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imported and seized by a custom-house officer, are taken from the owner, sold at public auction, and the money arising from the sale appropriated according to the revenue laws. A vessel bringing in smuggled goods is also liable to be taken and sold in the same way.

Although the duty is paid in the first instance by the importer, yet he gets his money back again. For when he sells, he raises the price of the goods sufficiently to cover not only the first cost of the goods but also the duty which he has paid; so that the duty is finally paid by the consumer.

The term "imposts" differs little from duties, and applies to imported goods only. The terms duties, imposts, customs, &c., in the United States, are all included under the general name of tariff.

Governments are usually averse to laying direct taxes, as the people are less willing to pay them than indirect taxes. Only three direct taxes have been laid in the United States since the formation of the federal government.

It has been provided by our constitution that " representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states within this union, according

How may smuggled goods be disposed of?

Who pays the duty in the first instance?

Who pays it finally?

What is meant by imposts?

Why are governments averse to laying direct taxes?

How many direct taxes have ever been laid in the United


to their respective numbers." Notwithstanding the constitution mentions "states," it has been decided by the Supreme Court of the United States that direct taxes may be laid at the same time on the District of Columbia, and on the territories, although they have no representatives in congress. For the term "United States" is the name of the American Empire, and includes states, districts and territories; in a word, all lands over which the government of the United States extends, and has jurisdiction. So that the territories are as much a part of the United States as Virginia or Pennsylvania.

Therefore, that clause in the constitution above mentioned, was not introduced to restrict direct taxes to the states, but to show how direct taxes should be apportioned.

But congress have a discretionary power to extend a direct tax to the district and territories, or to limit it to the states.


"Congress has power to borrow money on the credit of the United States." There may be times when the immediate revenue of the government will

Can a direct tax be laid on the District of Columbia and the territories?

What is included under the term United States?

What discretionary power has congress?

Has congress power to borrow money on the credit of the United States?

not be sufficient to meet necessary expenses, as in cases of emergency, or in any unexpected failure of the usual sources of revenue. If congress had not this power of borrowing money and pledging the United States for the payment of it, the efficiency of the national government would be impaired, and its very existence endangered. But by obtaining a loan, the government might still continue its operations in undisturbed activity.


"Congress has power to regulate commerce with foreign nations." Commerce is an interchange of goods or productions between nations or individuals by barter, or by purchase and sale. Thus we send our cotton, tobacco, rice, &c. to Europe; and we send to the West Indies for sugar, molasses, coffee, &c. ; to China, for teas; to the East Indies for silks, spices, and other things. These transactions are called


One of the great objections to the articles of confederation was that they gave no power to the general government to regulate commerce. Foreign governments could impose heavy duties on all Amer

Why is such a power necessary?

What power has congress with regard to commerce?

What is commerce?

What was one of the great objections to the articles of confedera


ican products brought to their market, but such was the want of combination among the several states, that they could not unite on any scale of duties to be imposed on foreign goods brought to our market.

The merchants were therefore among the first and most urgent for a constitution which would give congress power to protect the commercial interests of the country.

Commerce has ever been one of the great sources of national wealth. The United States engaged in it early, extensively, and perseveringly; and now our merchant vessels are seen in every sea, bearing aloft our national flag, with its stripes and stars flapping in the breeze.

The questions arising from the commerce of the country, have been among the most important and exciting that have arisen since the adoption of the constitution. The highest talent in the union has been called out in debates in congress on these questions, and the very existence of the union has been threatened.

This power of congress to regulate commerce, is a very general and extensive power. Under it congress has power to make all necessary regulations for the navigation of vessels; to determine what shall constitute an American vessel; to require that they shall be navigated by American seamen, &c., &c.

Why was this objection an important one?
Who were the first to move for a constitution?
What is said of the commerce of the United States?
What power has congress with regard to vessels ?

Congress has power to regulate not only foreign commerce, but also "commerce among the states." The products of the United States are so various and abundant, that the traffic from one part of the union to another is of great importance. If one state or more could make a regulation, or pass a law to benefit themselves at the expense of the rest of the states, injustice and irregularity must have been the result.

If, for instance, the state of Virginia could lay a state tax or duty on all boots and shoes brought into that state from the northern states, she would not only be taxing her own people, but cause a diminution of trade between herself and those states.

Or, suppose Georgia were to lay a duty on boots and shoes from Massachusetts, while she admitted those from other states free; it would be unjust to Massachusetts, and would probably drive her goods out of the Georgia market. Massachusetts might reciprocate the act by laying a duty on all cotton from Georgia, and thus destroy the trade between the two


But as the states have delegated this power to the general government, that government alone can exercise it. The states themselves have no farther control of it.

Under this power congress has a right to regulate

Has congress any power over commerce among the states? Why ought congress to have power to regulate commerce among the states?

Whence does the general government derive this power?

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