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Thus, when the legislature of the State of New Jersey desired to take all authority over foreign commerce from the several States, and confer it wholly upon Congress, their words were:

We are of the opinion that the sole and exclusive power of regulating the trade of the United States with foreign nations ought to be clearly vested in Congress.

And Witherspoon's Resolution sought to take from the States all power over the levying of duties on imports, and bestow all upon the Congress, by vesting Congress “with the exclusive right of laying duties on all imported articles;” while the legislature of the State of Rhode Island suggested the transfer to the Union of complete control over interstate trade, by advising an amendment to the Articles of Confederation, “by which the United States in Congress assembled [should] be solely empowered to regulate the trade and commerce of the United States, and the citizens thereof, with each other.”

Thus, whether we consider only the ordinary meaning of the terms in the resolutions of Monroe's and Pinckney's committees, or compare them with current usage in cases as to which there is no doubt of the intent to confer upon Congress an authority over a commercial subject, which is at once complete in itself, and exclusive of the power of the States, we are led to conclude, that the sponsors of these resolutions intended to confer upon Congress as complete a power over both branches of commerce as language could express. Only this conclusion is in harmony with the phrases used; the opposite compels us to do violence to the plain meaning of words. Nor does Monroe leave us in doubt as to how he understood the resolution of his committee. Thus, in explaining his preference for the measure proposed" by his committee over other expedients, such as commercial treaties, he writes to Jefferson on January 19, 1786: “Every expedient is unquestionably inferior to the complete and absolute control over commerce in the hands of the United States.” To Madison he writes on December 26, 1785, “I am perfectly satisfied that the more fully the subject is investigated, and the better the interests of the States severally are understood, the more obvious will appear the necessity of committing to the United States permanently the power of regulating their trade.”” In a letter to Jefferson, of June 16, 1785, he thus comments upon the relation of the powers, which this measure would confer upon Congress, to the power at that time possessed by the States:

The political economy of each State is entirely within its own direction, and to carry into effect its regulation with other powers to attain any substantial ends to the State, they must apply as well to the States of the Union as other powers, and such a course as this will produce very mischievous effects. On the other hand, the effect of this report would be to put the commercial economy of every State entirely under the hands of the Union, the measure necessary to obtain the carrying trade, to encourage domestic by a tax on foreign industry, or any other ends which, in the nature of things, become necessary, will depend entirely on the Union. In short, you will perceive that this will give the Union an authority upon the States respectively, which will last with it and hold it together in its present form longer than any other principle it now contains will effect. I think the expedience in a great degree of the measure turns on one point (especially to the Southern States), whether the obtainment of the carrying trade and the extension of our national resources is an object. And this depends entirely upon the prospect of our connection with other powers.”

* Writings of James Monroe (Hamilton), vol. i., p. 116. * Writings of James Monroe, vol. i., Io9.

As to Pinckney, it is probable that at the date of his committee's report he was already engaged in the study of the state constitutions, which resulted in his draft of a constitution for the United States; and we know that his regard for the rights of the States at this period was only such as was compatible with his insistence, the next year in the Constitutional Convention, upon the necessity of vesting Congress with the right of negativing all laws whatever of the several States. There is nothing in what we know of Pinckney's thinking upon public questions, at this date, to suggest that he gave any more limited meaning to the terms of his resolution than they naturally have. So far, then, as the reports of these committees represented contemporaneous opinion as to the extension of the commercial powers of Congress, that opinion favored the vesting in that body of the same complete and exclusive control over the interstate as over the foreign commerce. Neither Monroe, nor Pinckney, nor any of their contemporaries foresaw the great development of the arts, and of the influence of the central authority, which have made the power over interstate commerce, perhaps, the greatest possessed by the national government, a power so great, that it may even become a menace to the local self-government of the States. But so far as they did foresee, they intended to sweep the whole field of regulation of interstate commerce into the power of Congress; and they deliberately, as lawyers, as well as statesmen, made use of terms adapted to include within that power whatever the future determined, although unforeseen by them, it should from time to time include.

* Writings of James Monroe, vol. i., 85.



HE report of Monroe's committee is but one of numerous indications that the great contemporary development of the West was opening men's minds to larger conceptions of the future of the Union, and to the recognition of the necessity of vesting Congress with powers adequate to the regulation of a great internal trade. “The West” has signified different localities to different generations. For more than a century the relation to the eastern communities of the region and the people designated by that term greatly influenced national legislation, and gave a continental breadth to the thoughts of men concerning the nature and ends of government, which otherwise would have remained narrowly local. “As we are laying the foundation of a great empire,” said Rutledge in the Constitutional Convention, when opposing the proposition that laws regulating commerce should require two-thirds majorities, “we ought to take a per

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