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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

CONFEDERATIONS.                                 191
i
extensive. The states voted as such. No tyrant could have
appeared to cast his vote for his city consistently with its
constitution and objects. As for weights, measures and coins,
they find their way of themselves, or it is easy for independ-
ent states to fix on a common standard. Unity in this
respect is no proof of close political unity, as the conventions
tof the present day, made with this in view by states widely
unlike in form and spirit, show with sufficient clearness.
We must, in view of all the history of the Achaean confede-
- Not a strict con- rac7> rank it among the looser governments of
federation.             ^ g^  an(}   ^   near   ^   jjne   whjch   divides
the two classes from one another. To the ancients it realized
the idea of a close union, because it went so much farther in
that direction than others had done before it, but it betrays
its character by several marks. First, it seems not to have
had the necessary financial or judicial powers. I am aware
that here it may be said that if we knew more of the internal
constitution and the laws, we might come to a different mind.
This may be true, but nothing shows that the league had
even the powers exercised by Athens, when she was at the
head of the alliance of the sea-states, when she sent out her
collectors to all the allies and enforced the payment of their
quotas. As for the courts, the strong probability is that this
part of the constitution was wholly in the background.
' Again, to some extent the confederates—those outside of
Achaia at least—seemed to have regarded the obligation as
not a very binding one. They come in and go out, as if the
confederation was no more than a common treaty of alliance.
Thus Sparta seceded in B. C. 189, and Messene in 183. The
separate league of the western cities (B. C., 218) was,dictated
by necessity, yet it gives an indication, as we have seen, of
the prevalent feeling in the oldest members of the union.
They refuse for the time all payments of their quotas of
money to the federal government. Mr. Freeman (p. 536)
justly denies that this was secession, but calls it nullification.
It was, however, more like the action of the governors of two
of the New England states in 1812, when they refused on