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CONFEDERATIONS.                                183

as merely a bundesstaat. As this is the most interesting
point relating to the league except its brilliant history, which,
however, does not concern us, we shall now endeavor to give
the details of the constitution.

i . All external relations were committed to the confedera-
tion and its officers.    This was essential to a

of the league.         tolerably compact staatenbund.    Thus all ques-
tions of peace, war, and alliance, all diplomatic relations to
foreign states, belonged to the league, its assemblies and magis-
trates. But the rule in respect to sending and receiving em-
bassies was not strictly observed. Corinth, after its union
with the league, received ambassadors from Rome (B. C. 228),
like a sovereign city-state. And in later times there were
not infrequent instances of legations from members to foreign
powers ; one of these missions, in B. C. 224, occurred with the
consent of the federal body; others, without taking the trouble
to ask for it. At length, in the treaty of B. C. 198, with Rome,
it was provided that all embassies must proceed from the gen-
eral synedrium of the Achseans. Admitting that this was but
a confirmation of a previous rule, we find, already, a some-
what weak notion of what was required by the obligation of
the confederate states, and no known effort to compel obedi-
ence. " But this agreement was of course broken," says Mr.
Freeman, "whenever its violation suited Roman interests.
Sparta, especially, and Messene — cities joined to the league
against their will — were constantly laying their real or sup-
posed grievances at the feet of the Roman senate." In the
case cited by him from Pausan., vii., § 9, the body sent ambas-
sadors to Rome to counteract those of the Lacedaemonians who
belonged to their body. Think of the United States sending
an embassy to Great Britain to oppose one from New York !
Would we not suppose in such a case that, if there had ever
been a league of the stricter kind, it was near its extinction ?
2. As in all the earlier confederations with the constitution
its primary ass«n- of which we are acquainted, the Achaean league
bly>                  had a primary assembly. Every citizen of all
the towns, at least from the age of thirty upwards, could