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[691] the liability to military service, were measures all the less efficacious because they were more severe, and the legislation of which we shall have to speak in the course of this history had scarcely any other object than to strike at those persons—a class which was daily on the increase—who, either as refractory citizens or deserters, sought to evade the rigors of the law of September 27th.

It now remains for us, in continuation of our inquiry, to speak of the financial measures adopted by the Confederate government for the maintenance of its large armies, and to show how, with considerable resources at its command, although precarious and insufficient, it entered upon a course which soon led to a frightful monetary crisis, the result of which was the greatest bankruptcy of modern times.

At the very outset of its organization the new Confederacy, in order to possess and demonstrate a capacity for action, had to create its finances. The chapter of expenses threatened to be heavy; it was necessary to provide for the support of volunteers who had been called to assist in the common defence, and who were passing from the service of the States to that of the central government. The latter had indeed arrogated to itself the same prerogatives that the Federal power possessed under the Constitution of the United States, of which it pretended to be the legitimate successor; but the custom-houses, which formed almost the only source of revenue of the latter, could not, in consequence of the blockade, contribute any resources of importance to the Confederate exchequer. To impose direct taxes upon the populations of the six seceded States was not to be thought of, for they would probably not have accepted the burden without opposition, and the feeble ties that bound them together might have been broken; at all events, the prospect of these new taxes would in all likelihood have had the effect of stopping the other Southern States, which it was important to bring into the league. Mr. Davis' government was, therefore, compelled to resort to public credit, and he made the first of those appeals in that direction which he subsequently abused to so great a degree.

On the 28th of February, 1861, he was authorized by Congress to issue bonds at eight per cent. to the amount of fifteen million dollars; these bonds were to be negotiated on the most

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