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Federalist Paper 54
Transcript of Federalist Paper 54
Johnson Chu Federalist Paper #54 The 54th Federalist Paper was written by
James Madison, he was an American political theorist and later became the fourth president of the United States of America. Madison collaborated with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay to produce the Federalist Papers, which was published in 1788. He was also know as the "Father of the Bill of Rights," and headed the House of Representatives. Madison and Thomas Jefferson organized the Republican Party. The Issue James Madison Federalist Paper #54 discusses the way in which the seats in the United States House of Representatives are apportioned among the states. The population was what they decided to use as the determinant of votes in the House of Representatives. The slave states wanted to count the slaves into the population count so that they would have more power in the House. The Northern States argued that the slaves were considered to be property and shouldn't be counted towards the amount of votes the slave states would get in the House, they instead said that slaves should be included in the estimates of state tax loads of the states and not in amount of representation in the House of Representatives. And through much debate, the delegates were able to for a compromise, the Three-Fifths Compromise. The compromise settled on counting three fifths of the slaves in each state in addition to the population towards representation in the House of Representatives. How The Issue Is Dealt With Today Since slavery is now illegal in the United States, the issue is no longer whether slaves should be allowed representation in the census of persons. Limitations still exist in who can represent the state, but it no longer discriminates gender or race. The restrictions apply to age and citizenship. All citizens who are of age and meet the requirements are given fair representation.
In there being no discrimination in the consideration of people based on race or gender, all people legally residing in a state are subject to taxation of the state and government as well. Legal residents are taxed for their property and assets.
States still decide on their own rules and policies but with some intervention of the government. Arguments/Rationale Madison supports the Constitution’s system for basing both taxes and the number of representatives on populations.
However, they are founded on different principles. Taxes refer to the proportion of wealth and the number of representatives refers to the personal rights of people.
Madison’s rationale for this is that the State will not have the incentive to manipulate the numbers. (i.e. If they claim too large of a population to attain a larger number of representatives, they will have to pay higher taxes.) Slaves should be considered as three-fifths of a man.
Slaveholders wanted to count slaves in the census because it would increase their number of representatives, whereas, people who were opposed to slavery only wanted to count the free inhabitants in the census.
Slaves contain qualities of both people and property.
They are “compelled to labor, not for himself, but for a master”, they are vendible by one master to another, and they lack liberty and are subject to severe punishment.
A slave is also considered as a person because he is “protected, in his life and in his limbs, against the violence of all others, even the master of his labor and his liberty; and in being punishable himself for all violence committed against others”.
Madison’s reasoning for this compromise is that slaves would still be regarded as inhabitants, but as “debased by servitude below the equal level of free inhabitants”. Madison states that the comparative wealth of the States should also be considered in the votes allowed in the federal legislature to the people of each State.
Madison states that individuals of wealth and property will have influence over the votes of others within States.
He claims that the States, regardless of wealth or size, will not influence each other and will possess an equal vote in public councils.
Madison states that wealthy States should have a superior share of representation because the cooperation of wealthy States was important to the success of resolutions passed by the Congress, as in the Articles of Confederation. Counter Arguments The South argued that slaves were not merely property. They embody both qualities as people and property. Therefore, slaves ought to be included in representation which is regulated by a census of persons.
Under the laws found in the Constitution that govern the lives of the slaves, they are viewed as both people and property.
States are given the right to designate who may count as the inhabitants of the state. Southern states believe that slaves should be included as representatives in the census of persons, according to their number only. In doing so, they would still be denied the rights all citizens have, but would still give more power to the Southern states. Though slaves are considered property, Madison does not completely disagree with the South in saying that slaves are merely people who are “degraded in human rank” because they are restrained in freedom and are compelled to labor for a master.
He does not deny that the number of representatives for a state and the share of taxes should be proportional to the number of people in the state.
Furthermore, he adds that the protection slaves receive against all others and their subjection to punishments for violent behavior supports the validity of the South's argument in claiming slaves are no different from other people.
However, an issue at hand in permitting the Southern states to count slaves as representatives would be the disapproval of the Northern states. The goal of the government is to provide security and equality among the states to maintain the union, and so, granting the South these rights would be unfair.
Madison argued that in allowing the states to include the slaves as representatives in the census of persons, though considered as inhabitants who are “debased by servitude below the equal level of free inhabitants,” government should account for both property and people in representation. It is government's rightful duty to provide protection for both people and property.
In achieving a balance between the demands of the states, he proposed a compromise. To maintain equality among the Northern and Southern states, he concluded that slaves should be viewed as three-fifths of a man.
Another concern Madison addressed was how the Constitution removed the accountability of wealth and property as advantages for the states. By allowing the Southern states to consider slaves as three-fifths of a man in a representative government, while also granting them a superior advantage over other states, they would correct the need of property to be protected by government. The would achieve an equal proportion. Counter Argument #1 Madison's reply Counter Argument #2 Madison's Reply The Apportionment of Members Among the States The End Put together by: Arguments/Rationale Arguments/Rationale