(Authors note: Several readers have asked about the importance of covering the fact Madison, Hamilton, and others were pushing a nationalist form of government. This information is critical because the nationalist/monarchical form of government that was introduced and supported by Madison, Hamilton and others was repeatedly defeated, both in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and the subsequent state ratifying conventions. Unfortunately, what our founders intended, a Republic, has long since been abandoned for the nationalist form of government the majority opposed. In fact, our government has morphed into a National Socialist form of government not ideologically different than the National Socialist government of Germany in the 30’s and 40’s.)
Regardless of how many times you read it, or how many revisionist court historians write it, there is absolutely no evidence available which indicates there was a groundswell of support among the people for abandoning the Articles of Confederation.
Where might one go to discover the truth of my allegation? Why not to the words of the man who most wanted to change the limitations of the Articles to a form of government much more to his liking; a monarchy, and failing that, a strong centralized national government: Alexander Hamilton. Here it is in his words.
“Men of intelligence, discovered the feebleness of the structure, [Articles of Confederation] but the great body of the people, too much engrossed with their distresses to contemplate any but the immediate causes of them, were ignorant of the defects of their Constitution.”
Patrick Henry of Virginia saw through the deception; he did not believe the Articles were weak. Speaking to the subject he said:
“The Confederation; this same despised Government, merits, in my opinion, the highest encomium: it carried us through a long and dangerous war. It rendered us victorious in that bloody conflict with a powerful nation: it has secured us a territory greater than any Monarch possesses. And a government which has been thus strong and vigorous be accused of imbecility and abandoned for a want of energy…Why then tell us dangers to terrify us into an adoption of this new Government? And yet who knows the dangers this new system may produce; they are out of sight of the common people. It is for them I fear the adoption of this new system. Sir, it is the fortune of a free people, not to be intimidated by imaginary dangers. Fear is the passion of slaves.”
We know that the framers of the Articles of Confederation had included the following in Article II of our first Constitution.
“Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.”
This was one of the conditions present in the Articles that the nationalists/monarchists knew they had to eliminate. They simply did not want to contend with the ideas, questions and objections from 13 different colonies but instead wanted to have the people in aggregate (a nation) controlled by a central, all-powerful form of government, which they would, of course, lead. Just check how many so-called Federalists would serve in their newly created government. This would leave the states having very little to no voice in how they would be governed. Is any of this beginning to sound familiar?
The states, “retaining their sovereignty, freedom and independence” from the control of “men of intelligence” as Hamilton had described himself and his cronies would have as their government a confederated republic, the complete antithesis of a nationalist form of government. In addition, none of the “men of intelligence” wanted a government that would be limited to those powers which would be “expressly delegated” through the “consent of the governed.”
Again, understanding the difference between “expressly delegated” powers and “granted” powers is to understand the crucial difference in tyranny and limited, representative government. Expressly delegated means there is no room for “interpretation” by government employees and bureaucrats and clearly defines the intent of our founders.
It is of the highest importance that one understands that the federal government in the Articles of Confederation could operate only on the states; it had no control or power over individuals.
If an egregious or tyrannical law was passed by the federal government, the states had the ability to simply ignore it; known today as nullification or state interposition. The federal government could not arrest or imprison a state. Therefore, the “intelligent men,” in Hamilton’s view, realized they must have a national form of government that could and would act on the individual.
I believe this to be the very first confrontation between nationalists and advocates of State’s Rights, a battle that would surface again in the 1830’s with Justice Joseph Story and Senator Daniel Webster on the side of nationalism and Senator John C. Calhoun on the side of State’s Rights. (This battle of words and ideas will be covered later in our studies) This battle of ideas would eventually lead to an open, bloody war in 1861; a war that would take the lives of over 800,000 individuals and permanently install a nationalist form of government in our country.
Every malady and malaise that faces us in our country today can be traced to the implementation of nationalism instead of a strict adherence to the rights of the people of a state to nullify acts of government. Ah, but ignorance reigns supreme, for on any given day you can find a group of people somewhere who mistakenly believe they are being “patriotic,” robotically pledging allegiance to “One nation…indivisible,” a phrase which was written by a national socialist.
It is also of importance that when the Constitutional Convention of 1787 opened in May of that year, a time when representatives of only 6 states were in attendance, the first resolution adopted, stated, “a national government ought to be established.” Again, to illustrate that the idea of a national form of government was repeatedly voted down in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 once representatives from other states had arrived, the record of the proceedings as recorded by Robert Yates, delegate from New York, commonly known as “Yates Minutes,” stated the following:
“Ellsworth. [Oliver Ellsworth, delegate from Connecticut] I propose, and therefore move, to expunge the word ‘national’ in the first resolve, and to place in the room of it, government of the United States,’ which was agreed to nem con.”
Hopefully, this session has clearly illustrated that our current form of government which is totally nationalist in nature, though it was proposed and supported by several of our founders who declared themselves to be “intelligent men,” is not the form of government favored by the majority of our founders and ratified by the several states.
Almost entirely omitted from most writings on our founding era is one of the true motives of the nationalists was to take the power of governing from those in the state legislatures whom they deemed to be inferior to themselves and placing that governing power into the hands of the elite. For evidence of this I offer the following:
From Patrick Henry, “The Constitution reflects in the most degrading and mortifying manner on the virtue, integrity, and wisdom of the state legislatures; it presupposes that the chosen few who go to Congress will have more upright hearts, and more enlightened minds, than those who are members of the individual legislatures.”
James Madison, [the Constitution will lead to] “extracting from the mass of the society the purest and noblest characters which it contains.” (Is this the type of character we have in government today?)
John Quincy Adams saw the Constitution as “calculated to increase the influence, power and wealth of those who have it already.”
As stated by one of the Anti-federalists, the plan of the Constitution was “dangerously adapted to the purposes of an immediate aristocratic tyranny.”
If you maintain any thought that our present government is not an “aristocratic tyranny” just go to www.opensecrets.org and research the wealth and position of our current members of Congress and the “dark money” that drives our government.
(Part IV coming soon to an email near you.)