As the three immediately preceding chapters have disclosed, the settlement of individual civilian and military claims against the United States--the national domestic debt-- and the settlement of wartime accounts between the United States and the respective states possessed political as well as financial significance and together composed one of the two issues upon which state-federal relations centered. The second and related issue was, as previously indicated, the matter of securing revenue for the United States government, either through the requisition system employed under the Articles of Confederation or through direct tax powers secured for Congress by amendment of the articles. These revenue options contained primary political importance, for the requisition system maintained Congress' dependence upon the states whereas the establishment of congressional taxes would significantly strengthen the central government at the financial and political expense of the states. Federalists thus deplored the requisition system, but they had little choice except to employ it as an expedient until such time as their efforts to secure congressional tax powers should meet with success.1. The implementation of the requisition system and the struggle over the establishment of congressional taxes were, therefore, matters that proceeded simultaneously during the immediate postwar period.
The requisition system had been formally initiated in November, 1777, but, as previously revealed, North Carolina's own desperate financial needs--reinforced by disappointment____________________