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Slaves regarded in the Apportionment.
50. After an exciting controversy the subject was compromised as follows: The slaveholding states were allowed a representation for three-fifths of their slaves; but it was agreed at the same time that they should pay direct taxes in the same proportion. Thus the increase in the number of their representatives was accompanied by a corresponding increase in the amount of their direct taxes.
51. That is, representatives and direct taxes are apportioned among the several states, according to their respective numbers, which are 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, meaning thereby slaves. As, however, slavery was abolished by the thirteenth amendment, which was declared a part of the Constitution of the United States on the 18th day of December, A. D. 1865, it became necessary to apportion representatives among the several states upon a basis different from that provided in the original Constitution. Accordingly, by the terms of the fourteenth amendment, it is declared as follows: Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers of a state, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such state, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such state.
Limit as to number of Representatives.
52. The number of representatives is not to exceed one for every thirty thousand; but each state is entitled to at least one.
A Census required to be taken.
53. To ascertain the population of the respective states, and apportion representatives among them according to their relative increase of numbers, an enumeration is required to be made, every ten years, in such manner as Congress shall by law direct.
54. The first enumeration was made in 1790, and has since been made once in every ten years, as the Constitution requires.
Mode of Apportionment.
55. Though, at first view, it would seem to be a very easy matter to apportion representatives among the states, according to their respective numbers, it has nevertheless been a subject of much difficulty. In point of fact, it has been found impracticable to apportion representatives exactly according to numbers. Whatever common ratio or divisor is fixed upon, there will be resulting fractions. If these fractions are less than thirty thousand they must be disregarded, because, by the Constitution, more representatives than one for every thirty thousand are not allowed. But if the fractions exceed thirty thousand what is to be done with them :
56. The rule adopted by Congress, at one time, was this: the representative population of each state was divided by a common divisor, and, in addition to the number of members resulting from such division, a member was allowed to each state whose fraction exceeded a moiety of the division.
57. By the present law (Feb. 2, 1872) it is provided that after the 3d day of March, 1873, the House of Representatives shall be composed of two hundred and eighty-three members. These members are apportioned among the several states according to the ninth census, and the number each state is entitled to is
specifically stated in the act. If a new state is ad6
imitted into the Union subsequent to such apportionment, the representation or representatives of such new state are additional to the original number of twe hundred and eighty-three.*
58. In addition to the representation of the states, Congress allow each of the organized territories of the United States to send a delegate to the House of Representatives, who has the privilege of debating but not of voting.
59. To conclude this branch of our subject we have only to add, that when vacancies happen in the representation from any state, the executive autho
rity thereof is required to issue writs of election to fill them ; and also, that the house of representatives choose their own speaker and other officers, and have the sole power of impeachment. It may also be observed, that it is not necessary for the executive of a state to be first informed by the house itself that a vacancy exists before issuing a writ of election;
* By the act of May 23, 1850, the number of representatives of which the House was to be composed was fixed at 233. The aggregate representative population of the United States, ascertained by adding to the whole number of free persons in all the states, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons, was divided by 233, and the quotient, rejecting fractions, became the ratio of representatives among the several states. The representative population of each state, ascertained in the same manner, being now divided by this common ratio, gave the number of representatives apportioned to each. But in this process there had been a loss in the number of members caused by the fractions; it fell short of 233. This loss was compensated for by assigning to so many states having the largest fractions as might be necessary to make the whole number of representatives 233, one additional member each for its fraction