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The CSA, Switzerland, and the Articles of Confederation

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No2statism Posted: Fri, Jun 17 2011 9:42 AM

Aren't all of those actually federations?  Why was the CSA called the "Confederacy" if it was, in some ways, more centralized than the US?

Switzerland isn't a true confederation is it?

What about the Articles of Confederation?  I don't know if that was a true confederation either, and the common criticism of it that the states were going to kill each other doesn't make any sense to me.

What are some examples of true confederations throughout history?

Also, are there any works written by Rothbard that center on confederalism?

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James replied on Fri, Jun 17 2011 9:04 PM

The CSA constitution omitted the "general welfare" clauses, thereby more strictly limiting the authority of Congress.


CSA  Article 1 s. viii:

The Congress shall have power -

1. To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises for revenue, necessary to pay the debts, provide for the common defense, and carry on the Government of the Confederate States; but no bounties shall be granted from the Treasury; nor shall any duties or taxes on importations from foreign nations be laid to promote or foster any branch of industry; and all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the Confederate States.

USA Article I s. viii:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States

Some further interesting provisions in the CSA constitution include a prohibition on any monies appropriated by Congress going towards "any internal improvement intended to facilitate commerce; except for the purpose of furnishing lights, beacons, and buoys, and other aids to navigation upon the coasts, and the improvement of harbors and the removing of obstructions in river navigation; in all which cases such duties shall be laid on the navigation facilitated thereby as may be necessary to pay the costs and expenses thereof."

As well as Article 1 s. viii ss. 20:

"Every law, or resolution having the force of law, shall relate to but one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title."

Can you imagine that in the US Congress today?  Lol.

Anyway, the CS constitution specified the role of the central government as essentially the defense and foreign affairs ministries with necessary admin, as well as a highly limited role facilitating the movement of interstate and international commerce, whereas the US constitution allows it to be much, much more than that.

Slavery was a questionable point in CS constitution, because although it contained provisions protecting it as a domestic institution, it maintained the ban on the international slave trade...  This was a strange form of protectionism in the CS constitution itself.

Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro
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