Skip to comments.Journal of the Federal Convention August 18th 1787
Posted on 08/18/2011 1:56:57 AM PDT by Jacquerie
Article VII Section 1 Clauses 15-17. More Enumerated Powers. Seat of Government. Forts & Magazines. Regulate the Militia. Perpetual Taxes. Assumption of State Debt. Raise Armies. Maintain a Navy. More Militia.
Mr. MADISON submitted in order to be referred to the Committee of detail the following powers as proper to be added to those of the General Legislature
"To dispose of the unappropriated lands of the U. States"
"To institute temporary Governments for New States arising therein"
"To regulate affairs with the Indians as well within as without the limits of the U. States
"To exercise exclusively Legislative authority at the Seat of the General Government, and over a district around the same, not exceeding ------ square miles; the Consent of the Legislature of the State or States comprizing the same, being first obtained"
"To grant charters of incorporation in cases where the public good may require them, and the authority of a single State may be incompetent"
"To secure to literary authors their copy rights for a limited time"
"To establish an University"
"To encourage by premiums & provisions, the advancement of useful knowledge and discoveries"
"To authorize the Executive to procure and hold for the use of the U. S. landed property for the erection of Forts, Magazines, and other necessary buildings"
These propositions were referred to the Committee of detail which had prepared the Report and at the same time the following which were moved by Mr. Pinkney: in both cases unanimously.
"To fix and permanently establish the seat of Government of the U. S. in which they shall possess the exclusive right of soil & jurisdiction"
"To establish seminaries for the promotion of literature and the arts & sciences"
"To grant charters of incorporation"
"To grant patents for useful inventions"
"To secure to Authors exclusive rights for a certain time"
"To establish public institutions, rewards and immunities for the promotion of agriculture, commerce, trades and manufactures"
"That funds which shall be appropriated for [FN1] payment of public Creditors, shall not during the time of such appropriation, be diverted or applied to any other purpose and that the Committee prepare a clause or clauses for restraining the Legislature of the U. S. from establishing a perpetual revenue"
"To secure the payment of the public debt"
"To secure all creditors under the New Constitution from a violation of the public faith when pledged by the authority of the Legislature"
"To grant letters of mark and reprisal"
"To regulate Stages on the post roads"
Mr. MASON introduced the subject of regulating the militia. He thought such a power necessary to be given to the Genl. Government. He hoped there would be no standing army in time of peace, unless it might be for a few garrisons. The Militia ought therefore to be the more effectually prepared for the public defence. Thirteen States will never concur in any one system, if the displining of the Militia be left in their hands. If they will not give up the power over the whole, they probably will over a part as a select militia. He moved as an addition to the propositions just referred to the Committee of detail, & to be referred in like manner, "a power to regulate the militia."
Mr. GERRY remarked that some provision ought to be made in favor of public Securities, and something inserted concerning letters of marque, which he thought not included in the power of war. He proposed that these subjects should also go to a Committee.
Mr. RUTLIDGE moved to refer a clause "that funds appropriated to public creditors should not be diverted to other purposes."
Mr. MASON was much attached to the principle, but was afraid such a fetter might be dangerous in time of war. He suggested the necessity of preventing the danger of perpetual revenue which must of necessity subvert the liberty of any Country. If it be objected to on the principle of Mr. Rutlidge's motion that public credit may require perpetual provisions, that case might be excepted: it being declared that in other cases, no taxes should be laid for a longer term than ------ years. He considered the caution observed in Great Britain on this point as the paladium of the public liberty.
Mr. RUTLIDGE'S motion was referred-He then moved that a Grand Committee be appointed to consider the necessity and expediency of the U. States assuming all the State debts-A regular settlement between the Union & the several States would never take place. The assumption would be just as the State debts were contracted in the common defence. It was necessary, as the taxes on imports the only sure source of revenue were to be given up to the Union. It was politic, as by disburdening the people of the State debts it would conciliate them to the plan.
