« ForrigeFortsett »
the attention of the Supreme Court with the view of having it adopted.
ROBERT BURROWS, Chairman.
of Colonel Ackia
sociation ani pe
ess is the report s is not here, but i 1. ress is the report mission to the Bar
The President: Is there any discussion of the report of the committee on education and admission to the bar?
Mr. Gaines: I move that it be received, and the suggestions adopted.
Motion is seconded.
The question was then discussed at length by Mr. Chambliss, Judge Davis, Judge Higgins, Mr. Swaney, Mr. Winslow, Mr. L. D. Smith, Mr. Shepherd, the President, Mr. Powell and others.
The President: All in favor of adopting the report of the committee as read, make it known by saying Aye
A Member: I want to make this motion, that the report of the committee be received and filed.
The President: Is there a second to the motion ?
The President: We have another report from the Central
The Secretary: Since the meeting this morning the Central Council has recommended the following lawyers for membership in this Association:
Jos. J. Kalwick of Chattanooga; W. Y. Boswell of Oakdale;
The Secretary: I move the election of these gentlemen.
Thereupon the further proceedings of the Association were adjourned until tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock A, M.
SECOND DAY_MORNING SESSION, The President: The meeting will please come to order. The first order of business is the third report of the Central Council, which I will read. The Central Council has recommended C. L. Sively of Memphis and W. C. Chandler of Memphis, and on behalf of the committee, I move they be elected to membership.
Motion is seconded and carried.
The President: Gentlemen of the Bar Association, I have the pleasure and honor this morning of introducing one of Virginia's most distinguished lawyers and one of Washington's most distinguished lawyers. It is not necessary for me to say more. The subject of this address is : “A Right of the States." I take great pleasure in introducing the Hon. Alfred P. Thom, of Washington, D. C.
THE RIGHT OF THE STATES.
By ALFRED P. THOM, of Washington, D. C.
Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Tennessee Bar Association:
One hundred and twenty-six years ago the United States became a nation. On the 4th of March, 1789, they joined in putting into effect the Constitution which formed them into "a more perfect union” and organized them to take their place as a unit among the nations of the earth.
Only recently they had been separate and distinct colonies of Great Britain, legally foreign to each other, and were bound together by no ties except a sense, common to them all, of oppression and discontent and a common aspiration and purpose of liberty. They combined to declare and to fight for their independence, and to assert that, as free and individual States, they had “full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do."
During the succeeding epoch-making struggle, which marked the birth of a new nation, they sought to bind themselves together by something more enduring than the sympathies and exigencies of the existing war, and to this end, adopt. ed as their bond of union the Articles of Confederation. Jealous, however, of their separate and distinct autonomies, they were miserly in their grant of power to the central authority which they created. Wanting it to be efficient, but determined that it should possess none of their cherished sovereignty, they withheld from it the power to provide, through its own agencies, a national revenue. It could not levy taxes, but was made dependent upon the State for their respective contribu
tions. It, therefore, could not build or equip a navy, nor raise or arm or pay an army. Thus it had no effective power to provide for the common defense, to protect any national right, or to command the respect or the fair treatment of foreign nations. Likewise, it had no power to control or regulate trade, either foreign or domestic. That power was carefully reserved by the States to themselves individually.
The Articles of Confederation were, therefore, soon found to be utterly inadequate to a national existence. It is true that they remained untouched during the continuance of the war. This, however, was not because they were satisfactory, but because every public energy, to the exclusion of all questions of domestic organization, was devoted to the achievement of independence.
A government without a purse, and hence without power to provide for the common defense, or to insure domestic tranquility, was a mere “rope of sand” and could not long endure. From the standpoint of mere national existence, it was found utterly inadequate.
But there was another cause for dissatisfaction, which, in the condition of the public mind, temporarily freed from the fear of foreign invasion and insistently turning to the necessity of rebuilding domestic prosperity after the waste of war, was hardly of less importance than a provision for the common defense and for the preservation of the national existence. The needs of trade were becoming more and more apparent and its just regulation the subject of greater and more universal public concern.
In considering the causes which brought our Federal Constitution into existence, it is of peculiar interest at this time to study the influence which the desire for a uniform regulation of commerce had upon its adoption and upon its character.
