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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

246                              POLITICAL SCIENCE-
who was there to hinder it? What security could be fur-
nished by a government without troops and a clear power
of raising an army that would be available for quelling a
rebellion such as that of Shay in Massachusetts in 1786?
What could hinder states having each the power of collecting
a revenue by duties, from interfering with each other by bor-
der custom-houses? The states were forbidden to lay im-
posts contrary to treaties with foreign powers, but what
power was there to prevent or punish transgressions of this
rule or other infractions of the law of nations ? These and
other difficulties soon became apparent, and many persons
were becoming dissatisfied with the confederation, as being
an instrument inefficient and unable long to preserve the -states
in any kind of union.
These feelings were fully justified as the United States
returned to a condition of peace, and even while the war
lasted. The congress of the confederation in fact broke faith
with the officers to whom the continental congress had voted
half pay for life after the war, on the ground that the votes
of nine states were necessary for such a measure, and that
a less number had been in favor of it when it was past or
were in favor of it now. There were grave dangers to be
apprehended from such a step, and the middle course was
taken of commuting the half-pay for five years' pay in full.
The history of the obstacles in the way of paying interest
on the public debt is a long and distressing one ; suffice it to
say that neither could the states be brought in sufficient
numbers to give the congress a power to collect duties ; nor,
owing to the opposition of New York, could the plan of per-
mitting congress to do this for twenty-five years be carried ;
nor were the states prompt to pay the requisitions made
upon them in order to meet the claims of foreign and domes-
tic creditors. In 1786, two states actually attempted to pay
their proportions of what was required in their own paper
money, when these were due in specie. State laws again
interfered with the obligations assumed in the treaty of peace,
one of which was (Art. iv.) that creditors should meet with