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CONFEDERATIONS.                                167
there may be a perpetual league or alliance.* A federal
government implies much more. On the one hand, says
Mr. Freeman, in his still unfinished work on this subject (p.
3), "to form a federal government each of the members
must be wholly independent in those matters which concern
each member only. On the other hand, all must be subject
to a common power in those matters which concern the whole
body of men less collectively." Thus, the two poles of a fed-
eral government are independent action of the members in
certain things, and a central power or government which, in
certain things, is equally independent. This central power
or government of the federal union must, in the nature of the
case, be the result of an agreement of the parts with one an-
other ; but, when founded, it no longer depends on the desire
of any one member to continue in the union. From the
nature of the case the central government is not created for
a particular emergency, but for the attainment of perpetual
ends. It might, indeed, be conceivable that such a govern-
ment, or indeed any other, should expire by its own limita-
tion after the lapse of a half-century, just as there have been
terminable treaties of peace ; but the central government has
the same reasons for enduring which two countries like Eng-
land and Scotland had in forming a union. From its forma-
tion, if it be a real government, that is, if it have a sphere of
its own to act in like other states, and a power of its own like
other states, it is an independent political entity.
How does the relation of such a federal government
towards the states which are its members differ from the re-
lations between a state and a municipality ? The answer
must be that in no sense is a self-governing municipality
independent. Its charter, if it have any, or its duties and
rights, as defined by a general law, proceed from state power,
and may be modified for failure to fulfil its duties, or for great
state purposes. It is simply within the competence of the
* These words, it may be remarked, are from the same root, ligo,
to bind; alliance from adligo, through the French allier, and league
from ligo, through Fr. ligue.