The Bankruptcy Clause of the Constitution was one of Congress's several delegated powers in Article I, Section 8, that were designed to encourage the development of a commercial republic and to temper the excesses of pro-debtor state legislation that proliferated under the Articles of Confederation. Both state legislation and state courts tended to use debtor-creditor laws to redistribute money from out-of-state and urban creditors to rural agricultural interests. Under the Articles of Confederation, the states alone governed debtor-creditor relations, and that led to diverse and contradictory state laws. It was unclear, for instance, whether a state law that purported to discharge a debtor of a debt prohibited the creditor from trying to collect the debt in another state. Pro-debtor state laws also interfered with the reliability of contracts, and creditors confronted still further obstructions in trying to use state courts to collect their judgments, especially when debtors absconded to other states to avoid collection.