Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The origin of the Constitution of the United States of America



The origin of the Constitution of the
 United States of America
By: Tony Marano

The Constitution of the United States of America is a document simple to read, short in its length, enormous in its impact, and vastly miss understood.  It is in that misunderstanding America finds itself with a considerable portion of the populace thinking the federal government is to be all things to all people, basically mommy and daddy. 

With any legislation to properly interpret the contents one must be familiar with the intent and motivation of the legislators who enacted it.   With the United States Constitution to properly interpret the law, the intent of the Founders and their motivation is paramount.  This essay will attempt to fill that void.


The American Revolution (American War of Independence) basically ended in 1781.  In essence the military portion ended in 1781 when in Yorktown, Virginia (Siege of Yorktown) British Lieutenant General Lord Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington (an American general – sorry about the clarification).  Politically the war ended with the Treaty of Paris 1783.

Upon the cessation of hostilities the thirteen states continued politically bounded by the law of the land “The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union” popularly referred to as “The Articles of Confederation.”  These articles were drafted by the Continental Congress in 1776 and completed ratification by the 13 states in 1781.  The Articles assigned international credibility to the Continental Congress in the execution of the War (The American Revolution / The War of Independence).  They also provided a loose cohesiveness among the 13 states. 

These articles were written by men who arguably had a rightful distrust of government.  Governments as instituted by people lend itself to becoming overpowering, interfering with the freedoms of the people.  We humans are known to be inherently flawed; however with governing laws limiting their powers, the hope was to reduce the inevitable march to tyranny.  The Articles were purposely written to be weak and leave much of the governing, taxing, and legislative authority to the 13 states. 

The thought here was “most bad government has grown out of too much government” (Thomas Jefferson).  With a weak national government, the states were free to maintain their sovereignty without any fear from a central government.  Remember the Revolution was a revolt against a central government in London.  Due to the loose configuration of the government states here are some of the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation:

-       States printed their own money
-       Some states were making agreements with foreign governments
-       Most states had their own military
-       National government relied on monetary support from the states
-       Each state had one vote in Congress
-       A 9/13 majority was required to pass laws in Congress
-       Congress had no power to tax (a weakness?  Reads like a strength today)
-       Congress could not regulated foreign and interstate commerce
-       No national court system
-       No executive branch to enforce acts passed by Congress
-       Amendments to the Articles required a unanimous vote

The preamble to the Articles of Confederation simply reads:

“To all to whom these Presents shall come, we the undersigned Delegates of the States affixed to our Names send greeting.

Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts-bay Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.”

While the preamble to the United States Constitution reads:

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”        

With this new nation and new style of governance, commerce between the states became challenging, while foreign nation found it difficult to deal with thirteen governments.  There were tariffs between states and different forms of money.  Some states would accept money from one state while denying money printed in another state. 

An issue arose or more accurately an event causing alarm among the thirteen states while questioning the solvency of the nation.  That event was called “Shay’s Rebellion.”  It was a short lived rebellion of about six months from the fall of 1786 to 1787, mainly in Western Massachusetts.

Massachusetts to pay its debts continued to raise taxes.  People who could not pay the rising taxes had their farms confiscated, others were imprisoned.  This caused discontent with government just a few years after the American Revolution.  The revolution spirit was still fresh and distrust for government amplified with the aroma of victory still fresh floating along with the midst rolling through the hills and mountains of New England (“Massachusetts” is a state in the New England region – once again sorry for the remedial information).        

A rebellion in Massachusetts arose under the leadership of Daniel Shay, a former captain in the Continental Army. James Bowdoin the governor of Massachusetts organized an army funded by merchants.  The rebellion quickly fell apart.

The rebellion was short-lived while exposing the weakness of the national government and venerability to either armed insurrection, or worse, a foreign invasion.  Upon receiving this wake-up call from Shay’s Rebellion, the thirteen new states inhaled the smelling salts and realized the Articles of Confederation need to be reviewed with the intention of making the security of the nation attainable. 

The states saw the necessity to revise the Articles of Confederation agreeing to send delegates to Philadelphia the spring / summer of 1787.  What would later be titled “The Constitutional Convention began May 25, 1787, with fifty-five delegates, ending September 17, 1787. 

