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the revision and control of congress; so, that sufficient provision is made for the convenient arrangement of their domestic and internal trade, whenever it is not injurious to the general interests.
§ 498. Inspection laws are not, strictly speaking, regulations of commerce, though they may have a remote and considerable influence on commerce. The object of inspection laws is to improve the quality of articles produced by the labour of a country; to fit them for exportation, or for domestic use. These laws act upon the subject, before it becomes an article of commerce, foreign or domestic, and prepare it for the purpose. They form a portion of that immense mass of legislation, which embraces every thing in the territory of a state not surrendered to the general government. Inspection laws, quarantine laws, and health laws, as well as laws for regulating the internal commerce of a state, and others, which respect roads, fences, &c. are component parts of state legislation, resulting from the residuary powers of state sovereignty. No direct power over these is given to congress, and consequently they remain subject to state legislation, though they may be controlled by congress, when they interfere with their acknowledged powers. The power to lay duties and imposts on imports and exports, and to lay a tonnage duty, are doubtless properly considered a part of the taxing power; but they may also be applied, as a regulation of commerce.
§ 499. Until a recent period, no difficulty occurred in regard to the prohibitions of this clause. Congress, with a just liberality, gave full effect to the inspection laws of the states, and required them to be observed by the revenue officers of the United States. In the vear 1821, the state of Maryland passed an act requir
ing, that all importers of foreign articles or commodities, &c. by bale or package, or of wine, rum, &c. &c., and other persons selling the same by wholesale, bale, or package, hogshead, barrel, or tierce, should, before they were authorized to sell, take out a license, for which they were to pay fifty dollars, under certain penalties. Upon this act a question arose, whether it was, or not a violation of the constitution of the United States, and especially of the prohibitory clause now under consideration. Upon solemn argument, the Supreme Court decided, that it was.
§ 500. As the power of taxation exists in the states concurrently with the United States, subject only to the restrictions imposed by the constitution, several questions have from time to time arisen in regard to the nature and extent of the state power of taxation.
§ 501. In the year 1818, the state of Maryland passed an act, laying a tax on all banks, and branches thereof, not chartered by the legislature of that state; and a question was made, whether the state had a right under that act to lay a tax on the Branch Bank of the United States in that state. This gave rise to a most animated discussion in the Supreme Court of the United States; where it was finally decided, that the tax was, as to the Bank of the United States, unconstitutional.
§ 502. In another case the question was raised, whether a state had a constitutional authority to tax stock issued for loans to the United States; and it was held by the Supreme Court, that a state had not.
503. It is observable, that these decisions turn upon the point, that no state can have authority to tax an instrument of the United States, or thereby to diminish the means of the United States, used in the
exercise of powers confided to it. But there is no prohibition upon any state to tax any bank or other corporation created by its own authority, unless it has restrained itself, by the charter of incorporation, from the power of taxation. of taxation. It may be added, that congress may, without doubt, tax state banks; for it is clearly within the taxing power confided to the general government. When congress tax the chartered institutions of the states, they tax their own constituents; and such taxes must be uniform. But when a state taxes an institution created by congress, it taxes an instrument of a superior and independent sovereignty, not represented in the state legislature.
POWER ΤΟ BORROW MONEY AND REGULATE COMMERCE.
504. HAVING finished this examination of the power of taxation, and of the accompanying restrictions and prohibitions, the other powers of congress will be now examined in the order, in which they stand in the eighth section.
§ 505. The next, is the power of congress, "to "borrow money on the credit of the United States." This power seems indispensable to the sovereignty and existence of a national government. Even under the confederation this power was expressly delegated. The remark is unquestionably just, that it is a power inseparably connected with that of raising a revenue, and with the duty of protection, which that power imposes upon the general government. Though in times of profound peace it may not be ordinarily necessary to anticipate the revenues of a state; yet the experience of all nations must convince us, that the burthen and expenses of one year in time of war may more than equal the ordinary revenue of ten years. Hence, a debt is almost unavoidable, when a nation is plunged into a state of war. The least burthensome mode of contracting a debt is by a loan. Indeed, this recourse becomes the more necessary, because the ordinary duties upon importations are subject to great diminution and fluctuations in times of war; and a resort to direct taxes for the whole supply would, under such circumstances, become oppressive and ruinous to the agricultural interests of the country. Even in times of peace
exigencies may occur, which render a loan the most facile, economical, and ready means of supply, either to meet expenses, or to avert calamities, or to save the country from an undue depression of its staple productions. The government of the United States has, on several occasions in times of profound peace, obtained large loans, among which a striking illustration of the economy and convenience of such arrangements will be found in the creation of stock on the purchase of Louisiana. The power to borrow money by the United States cannot (as has been already seen) in any way be controlled, or interfered with by the states. The grant of the power is incompatible with any restraining or controlling power; and the declaration of supremacy in the constitution is a declaration that no such restraining or controlling power shall be exercised.
§ 506. The next power of congress is, "to regulate "commerce with foreign nations, and among the sev"eral states, and with the Indian tribes."
§ 507. The want of this power (as has been already seen) was one of the leading defects of the confederation, and probably, as much as any one cause, conduced to the establishment of the constitution. It is a power vital to the prosperity of the Union; and without it the government would scarcely deserve the name of a national government; and would soon sink into discredit and imbecility. It would stand, as a mere shadow of sovereignty, to mock our hopes, and involve us in a common ruin.
§ 508. The oppressed and degraded state of commerce, previous to the adoption of the constitution, can scarcely be forgotten. It was regulated by foreign nations with a single view to their own interests; and