Front Page Titles (by Subject) Powers Delegated to Congress - Liberty, Order, and Justice: An Introduction to the Constitutional Principles of American Government
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Powers Delegated to Congress - James McClellan, Liberty, Order, and Justice: An Introduction to the Constitutional Principles of American Government 
Liberty, Order, and Justice: An Introduction to the Constitutional Principles of American Government (3rd ed.) (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2000).
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Powers Delegated to Congress
To understand the federal system of government set up by the Constitution, we must look first at Article I, Sections 8, 9, and 10 of that document. Sections 8 and 9 assign some powers to the general government, and deny that general government other powers; Section 10 denies certain powers to the State governments.
By these provisions, the Congress—that is, the Federal government—is authorized to “lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.” Thus the new Constitution gave the National Government money-raising power that the government of the Articles of Confederation never had enjoyed.
Many other powers were delegated by the States to Congress by the Constitution—powers that we now take for granted, but which in 1787 made many, and perhaps most, Americans very uneasy. As John Quincy Adams said in 1839, the Constitution “had been extorted from the grinding necessity of a reluctant nation.” Independent of Britain for only a few years, the citizens of the new Republic did not relish the notion of surrendering State sovereignty, even some of it, to a national government. Indeed, even some villages and townships thought of themselves as sovereign, free from any higher political authority. They resented the interference of even State governments. So it is not surprising that the powers given to Congress by Article I of the Constitution alarmed some of the men who had been foremost in the struggle against British rule.
Section 8 of Article I also authorized the Congress to borrow money, regulate foreign and interstate trade, coin money, establish post offices and post roads, establish Federal courts, declare war, raise armies and build navies, put down rebellions, organize an armed militia within the States, and do all things “necessary and proper” to put into effect these and certain other specified powers. Today, nobody is surprised that the Federal government establishes rules for naturalization and bankruptcy, punishes counterfeiters, grants copyrights and patents. Yet until the Constitution was ratified in 1788, the government of the United States performed no such functions.