Massachusetts

United States of America

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. Most of its population of 6.6 million lives in the Boston metropolitan area. The eastern half of the state is made up of urban, suburban, and rural areas, while Western Massachusetts is mostly rural.

  • Country

    United States of America                          

  • The Place

    Massachusetts                                     

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  • This time, however, the naysayers were better able to hold their own. To be sure, when Kingsley (Harvard 1778) and Samuel Willard (Harvard 1767, a delegate from Uxbridge in Worcester County) dipped into ancient history, citing Sparta, Athens, Rome, and the “Amphictionick League” to support their arguments, the Federalists quickly dismissed the relevance of their examples for a modern republic (and also questioned the accuracy of Kingsley’s history). Critics of the provision were more effective when they spoke from their own experience. Ebenezer Peirce disputed claims that Congress would ordinarily depend on revenue from import duties based on his experience as a state legislator. When Massachusetts agreed to grant the Confederation Congress the right to levy duties on imports, he recalled, “gentlemen in trade” argued that duties were “an unequal tax” that bore particularly hard on them—even though they could pass most of the cost on to consumers—since “in the first instance it was paid by persons in trade,” and they consumed more dutied articles than “the landed interest.” The same argument would push Congress to impose direct taxes (for example, on polls or real estate) rather than rely on income from duties, particularly since Northern merchants would get support from the Southern states, which had “no manufacturers of their own” and so consumed far more imports than the Northern states.77

    Pauline MaierRatification

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