Mr. KING and Mr. PINKNEY seconded the motion
[Col. MASON interposed a motion that the Committee prepare a clause for restraining perpetual revenue, which was agreed to nem. con.]
Mr. SHERMAN thought it would be better to authorise the Legislature to assume the State debts, than to say positively it should be done. He considered the measure as just and that it would have a good effect to say something about the Matter.
Mr. ELSEWORTH differed from Mr. Sherman- As far as the State debts ought in equity to be assumed, he conceived that they might and would be so.
Mr. PINKNEY observed that a great part of the State debts were of such a nature that although in point of policy and true equity they ought, [FN2] yet would they not be viewed in the light of foederal expenditures.
Mr. KING thought the matter of more consequence than Mr. Elseworth seemed to do; and that it was well worthy of commitment. Besides the considerations of justice and policy which had been mentioned, it might be remarked that the State Creditors an active and formidable party would otherwise be opposed to a plan which transferred to the Union the best resources of the States without transferring the State debts at the same time. The State Creditors had generally been the strongest foes to the impost-plan. The State debts probably were of greater amount than the foederal. He would not say that it was practicable to consolidate the debts, but he thought it would be prudent to have the subject considered by a Committee.
On Mr. Rutlidge's motion, that [FN3] Come. be appointed to consider of the assumption &c [FN4]
N. H. no. Mas. ay. Ct. ay. N. J. no. Pa. divd. Del. no. Md. no. Va. ay. N. C. ay. .S C. ay. Geo. ay. [FN5]
Mr. GERRY's motion to provide for public securities, for stages on post-roads, and for letters of marque & reprisal, were [FN6] committed nem. con.
Mr. KING suggested that all unlocated lands of particular States ought to be given up if State debts were to be assumed: -Mr. Williamson concurred in the idea.
A Grand Committee was appointed consisting of [FN7] transfer hither the appointment & names of the Committee. [FN8] [The Come. appointed by ballot were [FN9] Mr. Langdon, Mr. King, Mr. Sherman, Mr. Livingston, Mr. Clymer, Mr. Dickenson, Mr. Mc.Henry, Mr. Mason, Mr. Williamson, Mr. C. C. Pinkney, [FN10] Mr. Baldwin.]
Mr. RUTLIDGE remarked on the length of the Session, the probable impatience of the public and the extreme anxiety of many members of the Convention to bring the business to an end; concluding with a motion that the Convention meet henceforward precisely at 10 OC. A. M. and that precisely at 4 OC. P. M. the President adjourn the House without motion for the purpose. and that no motion to adjourn sooner be allowed
On this question
N. H. ay. Mas. ay. Ct. ay. N. J. ay. Pa. no. Del. ay. Md. no. Va. ay. N. C. ay. S. C. ay. Geo. ay. [FN11]
Mr. ELSEWORTH observed that a Council had not yet been provided for the President. He conceived there ought to be one. His proposition was that it should be composed of the President of the Senate-the Chief-Justice, and the ministers as they might be estabd. for the departments of foreign & domestic affairs, war, finance and marine, who should advise but not conclude the President.
Mr. PINKNEY wished the proposition to lie over, as notice had been given for a like purpose by Mr. Govr. Morris who was not then on the floor. His own idea was that the President shd. be authorised to call for advice or not as he might chuse. Give him an able Council and it will thwart him; a weak one and he will shelter himself under their sanction.
Mr. GERRY was agst. letting the heads of the departments, particularly of finance have any thing to do in business connected with legislation. He mentioned the Chief Justice also as particularly exceptionable. These men will also be so taken up with other matters as to neglect their own proper duties.
Mr. DICKENSON urged that the great appointments should be made by the Legislature, in which case they might properly be consulted by the Executive, but not if made by the Executive himself-This subject by general consent lay over; & the House proceeded to the clause "To raise armies."