When the war ended and independence was an acccomplished fact, each State possessed a sovereignty which was practically unlimited over its foreign commerce and over its commerce with the other States. Between many of them there was à race of greed and selfishness for commercial advantage and supremacy.
It will be noted that each State possessed the power of im
posing export taxes and could thus keep its products at home, excluding them from the use and enjoyment of the people of the other States; that each State possessed the power of imposing import duties and thus could exclude people of the other States from its markets; and that each State retained complete control over its own ports, and thus, by its commercial policy, could, through the competition of ports, regulate or break down the commercial policy of another State in regard to its own ports and in regard to its own commerce.
These powers were large enough, not only to create State rivalries and State enmities, but to elevate the States of greatest commercial power into complete commercial, and finally into complete political, ascendancy over their weaker sister States.
Nor were these powers merely theoretical. They were brought into active and oppressive operation. They were made the means of commercial war by one State upon another.
Virginia, by her export duties and inspection laws, with the incidental tax, sought to keep her tobacco at home.
Maryland, by her inspection laws and taxes, sought to do the same with regard to her potash and pearlash.
Massachusetts prohibited the exportation of grain or unmanufactured calfskins and imposed an onerous inspection tax on exports to other States of tobacco, butter, and other products, while North Carolina laid, for a limited time, an embargo on the exportation to other States of corn, wheat, flour, beef, bacon and other necessaries of life.
Turning to imports:
New York, by imposing an import duty, sought to exclude from its markets the butter, milk, and other dairy products of New Jersey and the firewood of Connecticut.
Rhode Island imposed an ad valorem tax of five per cent on all articles imported into that State from the other States as well as from foreign countries, with a proviso for reciprocal relief. And so with other States.
In regard to the commercial rivalry and war of ports, it was customary for States having available ports to impose an unlimited tax on all goods reaching this continent through their ports, and thus subjecting, for the benefit of themselves, the
BAR ASSOCIATION OF TENNESSEE
its products at best ut of the people & ae power of mpЕ.
le of the other stata ined complete einen nercial policy, endi
people of the other States to a substantial burden of taxation.
For example, the ports of Boston and New York were at one time far behind Newport in the value of their imports, and Rhode Island, according to the Supreme Court of the United States, paid all the expenses of her government by duties on goods landed at her principal ports.
The condition at that time of commercial selfishness and greed between the States is thus described by Fiske in his work on the “Critical Period of American History, 1783-1789," at
e or break dow the
ard to its own pin
only to create Sant he States of greatest
al, and finally in aker sister States etical. They are 1. They were made
"Meanwhile, the different States, with their different tariff and tonnage acts, began to make commercial upon one another. No sooner had the other three New England States virtually closed their ports to British shipping, than Connecticut threw hers wide open, an act which she followed by laying duties upon imports from Massachusetts.
"Pennsylvania discriminated against Delaware; and New Jersey, pillaged at once by both her greater neighbors, was compared to a cask tapped at both ends. The conduct of New York became especially selfish and blameworthy. That rapid growth which was soon to carry the city and State to a position of primacy in the Union had already begun. After the departure of the British the revival of business went on with leaps and bounds. The feeling of local patriotism waxed strong, and in no one was it more completely mani. fested than in George Clinton, the Revolutionary general, whom the people elected Governor for nine successive terms.
* It was his first article of faith that New York must be the greatest State in the Union. But his conceptions of statesmanship were extremely narrow. In his mind, the welfare of New York meant the pulling down and thrusting aside of all her neighbors and rivals. *
* * * Under his guidance, the history of New York, during the five years following the peace of 1783, was a shameful story of greedy monopoly and sectional hate. Of all the thirteen States none behaved worse except Rhode Island.
"A single instance, which occurred early in 1787, may serve as an illustration. The city of New York, with its population of thirty thousand souls, had long been supplied with firewood from Connecticut, and with butter and cheese, chickens and garden vegetables, from the thrifty farms of New Jersey. This trade, it was observed, carried thousands
ir, beef, bacon and
Tar of ports i 's to impose it through their themselves the