Meeting during that summer in Philadelphia the delegates soon realized the “Articles” were unworkable and agreed to draft a new constitution for these here United States of America.

These were learned men well read in academics, capitalism, and representative government.  They knew governments were inherently evil because they were comprised of men (humans).  Their works that summer was to create a government limited in its authority realizing governments govern from the consent of the people.  Not that people have rights and privileges granted by government.  Rights come from God, not government.  Rights to be protected from government.

“Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.”
----- Thomas Jefferson


If you read the constitution it is a document guaranteeing the rights of the people, limited government, and basically no protected rights to the government.  This was the standard interpretation of the Constitution up to the 1930’s when the President Franklin Roosevelt Supreme Court bastardized “the interstate commerce clause” to mean the government to be all powerful and intrusive. 

Article 1, Section 8, Clause3:

“The Congress shall have Power to regulate Commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes.” 

This clause was always tempered with the 10th Amendment:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The 10th Amendment means if an item is not addressed in the Constitution, then it prohibits the Federal government from engaging in as it belongs to the States. 

Back to the “Interstate Commerce Clause:” To put it simplistically it was meant for the Federal government to effect, allow, and promote commerce /trade between the states.  This meant establishing a national currency and eliminating tariffs / taxes on goods and services between the states. 

As we have seen since the bastardization of the Interstate Commerce Clause, the Federal government has issued laws, rules, and regulations that hinder business and does nothing to promote it.  From the 1930’s to date by the continued bastardization of this Clause the Congress and Federal Courts have ignored the intent of the Founders and promoted the Progressive view of a Constitution to be renewed through judicial interpretation rather than the “amendment” avenue left to us by the Founders.

ObamaCare “Affordable Care Act” was recently protected by the Supreme Court by labeling it a tax disregarding the administration claiming it fell under the “interstate commerce clause,” along with their same party colleagues in the Senate and House of Representatives.  

“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”
        -----Abraham Lincoln

If any of the fifty-five delegates from 1787 would return today they would not recognize the government they thought they left us, and then ask for a musket.  It has been reported when the Constitutional Convention ended upon leaving Independence Hall Benjamin Franklyn was asked by a woman something to the effect:

     “What type of government will the Constitution bring us?”

Benjamin Franklyn replied:

     “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Did we?

The so-called “establishment clause” is an outstanding example how the Constitution has been forcibly dragged away from the intent of the Founders.

The first right to be protected by the Constitution appears in the First Amendment which reads in part,

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Here is where it gets very interesting:  Notice it was religious liberty they protected first and against the intrusion by the Federal government.  In the early days of the Republic after the Constitution was passed as the law of the land, a few states still had state religions.  Several States after ratification of Constitution maintained establishment religions later to be abandoned by their state legislatures.    

It was accepted at the dawning of the Republic the Constitution only restricted the Federal government, not state governments.  This was explained in the Federalist Papers, a collection of writings composed by a few Constitutional Convention delegates to explain the document to the states.  Subsequently after a few years states that had state religions decided to abandoned the idea.  Also later Supreme Court rulings established the Constitution as primary above the states.

Nowhere in the Constitution can one locate “establishment clause,” or “separation of church and state.”  In 1801 Thomas Jefferson took the oath of office after being elected President.  He received a letter from The Danbury Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut asking for an understanding of the Constitutional protection of religion.  Here is the text of that letter to President Jefferson:

“Sir, — Among the many millions in America and Europe who rejoice in your Election to office; we embrace the first opportunity which we have enjoyd in our collective capacity, since your Inauguration, to express our great satisfaction, in your appointment to the chief Majestracy in the United States; And though our mode of expression may be less courtly and pompious than what many others clothe their addresses with, we beg you, Sir to believe, that none are more sincere.

Our Sentiments are uniformly on the side of Religious Liberty — That Religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals — That no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious Opinions - That the legitimate Power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor: But Sir our constitution of government is not specific. Our ancient charter together with the Laws made coincident therewith, were adopted on the Basis of our government, at the time of our revolution; and such had been our Laws & usages, and such still are; that Religion is considered as the first object of Legislation; and therefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the State) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights: and these favors we receive at the expense of such degrading acknowledgements, as are inconsistent with the rights of freemen. It is not to be wondered at therefore; if those, who seek after power & gain under the pretense of government & Religion should reproach their fellow men — should reproach their chief Magistrate, as an enemy of religion Law & good order because he will not, dare not assume the prerogatives of Jehovah and make Laws to govern the Kingdom of Christ.

