Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

No Tribute for Safe Passage

                    The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Article I.9.6:  "[No] Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another."  This constitutional clause says that the owners of ships - vessels - can proceed from one port to any other port without having to pay tribute to any port between them.

                    W. Cleon Skousen explained this clause as follows:  "Like the Barbary Pirates, a number of states would not allow vessels to pass their shores without coming into port for clearance and the payment of tribute.  This provision was designed to guarantee freedom of the coastal seas."  (See The Making of America - The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, p. 484.)

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