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the various violent influences of local feuds, opposing interests, domestic insurrection, and foreign violence.
$ 16. We have seen that, at several different periods, viz. 1643, 1754, 1765, 1774, 1777, and in 1787, the territories composing what is called the United States, formed associations for the purposes of a common government and general welfare. Let us now examine how these were originally constituted, and in what manner modified by time and experience.
$ 17. By the articles of confederation made in 1643, between the colonies of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New-Haven, it was expressly declared to be a league, under the name of the United Colonies of NewEngland. The chief points in this confederation were, 1st. That each colony should have peculiar jurisdiction and government within its own limits. 2d. That the quotas of men and money were to be furnished in proportion to the population, for which purpose a census was to be taken from time to time of such as were able to bear arms. 3d. That to manage such matters as concerned the whole confederation, a Congress of two commissioners from each colony should meet annually, with power to weigh and determine al affairs of war and peace, leagues, aids, charges, and whatever else were proper concomitants of a confederation offensive and defensive; and that to determine any question, three-fourths of these commissioners' must agree, or the matter is to be referred to the General Courts. 4th. That these commissioners may choose a president, but that such president has no power over the business or proceedings. 5th. That neither of the colonies should engage in any war without consent of the general commissioners. 6th. That if any of the confederates should break any of these articles, or otherwise injure any of the other confederates, then such breach should be considered and ordered by the commissioners of the other colonies.
$ 18. Now it will be observed that this confederacy was, by agreement, a mere league, from motives of amity, for objects of general offence and defence. As such, it was as good a model as any which history presents us; but as a government, it was utterly inefficient:
its principal defects in the last point of view were, 1. The want of an Executive, without which it could never act as a whole. All the acts of the commissioners had to be enforced by each separate colony: they did not act upon individuals. 2. The want of a General Judiciary, by which offences arising between the several members, or against the whole confederacy, might be taken cognizance of 3d. The want of any general power to obtain credit or emit money. In short, this league did not pretend to be a government, and was deficient in nearly all the attributes of sovereignty.
$ 19. Upon the last provision, that providing a reme dy for breaches of the league by one of the confeder: acy, it is worthy of remark, that it never entered into the heads of people then, that it was possible for one party to a compact to make itself judges of its own breaches of its on the contrary, it was provided that such breaches should be judged of by the other members of the cenfederacy. It was reserved for a much later period of history, and it would seem for far more ingenious men, to divine a mode by which a party to a contract can at once make itself a judge of its own viola tions of it, and invalidate at pleasure its provisions.
20. The next plan of association was that formed by the commissioners who met at Albany in 1754. It was not accepted by the mother country, but may serve to show what progress in ideas of government had then been made by the colonists. It is remarkable that the scheme proposed did not purport, like the other, to be a league, or confederation, but a plan for one general gooernment. Its principal provisions were,-1. That the general government should be administered by a presi
dent-general appointed by the crown, and a grand council chosen by the representatives of the people in their general assemblies. 2. That the council should be chosen every three years, and shall meet once each year.
3. That the assent of the president be necessary to all acts of the council, and that it is his duty to see them executed. 4. That the president and council may hold treaties, make peace, and declare war with the several Indian tribes. 5. That for these purposes they have power to levy and collect such duties, imposts, and taxes as to them shall seem just.
$ 21. It will be seen that this was a much nearer approach to an organized government than the confederacy of 1643. It provided for a strong executive, but was without the sanction of a general judiciary, and made no provision for regulating the currency.
§ 22. We come now to the articles of confederation. During the early part of the Revolution, the powers of a general nature were executed without question or hinderance by a 'congress of deputies from the several states. Patriotism and a common danger absorbed all other principles, and made ordinary ties unnecessary. A universal opinion, however, prevailed in favor of union, and after much deliberation, 'congress in No vember, 1777, agreed upon the articles of confederation. They were, after various delays, ratified by the different states; the principal objection being in respect to the wild lands, which were claimed by several of the states, but which others urged should go to bear the common burthen. In the sequel, these lands were nobly ceded by the states who held them, to the common benefit of the Union.
$ 23. The Articles of Confederation provided,
1st. That the style of the Confederacy should be the «United States of America."
2d. That each state should retain its sovereignty, 1 Journal of Congress, vol. 2, p. 475. 81 Kent's Comm. 197.
independence, and such rights as were not delegated to the general Congress.
3d. That the object of the league was the general welfare, and the common defence against foreign aggression.
4th. That the citizens of one state shall have the privileges of citizens in another, and that full faith and credit shall be given to the records, acts, and judicial proceedings in another state.
5th. That for the management of the general interests, delegates shall be annually appointed to meet in Congress,—each state having not less than two nor more than seven; and that in determining questions in Congress, each state shall have one vote.
6th. That no state shall, without the consent of Congress, enter into any treaty or alliance with any foreign power or nation, or with any other state; nor lay any imposts or duties interfering with any stipulations contained in any treaty made by Congress; nor keep any vessels of war or armed forces in time of peace, except such as Congress may deem necessary; nor en. gage in any war without the consent of Congress, unless the state be actually invaded, or the danger imminent; nor grant letters of marque, unless such state be infested with pirates.
7th. All charges for the general welfare shall be defrayed out of a common treasury, which shall be levied in proportion to the value of land within each state,
8th. The «United States in Congress assembled" shall have the exclusive right of making peace and war; entering into treaties and alliances; granting letters of marque, and establishing courts and rules for the trial of piracies and felonies, and determining questions in relation to captures; and that the Congress have the power determine all questions and differences between two or more states, concerning any cause what
ever, which authority shall be exercised by instituting a court in manner and form as provided, where judgment shall be final and decisive; and that they have power to fix the standard of weights, measures, and coin; establish Post-offices and commission Officers; that they shall have power to appoint a committee of the states, and such other civil officers as may be necessary to manage the general affairs of the United States under their direction; to elect their President; to fix the sums of money to be raised; to borrow money and emit bills of credit; to agree on the number of forces to be raised, which are to be distributed
the states in proportion to their white inhabitants; that “the United States” shall not exercise these powers, unless nine states assent to the same, nor shall any question except that of adjournment be determined unless by the votes of a majority of the states.
9th. It is further provided, that the committee of the states, or any nine of them, shall be authorized to execute, in the recess of Congress, such of the powers of Congress as the United States, or any nine of them shall think proper to vest them with.
10th. All debts contracted under the authority of Congress shall be deemed and considered as a charge against the United States, for which the public faith is pledged.
11th. That every state shall abide by the determinations of Congress upon the questions submitted to it, and the union shall be perpetual.
$24. Such is a synopsis of the articles of confederation, under which the United States terminated the war of the Revolution, and continued till the adoption of the Constitution. It will be remarked,
1. That the states still assume the style of a league or confederacy, and that, 2dly, they had notwithstanding granted away many attributes of sovereignty, even