English 6.

Debate for Jan. 14. 1892.

Question: "Resolved, That Congress ought to pass a general act establishing federal control over national elections."

Brief for the Affirmative:


Best general references: Speech of H. C. Lodge in Congressional Record, p. 7053, 6-27, 1890; Lodge in N. Amer. Rev., Sept., 1890, vol. 151, p. 257; Powderly, N. Amer. Rev., vol. 151, p. 266; R. Smalls, N. Amer. Rev., Nov. 1890, vol. 151, p. 596; Schaffer, N. Amer. Rev., Nov. 1890, vol. 151, p. 601; J. Cook in Our Day. v. 6, p. 124.

I. The existing corruption of the ballot demands reform: Public Opinion, June 21, 28, July 5, 12, Aug. 2, 16, 30, 1890. - (a) Corruption is in defiance of the law: Watterson; Boston Post, Sept. 27, 1890. - (b) Justice and public sentiment demand a fair ballot and an honest count. - (c) The pledges of the Republican party are unfulfilled in this respect: Republican platform 1888; World Almanac, 1889, p. 53. - (d) Responsibility of reform lies on the controlling party.

II. Federal control is constitutional. - (a) Constitution, Art. I, sec. 4, +++ 1. - (b) Decisions of Supreme Court (100 U. S. 371), (100 U. S. 631), (12 Int. Rev. Rec. 151). - (c) Constitutional writers: McCreary, Election Laws, p. 55; von Holst, Consti. Law, p. 72 note; Pomeroy, p. 1423; Storey +++ 627-833; Howe, pp. 520, 523, 1164.

III. Federal control is expedient. - (a) Publicity prevents fraud, a fair ballot and an honest count are a vital principle of government. - (b) The system is non-sectional and non-partisan; Phila. Am., 8-23; N. Y. Press 8-26; Iowa St. Reg., 6-21. - (c) The U. S. is the only power which can interfere satisfactorily. - (d) The United States should have power over U. S. elections. - (e) A fraud against franchise is a crime against liberty. - (f) Existence of nation demands enforcement of the constitution.

Brief for the Negative.


Best general references: Watterson's Speech in Boston Post, Sept. 27, 1890; T. V. Powderly in No. Am. Rev., vol. 151, p. 267; Nation, vol. 51, pp. 104, 126; Mr. Coleman in Cong. Rec., 51 Cong., 1st Sess., p. 6772.

I. National regulation would involve great unnecessary expense: Mr. Hemp-hill in Cong. Rec., 51 Cong., 1st Sess., p. 6550; Forum IX: 709.

II. National regulation is not needed. - (a) The remedy is too wide: Forum IX: 709. - (b) Fraudulent elections are confined only to a distinct section, while the bill would be general. - (c)The present law would be sufficient if enforced: Revised Statutes, sec. 2010 et seq.

III. National regulations would not check fraudulent elections in the South: Nation, vol. 51 p. 104. - (a) The law could not be enforced so as to prevent the intimidation of the negroes. - (b) Experience in the past has shown this: Alex. Johnston in Encyc. Brit., vol. 23, p. 784.

IV. National regulation would be dangerous in effect. - (a) In the North and West the evils of office-seeking would grow: Pub. Opin. IX: p. 311. - (b) Corruption would be unnecessarily invited: N. A. Rev., vol. 151, p. 267. - (c) It would complicate State elections: Nation, vol. 51, p. 104. - (d) In the South race prejudices would be aggravated: Mr. Candler in Cong. Rec., 51 Cong., 1st Sess., p. 6705. - (e) Antagonism to the national government would be encouraged: Springfield Rep., July 7, 1890; Mr. Coleman in Cong-Rec., 51 Cong., 1st Sess, p. 6772; Annual Cyc. for 1879, p. 561, 1877, p. 711.