Article 1, Section 8 of the United State Constitution (the “Postal Clause”) states that “The Congress shall have the power . . . to establish Post Offices and Post Roads.” Though at ratification the Postal Clause was inserted with very little discussion, there was increasing debate, involving such famous names as Lysander Spooner, as to whether or not the Postal Clause granted Congress a monopoly over the American postal system. In fact, some adventurous Americans, who did not believe that the Postal Clause granted to Congress a postal monopoly, created their own private mail services that nearly eradicated the Post Office Department in the mid-1850s. Because there was little discussion of the Postal Clause up its insertion into the Constitution, the Article seeks to ascertain the Postal Clause’s meaning primarily through examining the history of the English and American postal systems.

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