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Opinions of the US Constitution in 1787

By Prager, Jeffrey, J.

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Book Id: WPLBN0100003259
Format Type: PDF (eBook)
File Size: 29.08 MB.
Reproduction Date: 01/26/2014

Title: Opinions of the US Constitution in 1787  
Author: Prager, Jeffrey, J.
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, History of America, US Constitution versus Articles of Confederation
Collections: Authors Community, History
Historic
Publication Date:
2014
Publisher: Anarchy Books
Member Page: Jeff Prager

Citation

APA MLA Chicago

Prager, J. J. (2014). Opinions of the US Constitution in 1787. Retrieved from http://ebook2.worldlibrary.net/


Description
We investigate the circumstances surrounding the establishment of the current US Constitution versus the Articles of Confederation and examine the opinions of both the public and the new American aristocracy revealing the public perception of the new US Constitution.

Summary
A collection of public opinions of the new US Constitution garnered from Gazettes and Periodicals in 1787. The public debate in 1787 was defined by Liberty versus Empire, the same debate occurring privately amongst the states representatives.

Excerpt
The founding generation certainly understood that the colonists of an empire could and would be treated as tax slaves or cannon fodder. This was the history of the Old World, and they had fought a revolution to escape such a fate. But the “nationalists,” led by men like Hamilton and centered in New York and New England, also understood that life could be quite grand for those who managed and ruled over an empire. That’s why his party—the Federalists—fought so hard and long for a much more powerful, consolidated, monopolistic government and for mercantilist economic policies. It should be made clear early on that the Federalists won many of the essential debates and the expanding American Empire is a direct result of the Federalists contributions to the US Constitution. As an example, it’s said that the framers believed in a living constitution, because they made explicit provisions for amending the Constitution of 1787. Yet most countries don’t straitjacket their operations with a single rigid document that can never be changed except through an onerous, time-consuming and ill-conceived amendment process that’s almost never successful and that is, in fact, anti-success at its heart. Therefore, the “living Constitution” is a Federalist society boogeyman. It doesn’t exist. We are confined by a document that can’t be changed by the people and written over 200 years ago by men intent on competing with England, France and Spain on an international or global scale. They were the new “American Aristocracy” and their desires and goals included American Empire and that’s the empire we see clearly today. The Constitution, in large part a Federalist and Hamilton construct, is doing exactly what it was designed to do. Clyde Wilson has also made an important distinction between a “nationalist” and a patriot: “Patriotism is the wholesome, constructive love of one’s land and people. Nationalism is the unhealthy love of one’s government, accompanied by the aggressive desire to put down others—which becomes in deracinated modern men a substitute for religious faith. Patriotism is an appropriate, indeed necessary, sentiment for people who wish to preserve their freedom; nationalism is not.” Alexander Hamilton is generally acknowledged as being the most famous nationalist in American history. As Clinton Rossiter explains, “Hamilton’s overriding purpose was to build the foundations of a new empire.” He dreamed of governmental “glory” that “could reach out forcefully and benevolently to every person,” said Rossiter. (Never mind that force and benevolence are more often than not opposites.) To Hamilton’s and other Federalists’ claims that the government needed to be more powerful and consolidated, Patrick Henry sagely responded that the government under the Articles of Confederation was powerful enough to have created and supplied an army that defeated the British Empire. Patrick Henry stood firmly opposed to the new US Constitution and for those of us alive today watching the plunder and looting of cultures in Iraq, Libya and Syria, not to mention our own failing infrastructure and social services, it’s quite easy to see why. At the convention Hamilton proposed a permanent president and senate, with all political power in the national government, as far away as possible from the people, and centered in the executive. He also wanted “all laws of the particular states, contrary to the constitution or laws of the United States [government], to be utterly void,” and he proposed that “the governor... of each state shall be appointed by the general government, and shall have a negative [i.e, a veto] upon the laws about to be passed in the state of which he is a governor.” In plainer language, Hamilton proposed a kind of “king” who would yield supreme power over all people, who in turn would have essentially no say in how their government was run. The states would be mere provinces whose governors would be appointed by and loyal to the “king.” Under such a regime, all political power in the nation would be exercised by the chief executive and his circle of advisors, which would undoubtedly have included Alexander Hamilton as perhaps the chief advisor. Hamilton constantly sought to reassure the states’ rights politicians [the Jeffersonians] that state sovereignty would never be jeopardized by the new Constitution; yet he hoped to abolish state sovereignty once the Constitution was adopted. He also promised, during the constitutional debates at the New York ratifying convention, that the U. S. Congress would never contemplate “marching the troops of one state into the bosom of another” for any reason. But as when he became treasury secretary he personally accompanied President George Washington and some thirteen thousand (mostly conscripted) troops into Pennsylvania to attempt to quell the so-called Whiskey Rebellion. To claim that government policies that benefit small but powerful special interests at the expense of the rest of society are really “in the public interest” is an ancient political tactic. ... But no government policy can be said to be in “the public interest” unless it benefits every member of the public. And this is a rare if not nonexistent occurrence in any democracy. Hamilton was an American mercantilist, and he and his party (and its political heirs, the Whigs and Republicans) advocated special-interest policies that would primarily benefit politically connected merchants, manufacturers, speculators, and bankers at the expense of the rest of the public. The “public interest” rhetoric was (and is) an indispensable political smoke screen if they were to achieve political success. The wool must be pulled over the public’s eyes with “public interest” rhetoric if mercantilism were to succeed. Jefferson and his political compatriots, such as John Taylor, saw through it. Not only were there supposedly “implied” powers in the Constitution that only the wise and lawyerly like Hamilton recognized (but that were foreign to James Madison, who like Jefferson was a strict constructionist), there were also “resulting powers,” Hamilton argued. Thus, if the government engaged in an unconstitutional war of conquest and succeeded, the unconstitutional “powers” would magically become constitutional, in Hamilton’s opinion. Taken to its logical ends, this argument implies that any action of government would be de facto “constitutional” by virtue of the fact that the action occurred. This is how Hamilton viewed the Constitution—as a potential blank check for unlimited powers of government. And this is exactly how the Constitution is working because it was designed to include Hamilton’s “magic” which is “interpretation”. This is also how the Federalists became known as the “court party,” the party of governmental graft, spoils, and patronage. During the American Revolution (and long thereafter) the colonies or states considered themselves to be free and independent. This is the exact language that was used in the Declaration of Independence. They considered themselves to be independent countries, just as Britain and France were independent countries. In the eighteenth century the word congress meant an assembly of sovereign countries. They individually taxed their citizens and borrowed as well to finance the war. When the war ended, King George III of England signed a peace treaty with each individual state, named one by one in the document, and not with some consolidated entity called “the United States government.” The Party of Hamilton also used its power to make it illegal to criticize the government—the Federalist-controlled government, that is. With the Federalist John Adams as president, Congress passed the notorious Sedition Act, which was written so that it would expire the day Adams left office. Journalists, ordinary citizens, and even a member of Congress—Matthew Lyon of Vermont—were imprisoned for merely criticizing the government. In this context it becomes very easy to see how the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act and other draconian pieces of legislation could pass and be implemented today, more than 200 years later. In fact, it’s a wonder these acts weren’t implemented years sooner.

 

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