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CONFEDERATIONS.                                245
tablished for the occasion by congress ; and a similar method
is provided for, of settling disputes concerning the private
right of soil under different grants of two or more states.
Congress, also, was to have power to fix the amount of alloy
and the value of coin struck by their or the states' authority,
to regulate trade and all affairs with Indians not members of
the union, to establish post-offices and take postages, to ap-
point all officers in the land or sea service of the United States,
and to make all regulations for the government of the army
and navy. A committee of one from each state sitting in the
recess of congress were to be clothed with very extensive
powers for carrying on the affairs of the confederation, which
powers are mentioned at length ; but they do not include any
of the powers for which the vote of nine states is requisite.
A vote of nine states is made necessary for engaging in war,
granting letters of marque in time of peace, making alliances,
coining money and fixing its value, ascertaining the necessary
expenses, emitting bills and borrowing money, agreeing on the
amount of land and of sea forces to be raised, appointing a
commander-in-chief of the army and navy. The congress may
adjourn for a time, not longer than six months within the year,
and to any place within the United States. Alterations in
the articles shall not be made without a unanimous consent
of the states, and the union is to be perpetual. This consti-
tution came into force March 2, 1781.
As the surrender at Yorktown in the autumn of 1781 put
an end to active war, the confederation did not have a long
opportunity of testing its strength, before the state of things
came on for which it was least fitted. As we look on it now
we find it full of defects. There was no head or real execu-
tive authority provided for; there was no supreme court in
any way adequate to defend or interpret the articles; the
project of arbitration was exceedingly clumsy; the general
expenses had to be provided for by the states, and there was
no force to compel the states at any point to do their duty.
Suppose a state sent ambassadors abroad, or retired from the
union, or asserted its rights against another state by force,