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now nations generally consider it poor policy to tax exports and thereby increase the price at which they must be sold in foreign markets to compete with other countries.
73. Uniformity of Commercial and Revenue Laws.The States, under the Articles of Confederation, had enacted many laws injurious to one another in domestic and foreign trade. It was said that New Jersey, suffering from such laws passed by Pennsylvania and New York, was “like a barrel tapped at both ends." North Carolina, Connecticut, and Maryland were also victims of such practices. Maryland was afraid Virginia might stop ships on their way to and from Baltimore, for the purpose of exacting duty.
74. Coastwise, Lake, and River Trade.—All commerce along the coast and on rivers and lakes must be carried in ships built in American shipyards; but foreign ships may engage in our foreign trade.
Questions on the Section.-For how long a time was the slave trade allowed? How much tax could be collected on each person imported? When may the writ of habeas corpus be suspended? Could Congress have included more than three-fifths of the slaves, in laying a capitation tax? Define enter and clear. Can a vessel from New York be made to pay duty at Boston? How is money drawn from the Treasury? Can anybody receive a title of nobility from the United States? May a citizen of the United States receive such a title from a foreign country? May an office holder? What may an office holder not receive, and from whom not? May a private citizen receive such? May an office holder receive a gift from a private citizen?
SECTION 10.–POWERS FORBIDDEN TO THE STATES
CLAUSE 1. No State shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender
in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex-post-facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.
Cl. 2. No State shall, without the consent of the Congress, lay any impost or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection laws; and the net produce of all duties and impost, laid by any State on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Congress.
Cl. 3. No State shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or ships-of-war, in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another State, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.
75. Powers Forbidden to the States. Most of the powers forbidden to the States are such as may be exercised by the United States. A few are forbidden to both.
76. Treaties, Alliances, and Confederations. If the States could make treaties and form alliances and confederations it would be in their power to involve themselves and the whole country in a war—foreign or civil. If Texas could regulate the intercourse of its people with Mexico, or New York with Canada, and so on, there would be no stability in the relations with our foreign neighbors.
77. Bills of Credit.-From the time of King William's War down to the adoption of the Constitution, the legislatures, first of the Colonies, and then of the States, issued bills of credit, or paper money. In fact, one of the reasons for abandoning the Articles of Confederation was the excessive use of paper money by the States (see p. 31). When Congress issued the “greenbacks," or treasury notes (see p. 67), it was a question whether the
United States could issue bills of credit. Some statesmen argued that if the States were prohibited from doing so it was evident that the prohibition extended to Congress also. But the Supreme Court held that Congress could emit bills of credit and make them legal tender.
78. Impairing the Obligation of Contracts.-A contract is an agreement “to do or not to do a particular thing” that is legally binding. No State shall pass a law by which a contract may be broken. This provision is in civil cases what the provision about the ex-post-facto law is in criminal cases.
79. Inspection Laws.-A State may pass a law for the inspection of oil, cattle, food products, etc., and collect the cost of inspection from the owners. Such laws must not be made with the intent of protecting the dealers, but the people, of the State.
80. With the Consent of Congress.—Instances in which States have obtained the consent of Congress for imposing duties on foreign imports are rare. South Carolina did so on one occasion in behalf of the city of Charleston, which wanted the revenue thus raised for some municipal improvements.
Questions on the Section.-For what purpose may a State lay a duty on imports without the consent of Congress? For what purposes must it have consent from Congress? What must be done with the net proceeds? What must be done before such State laws can go into effect? What is tonnage? When may a State engage in war without the consent of Congress?
ARTICLE II.-THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT
SECTION 1.—THE PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT
CLAUSE 1. The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his office during the term of four years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same term, be elected, as follows:
Cl. 2. Each State shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress; but no Senator or Representative, or person holding any office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector.
Cl. 3.* The electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not be an inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a list of all the persons voted for, and of the number of votes for each; which list they shall sign and certify and transmit sealed to the seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such majority, and have an equal number of votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately choose by ballot one of them for President; and if no person have a majority, then from the five highest on the list the said house shall, in like manner, choose the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by States, the representation from each State having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the States, and a majority of all the States shall be necessary to a choice. In every case, after the choice of the President, the person having the highest number of votes of the electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal votes, the Senate shall choose from them by ballot the Vice President.
* This clause has been superseded by the 12th Amendment, which follows immediately.
ARTICLE XII.—The electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by ballot for President and Vice President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same State with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice President; and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice President, and of the number of votes for each, which list they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;--the President of the Senate shall in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted;—the person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by States, the representation from each State having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the States, and a majority of all the States shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice President, shall be the Vice President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice President of the United States.
Cl. 4. The Congress may determine the time of choosing the electors, and the day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the United States.
CL. 5. No person except a natural-born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person