of people; we alone who are possessed of the power to create or to abandon.
God knows it was a great, a priceless, power these people-as- States claimed for themselves. True, not everyone saw it that way. Mr. Justice Story, for one, never grasped the concept of States. Nor did Jackson. Albert J. Beveridge, in his biography of Marshall, refers sneeringly to the States as "these pompous sovereignties," but in a way, Beveridge's is perhaps a high acknowledgment of the simple truth: These infant States were sovereignties, and the people within them were proudly jealous of the fact. They saw themselves, in Blackstone's phrase, "a supreme, irresistible, absolute, uncontrolled authority."14 This, among other things, was the aim they had fought for. It cannot be imagined that they ever would have relinquished this high power of sovereignty except in the most explicit terms.
The Articles of Confederation
IN TIME, the Continental Congress gave way to the Articles of Confederation. The Articles merit examination with the utmost care; they are too little studied, and there is much to be learned from them.
First proposed in 1778, the Articles became binding upon all the States with Maryland's ratification in 1781. Throughout this period, as the war ran on, each of the States was individually sovereign, each wholly autonomous. Mr. Justice Iredell was to observe, in 1795, that had the individual States decided not to unite together, each would have gone its own way, because each "possessed all the powers of sovereignty, internal and external . . . as completely as any of the ancient kingdoms or republics of the