress we have made after four or five weeks' close attendance and continued reasonings with each other—our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ayes—is, methinks, a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the human understanding. We, indeed, seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of government, and examined the different forms of those republics which, having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution, now no longer exist. And we have viewed modern States all round Europe, but find none of their constitutions suitable to our circumstances.
In this situation of this assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to perceive it when presented to us, how has it happened, sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor.
To that kind Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been answered, sir, in the sacred writings, that "except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also firmly believe this, that without his concurring aid we shall succeed, in this political building, no better than the builders of Babel. We shall be divided by our little partial local interests ; our projects will be confounded; and we shall ourselves become a reproach and by-word down to future ages. And, what is worse, mankind may hereafter, from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing