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distraction and disorder which it occasioned, convinced the reflecting portion of both sections, that the time had arrived when a vigorous effort should be made to bring it to a close. For this purpose, a successful attempt was made in the session of 1807. The lower section was wise and patriotic enough to propose an adjustment of the controversy, by giving to each an equal participation in the government; and the upper section, as wisely and patriotically, waived its claims, and accepted the compromise. To carry it into execution, an act was passed during the session to amend the constitution, according to the form it prescribes; and again passed, in like manner, during the ensuing session,-an intervening election of the members of the House of Representatives having taken place,—and, thereby, became a part of the constitution as it now stands. The object intended to be effected will explain the provisions of the amendment; and why it was necessary to incorporate in the constitution the three elements above stated.
To effect this, the Senate, which consists of one member from each election district, except Charleston, which has two (one for each of its two parishes), remained unchanged. This, in consequence of the organization of the lower district into parishes, and these again into election districts, gave the lower section a decided preponderance in that branch of the legislature. To give the upper section a like preponderance in the House of Representatives, it became necessary to remodel it. For this purpose, there were assigned to this branch of the legislature,
one hundred and twenty-four members ;—of which sixty-two were allotted to white population, and sixty-two to taxation; to be distributed according to the election districts,—giving to each the number it would be entitled to under the combined ratios of the two elements. To ascertain this proportion, from time to time, a census of the population was ordered to be taken every ten years, and a calculation made, at the same time, of the amount of the tax paid by each election district during the last ten years; in order to furnish the data on which to make the distribution. These gave to the upper section a preponderance, equally decisive, in the House of Representatives. And thus an equilibrium was established between the two sections in the legislative department of the government; and, as the governor, judges, and all the important officers under the government are appointed by the legislature,—-an equilibrium in every department of the government. By making the election districts the element of which one branch of the legislature is constituted, it protects the agricultural and rural interests against the preponderance, which, in time, the concentrated city population might otherwise acquire;-and by making taxation one of the elements of which the other branch is composed, it guards effectually against the abuse of the taxing power. The effect of such abuse would be, to give to the portion of the State which might be overtaxed, an increased weight in the government proportional to the excess ;—and to diminish, in the
same proportion, the weight of the section which might exempt itself from an equal share of the burden of taxation.
The results which followed the introduction of these elements into the constitution, in the manner stated, were most happy. The government,-instead of being, as it was under the constitution of 1790, the government of the lower section,—or becoming, subsequently, as it must have become, the government of the upper section, had numbers constituted the only element,—was converted into that of the concurrent majority, and male, emphatically, the government of the entire population,—of the whole people of South Carolina ;—and not of one portion of its people over another portion. The consequence was, the almost instantaneous restoration of harmony and concord between the two sections. Party division and party violence, with the distraction and disorder attendant upon them, soon disappeared. Kind feelings, and mutual attachment between the two sections, took their place,-and have continued uninterrupted for more than forty years. The State, as far as its internal affairs are concerned, may be literally said to have been, during the whole period, without a party. Party organization, party discipline, party proscription,--and their offspring, the spoils principle, have been unknown to the State. Nothing of the kind is necessary to produce concentration; as our happy constitution makes an united people,—with the exception of occasional, but short local dissensions, in reference to the action of the federal government;—and even
the most violent of these ceased, almost instantly, with the occasion which produced it.
Such are the happy fruits of a wisely constituted Republic;—and such are some of the means by which it may be organized and established. Ours, like all other well constituted constitutional governments, is the offspring of a conflict, timely and wisely compromised. May its success, as an example, lead to its imitation by others;—until our whole system, —the united government of all the States, as well as the individual governments of each,—shall settle down in like concord and harmony.