Sir, we are sensible that the President of the United States, is not the national legislator, and also sensible that the national government cannot destroy the Laws of each State; but our hopes are strong that the sentiments of our beloved President, which have had such genial affect already, like the radiant beams of the Sun, will shine and prevail through all these States and all the world till Hierarchy and Tyranny be destroyed from the Earth. Sir, when we reflect on your past services, and see a glow of philanthropy and good will shining forth in a course of more than thirty years we have reason to believe that America's God has raised you up to fill the chair of State out of that good will which he bears to the Millions which you preside over. May God strengthen you for the arduous task which providence & the voice of the people have cald you to sustain and support you in your Administration against all the predetermined opposition of those who wish to rise to wealth & importance on the poverty and subjection of the people.

And may the Lord preserve you safe from every evil and bring you at last to his Heavenly Kingdom through Jesus Christ our Glorious Mediator.

Signed in behalf of the Association.

Nehh Dodge
Ephram Robbins The Committee
Stephen S. Nelson 


President Jefferson’s response:

“Gentlemen,--The affectionate sentiment of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist Association, give me the highest satisfaction. My duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature would "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and Creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association, assurances of my high respect and esteem.”     


President Jefferson wrote in the above correspondence, “….thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.” 

That was all the Supreme Court in 1878 had to read, nearly 76 years after President Jefferson wrote it.  The Court read the President’s letter, saw the “separation of church and state,” and labeled it the establishment clause as it must have been the intent of the Founders because Thomas Jefferson wrote it in that letter.

One problem with that, Thomas Jefferson was not in attendance at the Constitutional Convention in 1787.  Mr. Jefferson was in Europe as the United States Minister to France (ambassador). 

As if that attack upon the First Amendment was not enough, in the last forty years the indoctrinators (teachers) in our reeducation camps (public schools) do not teach the Constitution.  Better to keep the future voter populace ignorant of the law of the land allowing liberals to violate it at will.  When they do instruct about “separation of church and state,” the part of the First Amendment they quote is,

     “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,….”

They purposely and conveniently leave out the rest of that clause,

     “….or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” 

Challenge:  Ask anyone you might know who has been a victim of a public school education in the last forty-years about the First Amendment and religion, and see how many are unaware of “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”  Congratulations to the liberals upon their success (sarcasm).

“Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”
     ------Thomas Jefferson


Now on to the intent of the Fourteenth Amendment, passed after the American Civil War (1861 – 1865) adopted in 1868.  The intent of this Amendment was to make sure free slaves were accorded full rights and privileges protected by the Constitution.  Basically they were to enjoy full citizenship in an attempt to block Southern states that were moving to reduce their citizenship. 

Guess what?  You guessed it, the liberals came along and bastardized this Amendment to grant citizenship to those born in the USA of mothers who were illegally in the USA.  


That hot summer in 1787 the fifty-delegates in Philadelphia composed a document the envy of the world giving birth to a nation with the greatest of freedoms, protected God given freedoms.  Freedoms attracting the weary and talented to our shores for two-hundred forty four years (ratified in 1788).

Given birth to a term the “American Dream,” recognized, respected, and idolized the world over.  “American Dream” a derivative of a an ethos from 1776 “Empire of Liberty” morphed into various terms finally codified as a phrase in the 1931 book “Epic of America,” by James Truslow Adams. 

The “American Dream” made possible in a land with limited government, the freedom to grow, to achieve unbounded by a central government.  Freedoms appreciated by the Founders only to be assaulted by extreme liberals first self-identified as “progressives.”  That term, “progressives” became dirty then they masqueraded as liberals.  Now as the term “liberal” becomes tarnish due to their repulsive attacks upon our freedoms they now are morphing back to the label “progressives.” 

Call them “liberals,” call them “progressives,” they are still present an ever growing danger to our freedoms and the very fabric that made this country the great American Dream.          
  
“When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.“
           -----Thomas Jefferson


“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
         ----- Abraham Lincoln

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