Mr. GHORUM moved to add "and support" after "raise." Agreed to nem. con. and then the clause [FN12] agreed to nem. con. as amended
Mr. GERRY took notice that there was no check here agst. standing armies in time of peace. The existing Congs. is so constructed that it cannot of itself maintain an army. This wd. not be the case under the new system. The people were jealous on this head, and great opposition to the plan would spring from such an omission. He suspected that preparations of force were now making agst. it. [he seemed to allude to the activity of the Govr. of N. York at this crisis in disciplining the militia of that State.] He thought an army dangerous in time of peace & could never consent to a power to keep up an indefinite number. He proposed that there shall [FN13] not be kept up in time of peace more than thousand troops. His idea was that the blank should be filled with two or three thousand.
Instead of "to build and equip fleets"-"to provide & maintain a navy" [FN14] agreed to nem. con. as a more convenient definition of the power.
[FN15] "To make rules for the Government and regulation of the land & naval forces," [FN14] added from the existing Articles of Confederation.
Mr. L. MARTIN and Mr. GERRY now regularly moved "provided that in time of peace the army shall not consist of more than thousand men."
Genl. PINKNEY asked whether no troops were ever to be raised untill an attack should be made on us?
Mr. GERRY. if there be no restriction, a few States may establish a military Govt.
Mr. WILLIAMSON, reminded him of Mr. Mason's motion for limiting the appropriation of revenue as the best guard in this case. Mr. LANGDON saw no room for Mr. Gerry's distrust of the Representatives of the people.
Mr. DAYTON. preparations for war are generally made in [FN16] peace; and a standing force of some sort may, for ought we know, become unavoidable. He should object to no restrictions consistent with these ideas.
The motion of Mr. Martin & Mr. Gerry was disagreed to nem. con.
Mr. MASON moved as an additional power "to make laws for the regulation and discipline of the militia of the several States reserving to the States the appointment of the officers." He considered uniformity as necessary in the regulation of the Militia throughout the Union.
Genl. PINKNEY mentioned a case during the war in which a dissimilarity in the militia of different States had produced the most serious mischiefs. Uniformity was essential. The States would never keep up a proper discipline of their militia.
Mr. ELSEWORTH was for going as far in submitting the militia to the Genl. Government as might be necessary, but thought the motion of Mr. Mason went too far. He moved that the militia should have the same arms & exercise and be under rules established by the Genl. Govt. when in actual service of the U. States and when States neglect to provide regulations for militia, it shd. be regulated & established by the Legislature of [FN17] U. S. The whole authority over the Militia ought by no means to be taken away from the States whose consequence would pine away to nothing after such a sacrifice of power. He thought the Genl. Authority could not sufficiently pervade the Union for such a purpose, nor could it accomodate itself to the local genius of the people. It must be vain to ask the States to give the Militia out of their hands.
Mr. SHERMAN 2ds. the motion.
Mr. DICKENSON. We are come now to a most important matter, that of the sword. His opinion was that the States never would nor ought to give up all authority over the Militia. He proposed to restrain the general power to one fourth part at a time, which by rotation would discipline the whole Militia.
Mr. BUTLER urged the necessity of submitting the whole Militia to the general Authority, which had the care of the general defence. Mr. MASON. had suggested the idea of a select militia. He was led to think that would be in fact as much as the Genl. Govt. could advantageously be charged with. He was afraid of creating insuperable objections to the plan. He withdrew his original motion, and moved a power "to make laws for regulating and disciplining the militia, not exceeding one tenth part in any one year, and reserving the appointment of officers to the States."
Genl. PINKNEY, renewed Mr. Mason's original motion. For a part to be under the Genl. and [FN18] part under the State Govts. wd. be an incurable evil. he saw no room for such distrust of the Genl. Govt.
Mr. LANGDON 2ds. Genl. Pinkney's renewal. He saw no more reason to be afraid of the Genl. Govt. than of the State Govts. He was more apprehensive of the confusion of the different authorities on this subject, than of either.
