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The Power Of Congress To Regulate And Enfore The Interstate Trade Clause In The Constitution

1638 words - 7 pages

The "Declaration of Independence" revealed the birth of a new nation. Its foundation rested on no particular grievance, but many against King George III and the British people. Thomas Jefferson lists "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" as the rights of all man. In the late 1700s with the formation of the American these rights were understood, however, there were no documents to officially uphold these rights aside from the "Declaration of Independence.".The thirteen confederate states therefore agreed upon the Articles of Confederation. These articles were a loose agreement for a new government which put strong emphasis on State rights. The Articles of Confederation did not allow the national government to levy taxes, set tariffs, or regulate interstate. These flaws in the articles led to perhaps one of the greatest political conventions ever held. The Constitutional Convention gave America a strong ground to stand on with the new Constitution. The Convention laid out what Powers Congress shall have in the means of commerce as expressed in Article I, section 8. The commerce power started as an issue of debate at the Constitutional Convention as the early American colonies showed the weakness of the Governments power to regulate commerce. The power has evolved over time with significant developments which gives America maybe a different understanding of how the Founders perceived the law.The Constitutional Convention started with many objectives to strengthen the national government. The first question which arose was whether to create a new document or to revise the Articles. The decision was made early on to throw out the Articles and draft a new document which became know as "The Constitution." One main objective of the convention was to strengthen the economic power of the new states, and layout a plan for economic power to be shared in the Federal Government. The first issue relating to commerce at the convention was presented by James Monroe. Monroe proposed, "THAT the first paragraph of the ninth of the articles of confederation be altered, so as to read thus, viz"(7), as the ninth article denied Congress many powers the Federalists felt essential to the national government. The ninth article restricted Congress from having power to regulate trade between states, as well as with foreign nations, and putting a tax on all imports and exports. The article also allowed states also had the power to import and export any goods and collect the tax on those goods to strengthen only the states economic power, and not that of the national government.Foreign nations are a key element in the Commitees argument as he focuses on how friendly commercial intercourse will be upheld if each state is acting independently. Monroe asks, "If then the commercial regulations of any foreign power, contravene the interests of any particular state, if they refuse admittance to its produce into its ports, upon the same terms that the state admits its...

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