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 not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. (Previous sentence amended by the 14th Amendment, Section 2)
Although a person didn’t have to be royalty (or rich) to be part of Congress, there were still barriers. Native Americans (Indians), for example weren’t taxed so they didn’t get to be counted as part of the censusâ€”they’re not going to be part of Congress. Originally, representatives and “direct taxes” (whatever that meansâ€”apparently it could cover just about any form of taxes) to the government among the States of the Union (that being the States which are United under this Constitution thus forming a New Government), were figured out by the addition (or a counting) of all free individualsâ€”including those who are contractually not-Free for a set amount of years.
And it’s here where we come face to face with the original 3/5th Person rule Compromise.
Continue reading The Constitution: Three Fifths →
We noted that Congress is divided into two houses which are to balance each other before any mention of other governmental powers: the Senate and the House of the Representatives. These two form one portion of the powers granted to the government. In this section, itâ€™s great seeing how theyâ€™re elected.
Section 2 – The House. The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.
Continue reading The Constitution: Representative Requirements →
We the People of the United States…do ordain
I noted that the preamble really wasnâ€™t the setting down of laws, rights or anything but I purposefully didnâ€™t mention the monumental importance of the language that was used.
The States of the Americas were already labeled “united” in the Articles of Confederationsâ€”but nowhere near the way that the Constitution was using the term.
Each state functioned, essentially, as its own country. They could make their own currency. They could enforce their own state constitutions. Honestly, they could even go to war against one another (if attacked by invasion). When they became the united States, they were the individual states which, together, signed the articles to form a confederationâ€”not a new government. In other words, they werenâ€™t forming a new government; they were merely in union with certain purposes.
For example: if a law had to be passed, all the states had to agree to it and then they may or may not implement it in their own states. A strange predicament that. But this makes sense if it was merely a sort of non-aggression contract. This is why the Articles of Confederation even allowed Canada to be part of the united (small “U”) States if they so wished. Canada wouldnâ€™t be giving up her sovereignty; sheâ€™d only be in union with the other States.
Continue reading The Constitution: Let There Be…A Nation →