Mr. MADISON thought the regulation of the Militia naturally appertaining to the authority charged with the public defence. It did not seem in its nature to be divisible between two distinct authorities. If the States would trust the Genl. Govt. with a power over the public treasure, they would from the same consideration of necessity grant it the direction of the public force. Those who had a full view of the public situation wd. from a sense of the danger, guard agst. it: the States would not be separately impressed with the general situation, nor have the due confidence in the concurrent exertions of each other.
Mr. ELSEWORTH. considered the idea of a select militia as impracticable; & if it were not it would be followed by a ruinous declension of the great body of the Militia. The States will [FN19] never submit to the same militia laws. Three or four shilling's as a penalty will enforce obedience better in New England, than forty lashes in some other places.
Mr. PINKNEY thought the power such an one as could not be abused, and that the States would see the necessity of surrendering it. He had however but a scanty faith in Militia. There must be also a real military force. This alone can effectually answer the purpose. The United States had been making an experiment without it, and we see the consequence in their rapid approaches towards anarchy. [FN7]
Mr. SHERMAN, took notice that the States might want their Militia for defence agst. invasions and insurrections, and for enforcing obedience to their laws. They will not give up this point. In giving up that of taxation, they retain a concurrent power of raising money for their own use.
Mr. GERRY thought this the last point remaining to be surrendered. If it be agreed to by the Convention, the plan will have as black a mark as was set on Cain. He had no such confidence in the Genl. Govt. as some gentlemen professed, and believed it would be found that the States have not.
Col. MASON. thought there was great weight in the remarks of Mr. Sherman, and moved an exception to his motion "of such part of the Militia as might be required by the States for their own use."
Mr. READ doubted the propriety of leaving the appointment of the Militia officers in [FN20] the States. In some States they are elected by the legislatures; in others by the people themselves. He thought at least an appointment by the State Executives ought to be insisted on.
On [FN21] committing to the grand Committee last appointed, the latter motion of Col. Mason, & the original one revived by Gel. Pinkney
N. H. ay. Mas. ay. Ct. no. N. J. no. Pa. ay. Del. ay. Md. divd. Va. ay. N. C. ay. S. C. ay. Geo. ay. [FN22]
FN1 The word "the" is here inserted in the transcript.
FN2 The words "to be" are here inserted in the transcript.
FN3 The word "a" is here inserted in the transcript.
FN4 The transcript here adds the following: "it was agreed to."
FN5 In the transcript the vote reads: "Massachusetts, Connecticut, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye-6; New Hampshire, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, no-4; Pennsylvania, divided."
FN6 In the transcript he word "were" is crossed out and "was" is written above it.
FN7 This had reference to the disorders particularly which had occurred in Massachts. which had called for the interposition of the federal troops.
FN8 Madison's direction is omitted in the transcript.
FN9 The phrase "The Come. appointed by ballot were" is omitted in the transcript.
FN10 The word "and" is here inserted in the transcript.
FN11 In the transcript the vote reads: "New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye-9; Pennsylvania, Maryland, no-2."
FN12 The word "was" is here inserted in the transcript.
FN13 The word "should" is substituted in the transcript for "shall."
FN14 The word "was" is here inserted in the transcript.
FN15 The words "A clause" are here inserted in the transcript.
FN16 The words "time of" are here inserted in the transcript.
FN17 The word "the" is here inserted in the transcript.
FN18 The word "a" is here inserted in the transcript.
FN19 The word "would" is substituted in the transcript for "will."
FN20 The word "in" is crossed out in the transcript and "to" is written above it.
FN21 The words "the question for" are here inserted in transcript.
FN22 In the transcript the vote reads: "New Hampshire, Massachusetts, PEnnsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye- 8; Connecticut, New Jersey, no-2; Maryland, divided."
George Mason (VA) hoped to empower the National Government to regulate the militia. No one trusted standing armies, so an effectually prepared (regulated) militia would serve the public defense.
(Under Article VI of the Articles of Confederation, . . . every State shall always keep up a well-regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutered, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due number of field pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and camp equipage.)
