At the distant appearance of danger to these, we took up arms in the late Revolution. And may we never have cause to look back with regret on that period when connected with the Empire of Great Britain, we were happy, secure and free.


Antifederalist No. 61
QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS REGARDING THE ELECTION OF CONGRESSMEN

Rousseau was rarely mentioned by either Federalist or Antifederalist; Locke was occasionally cited by both factions, John Adams' Defense was deplored by several Antifederalists, and praised by the founding fathers. In fact, in preference to these authorities, second-rate popularizers of political philosophy were favored by many scribes seeking to document and corroborate their position on the Constitution. Above all others, however, Federalists and Antifederalists admired and quoted with approval selections from the works of Montesquieu.

"THE FEDERAL FARMER," Richard Henry Lee, agreed with Montesquieu that "the forms of elections are fundamental." These forms should be clearly defined and exact, rather than vague and subject to interpretation and abuse. The essay is taken from the Additional Letters, pp. 100-10.

. . . . It is well observed by Montesquieu, that in republican governments the forms of elections are fundamental; and that it is an essential part of the social compact, to ascertain by whom, to whom, when, and in what manner, suffrages are to be given. Wherever we find the regulation of elections have not been carefully fixed by the constitution, or the principles of them, we constantly see new legislatures modifying . . . [their] own form, and changing the spirit of the government to answer partial purposes.

By the proposed plan it is fixed, that the qualifications of the electors of the federal representatives shall be the same as those of the electors of state representatives; though these vary some in the several states the electors are fixed and designated.

The qualifications of the representatives are also fixed and designated, and no person under 25 years of age, not an inhabitant of the state, and not having been seven years a citizen of the United States, can be elected. The clear inference is, that all persons 25 years of age, and upwards, inhabitants of the state, and having been, at any period or periods, seven years citizens of the United States, may be elected representatives. They have a right to be elected by the constitution, and the electors have a right to choose them. This is fixing the federal representation, as to the elected, on a very broad basis. It can be no objection to the elected, that they are Christians, Pagans, Mahometans, or Jews; that they are of any color, rich or poor, convict or not. Hence many men may be elected, who cannot be electors. Gentlemen who have commented so largely upon the

-177-

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