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provided in order that this rule may not be evaded, that no direct taxes shall be laid by any other rule.
On what articles is it expressly declared in the constitution that no tax or duty shall be laid ?
Remark. The taxing of exports would be bad policy for the country, since it would have a tendency to prevent its productions being sent to the most profitable market. The rea. son why no preference can be given to the ports of one state over those of another is evident.. Such partialities would soon destroy the union.
Vessels bound to, or from, one state, shall not be obliged to enter, clear or pay duties in another ; what is the meaning of the words enter and clear? Ans. To enter, is to lodge a statement of the goods at the custom house, and obtain permission to land. To clear, is to exhibit the documents required at the custom house, and to obtain permission to sail.
What restriction is laid upon drawing money from the treasury of the United States ? Ans. No money can be drawn thence but in conse. quence of appropriations made by law.
Remark. The effect of this rule is, that the
representatives of the people direct in what manner the money of the people shall be ex. pended. What an engine of tyranny, the public revenues would be, if they lay at the unqualified disposal of any officer of the gov. ernment ! How the money of the people might be squandered or embezzled! The requiring that a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money, shall be published from time to time, is plainly intended to operate as a further re. straint from its improper use.
Why are the United States prohibited from granting any title of nobility? Ans. To raise up in the state a distinct class of men, is as much at variance with the maxims of re. publican equality as it is dangerous to the liberties of the people.
Remark. “ Nothing need be said to illus. trate the importance of the prohibition of titles of nobility. This may truly be denominated the corner-stone of republican government; for so long as they are excluded, there can nev. er be serious danger that the government will
other than that of the people.”—Letter of Alexander Hamilton.
Sec. 10. What restrictions are laid upon
the powers of the states in this section ? What was the reason of imposing such restrictions ? Ans. The powers here specified, having with a few exceptions, been granted to congress, it was necessary, to prevent interference, and to secure the attainment of the objects for which they were granted to the general government, that the states should be prohibited from their exercise. Some of the powers, as for instance the granting any title of nobility, having been prohibited to congress, were for a like reason prohibited to the states. The states are prohibited from issuing bills of credit ; what is here meant by bills of credit ? Ans. They are promissory notes or bills for whose payment nothing but the naked faith of the state is pledged, and intended to circulate as money. Bills of a state bank are not in. cluded in the term, since they are issued on the credit of a particular fund set apart for the purpose,
and the faith of the state is not pledged for their payment, except so far as that fund will go. What was the object of this prohibition ? Ans. To prevent the evils of a depreciated paper currency, of which evil the country had had sufficient experience. The states are prohibited from making any thing but gold
and silver coin a tender in payment of debts ; what is meant by a tender ? Ans. Money offered for the payment of a debt, which if the creditor will not accept, he cannot subject the debtor to the payment of costs. Why are the states prohibited from making any thing but gold and silver a tender? Ans. All other money depending on credit has no fixed, intrinsic value. To compel a creditor to take bills would be compelling him to give credit contrary to his will. What is a law impair. ing the obligation of contracts? Ans. It is a law destroying in whole or in part the force of agreements entered into by states with indi. viduals, or by individuals with each other. What is meant by the inspection laws of a state? Ans. Laws which require articles brought to market to be inspected or examined by officers appointed for the purpose, that their quantity or quality may be ascertained. Their object is to prevent cheating and imposition.. What is a duty of tonnage ? Ans. A duty laid upon vessels according to the number of tons burthen which they can carry. Why are the states prohibited from entering into agreements with each other? Ans. The power of regulating the intercourse between the states,
has been already vested in congress, and be. sides, the tendency of the rule is to prevent combinations, having either the design or the effect of opposing the operations of the general government.
Sec. 1. In whom is the executive power of the United States government vested ? What is the executive power ? Ans. The power which causes the laws to be put in ex. ecution. How long does the president hold his office ?
Remark. The advantage of vesting the ex. ecutive power in a single person is very great. Consultation and deliberation are important in making laws, but when once made, they should be executed with promptness and efficiency. Were the executive power confided to several persons, they must consult with each other, wait for each other, and hesitation, indecision, and irregularity would be the inevitable consequence. The old fashioned maxim, “ what is the business of every one, is the business of no one,” would apply here in its full force. We shall hereafter see that provision is made for affording counsel to the executive, when it