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ascertained in some other way, for the purposes of taxation; the value or wealth residing in other kinds of property must be ascertained in the same mode, or under the different rule of assuming numbers of inhabitants as its index; and the slaves must be excluded as persons from the representation, which they could only enhance by being treated as taxable property.

These further difficulties will appear, as we follow out the various steps taken for the purpose of applying the maxim which connects taxation with representation. The rule now under consideration, as the means of guiding the legislature in future distributions of the right of representation, was that they were to regulate it upon a ratio compounded of the wealth and numbers of inhabitants of the States. Gouverneur Morris now proposed to add to this, as a proviso, the correlative proposition, "that direct taxation shall be in proportion to representation." This was adopted; and it made the proposed rule of numbers and wealth combined applicable both to taxation and representation.

But in truth it was as difficult to apply the combined rule of wealth and numbers to the subject of taxation, as between the States, as it was to apply it to the right of representation. This was not the first time in the history of the Union that these two subjects had been considered, and had been found to be surrounded with embarrassments. In 1776, when the Articles of Confederation were framed, it became necessary to determine the proportion in

which the quotas of contribution to the general treasury should be assessed upon the States. Two obvious rules presented themselves as alternatives; either to apportion the quotas upon an estimate of the wealth of the States, or to assume that numbers of inhabitants of every condition presented a fair index of the pecuniary ability of a State to sustain public burdens. Here again, however, under either of these plans, the question would arise as to the kind of property to be regarded in the basis of the assessment. Should the slaves be treated as part of the property of a slaveholding State, either by a direct computation, or by counting them as part of the population, which was to be considered as the measure of its wealth? Mr. John Adams forcibly maintained that they ought not to be regarded as subjects of federal taxation, any more than the free laborers of the Northern States; but that numbers of inhabitants ought to be taken, indiscriminately, as the true index of the wealth of each State; and that thus the slave would stand upon the same footing with the free laborer, both being regarded as the producers of wealth, and therefore that both should add to the quota of tax or contribution to be levied upon the State.1 Mr. Chase, on the other hand, contended that practically this rule would tax the Northern States on numbers only, while it would tax the Southern States on numbers and

1 See Mr. Jefferson's notes of this debate in the Congress of 1776, Works, Vol. I. pp. 26-30.

John Adams's Works, Vol. II. pp. 496-498.

2 Samuel Chase of Maryland.

wealth conjointly, since the slaves were property as well as persons.

It is probable, however, that the slaveholding States would at that time have agreed to the adoption of numbers as the basis of assessment, if the Northern and Eastern States could have consented to receive the slaves into the enumeration in a smaller ratio than their whole number. But it was insisted that they should be counted equally with the free laborers of the other States; and the result of this attempt to solve a complicated and abstruse question of political economy by a theoretical rule, determining that a slave, as a producer of wealth, stands upon a precise equality with a freeman performing the same species of labor, was, that the Congress of 1776 were driven to the adoption of land as a measure of wealth, instead of the more convenient and practicable rule of numbers.'

But the Articles of Confederation had not been in operation for two years, when it was found that the system of obtaining supplies for the general treasury by assessing quotas upon the States according to an estimate of their relative wealth, represented by the value of their lands, was entirely impracticable; that the value of land must constantly be a source of contention and dissatisfaction between the States; and that, if the mode of defraying the expenses of the Union by requisitions were adhered to, some simpler rule must be adopted. Accordingly, in 1783 the Congress were compelled to 1 See ante, Vol. I. pp. 210-213.

return to the rule of numbers; and it was in the effort to agree upon the ratio in which the slaves should enter into that rule, that the proportion of three fifths was fixed upon, as a compromise of different views, in the amendment then proposed to the Articles of Confederation.'

Such had been the previous experience of the Union on the subject of taxation; and now, in 1787, when an effort was to be made to establish a government upon a popular representation of the States which had found it so difficult to agree upon a just and practicable rule for determining their proportions of the public burdens, the whole subject became still further complicated with the difficulties attending the adjustment of this new right of proportional representation. The maxim which would regulate it by the same ratio that is applied to the distribution of taxes, contained within itself a just principle; but it went no farther than to assert a principle of justice, and it left the subject of the rule itself surrounded by the same difficulties as before. The Southern States complained that their slaves, if counted as property for the purposes of taxation, were to be so counted upon a ratio left wholly to the discretion of Congress; and if counted as numbers, for the same purpose, that they ought not to be reckoned in their entire number. They professed their readiness to have representation and taxation

1 See Mr. Madison's notes of the debate in the Congress of 1783, Elliot, V. 78-80. Journals of Con21

VOL. II.

gress, VIII. 188 (April 18, 1783). Ante, Vol. I. p. 213.

regulated by the same rule, but they insisted on the security of a definite rule, to be established in the Constitution itself; and this security, they said, must embrace an admission of the slaves into the basis of representation, if they were to be included in the basis of direct taxation. Accordingly, before the rule as to taxation had been determined, Randolph submitted a distinct proposition, which contemplated a census of the white inhabitants and of three fifths of all other persons, with a peremptory direction to Congress to arrange the representation accordingly.

The Northern States, on the other hand, resisted the direct introduction of the slaves into the representation, as persons; and it was plain that, if they were to be treated as property, and the representation was to be regulated by a rule of wealth, their value as property must be compared with that of other species of personalty held in the same and in other States, and some principles for computing it must be ascertained. Upon such economical questions as these, the agreement of different minds, under the influence of different interests, was absolutely impossible.

Thus the knot of these complicated difficulties could only be cut by the sword of compromise. In whatever direction a theoretical rule was applied, whatever view was taken of the slave, as a person or as an article of property; as a productive laborer equally or less valuable to the State when compared

1 See the remarks of General Pinckney, Mr. Mason, Mr. Butler,

and Governor Randolph. Elliot, V. 294-305.

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