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Article 1, Section 2, Clause 2



Document 4

A Republican Federalist, no. 6

2 Feb. 1788Storing 4.13.26

I am sensible it will be said the Constitution provides "that the electors in each State shall have the qualification requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures." But the new Constitution was evidently intended to, and must in its operation inevitably produce an abolition of the State governments, and when this is accomplished, the rule of apportionment of representatives according to property, must and will apply to electors, and have the effect mentioned. There would nevertheless be some consolation, if these were the only objections relative to representation in the new system, but in the second sect. of the first art. there is a provision that "no person shall be a representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States," &c. had this provision extended to the foreigners who under the government of the United States, had contended for the establishment of our independence, it would have met with no objection; but as it now stands, any foreigner having attained the age of twenty five years, having been seven years a citizen of the United States, and being an inhabitant of any State, may be elected a representative--and the right of being elected senators, is confirmed to foreigners who shall have attained "the age of thirty years," and "who shall have been nine years a citizen of the United States, &c." Thus are we to have a supreme legislature over us, to consist as well of foreigners, as of freemen of the United States.--Citizens of America! What have you for a number of years been contending for? To what purpose have you expended so freely the blood and treasures of this country? To have a government with unlimited powers administered by foreigners? Will there not be immediately planted in the several States, men of abilities, who, having the appearance of privates, will nevertheless be in the pay of foreign powers? Will not such men ingratiate themselves into your favour, or, which will be much better for them, into the favour of the new government? And after seven years residence, will they not be in your federal house of representatives, or after nine years residence in your senate? Will not the most important secrets of your executive, respecting treaties and other matters, be by these means always open to European powers? Will you not be engaged in their trials? Will not your interest be sacrificed to their politicks? And will you not be the puppets of foreign Courts? Perhaps you will be told that this provision will encourage emigrants, who will bring their money to America; but will you for such precarious and futile prospects consent to part with the right of governing yourselves? How carefully is this point guarded by Great-Britain. Judge Blackstone, book first, chap. tenth, says, "naturalization cannot be performed but by act of parliament, for by this an alien is put in exactly the same state as if he had been born in the king's legiance, except only that he is incapable as well as a denizen of being a member of the privy council, or of parliament, no bill for naturalization can be received in either house of parliament without such disqualifying clause in it." Other European powers are equally careful to exclude foreigners from their councils, whilst we, too wise to be benefited by the experience of governments which have existed for ages, and have attained the zenith of power, are adopting new principles, and exposing ourselves to evils which must inevitably lead us to destruction.


The Founders' Constitution
Volume 2, Article 1, Section 2, Clause 2, Document 4
http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_2_2s4.html
The University of Chicago Press

Storing, Herbert J., ed. The Complete Anti-Federalist. 7 vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.

Easy to print version.


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