CONFEDERATIONS. must give rise to a multitude of heart-burnings in particular cases, where a state legislates on matters in which other states of the confederacy have a concern, or in which the rights of individuals may be invaded. As an instance of this possibil- ity of conflict, and of the wide-sweeping range of a few words in our federal constitution, I may refer to the provision in Arti- cle i, § 10, that no state shall pass any law impairing the ob- ligation of contracts.* Let any one examine the history of decisions in cases of appeal, where this little clause was brought in question; whether it affects state laws relating to executory contracts, express or implied, or to executed contracts, to officers, to licenses, to private and public corporations ; or ask what is the obligation of a contract which may not be im- paired, and what state laws impair it; and he will find a con- trol most salutary, but sometimes most irritating in the series of cases where state law and the judgment of the supreme court of the union come into conflict. A state is liable con- tinually to overstep its just power and to encroach on the power and rightful authority of the general government, and it may happen that the union itself by its law and the decisions of its judges may overstep the limits drawn by the constitu- tion. In this case there is no remedy within the constitution, no remedy but dissolution. A dissolution again is more easy and natural in a confederation than in other political organi- zations, because a large part of the purposes of government are subserved by the particular states or members of the fed- eral union, and the inhabitants seldom feel in their private affairs the power of the general constitution. Its necessity is not felt, because the advantages from it, such as the man- agement of intercourse with foreign parts and between the states, when once it is established, seem things of course. To estimate them properly one ought to live where a multitude of little sovereignties have their own diplomatic relations, their barrier tariffs, their constant difficulties along the bor- ders, or from complaints of internal injustice. Allegiance, *Comp. Pomeroy's Const, law, 348-413.