Knowing the States blew off their responsibilities under Article VI of the Articles of Confederation, Mr. Mason would place the responsibility with the National Government. He moved to add to the propositions offered, a power to regulate the militia.
Elbridge Gerry (MA) motioned to add public securities and letters of marque which were not, in his opinion, within the powers of war.
John Rutlidge (SC) (A member of the Committee of Detail. He obviously knew legislative assemblies very well) moved to prevent funds dedicated to payment of the public debt not be diverted to other purposes. (Imagine if this concept had been applied to Social Security, gas, and cigarette taxes?)
George Mason (VA) also viewed perpetual tax revenue as subversive to the liberty of any country. (So back in the bad old the 18th century, the attitude of government was to tax for specific, appropriated objects. Todays pols have long gotten away with fleecing the citizens for as much as they think they can get away with.) In Great Britain, taxes were apparently sunsetted.
John Rutlidge (SC) moved to appoint a Grand Committee to consider the National Governments assumption of the States Revolutionary War debt. This was a reasonable measure since the National Government would deny the states their most lucrative revenue source.
Rufus King (MA) and Charles Pinckney (SC) seconded Mr. Rutlidge.
George Mason (VA) motioned the committee prepare a clause that restrained perpetual revenue. It was agreed to without opposition.
Roger Sherman (CN) supported National Government assumption of State debt, but would not do it through the Constitution.
Judge Oliver Ellsworth (CN) and Charles Pinckney (SC) differed with Mr. Sherman.
Rufus King (MA) responded that creditors were a formidable force in the States. They recently stood against Congressional control of imposts because it removed a reliable source of revenue. He wasnt sure it was practical for the National Government to assume the debts, but it was worthwhile for a committee to look into it.
Mr. Rutlidges motion to form a Grand Committee composed of one delegate per State to consider assumption of State war debt, it passed 6-4-1.
The Grand Committee was appointed by ballot of the honorable Mr. Langdon, Mr. King, Mr. Sherman, Mr. Livingston, Mr. Clymer, Mr. Dickinson, Mr. Mc Henry, Mr. Mason, Mr. Williamson, Mr. C. C. Pinckney, and Mr. Baldwin.
Elbridge Gerry (MA)s motion regarding public securities, for stages on post-roads, and for letters of marque & reprisal passed without opposition.
Rufus King (MA) proposed that all unlocated lands of particular States should be given up if their debts were to be assumed. Mr. Williamson concurred. (The status of territory south of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi wouldnt be clear until a treaty was signed with Spain. The Northwest Ordinance addressed the area north of the Ohio.)
John Rutlidge (SC) remarked on the length of the proceedings and anxiety both in and out of the Convention. He motioned to begin precisely at 10 AM (except Sundays) and adjourn at 4 PM on the order of the President. It passed 9-2.
Judge Oliver Ellsworth (CN) proposed a council to advise the President.
Charles Pinckney (SC) (Assumed, I think, a council similar to the one which advised the King of England.) would let the issue lie for the time being. Let the President chose his advisors.
Elbridge Gerry (MA) opposed letting heads of departments have anything to do with Legislation. He singled out the Chief Justice.
John Dickinson (DE) proposed that Congress approve or appoint the great officers. This and Mr. Ellsworths proposal were postponed.
Clause 15 of the 1st Section of Article VII, To raise armies, was next.
Nathaniel Gorham (MA) motioned to add and support, after armies. It was agreed to without opposition, as was the amended clause.
Elbridge Gerry (MA) said the people would not approve of standing armies. He alluded to the absence of the NY delegation and activities of Governor Clinton. An army in peacetime was dangerous, he would not support an unlimited number. He proposed it be limited to two or three thousand.
To provide and maintain a Navy replaced to build and equip fleets, in clause 16.
It was motioned and passed to add "To make rules for the Government and regulation of the land & naval forces,"
Luther Marin and Elbridge Gerry (MA) motioned, "provided that in time of peace the army shall not consist of more than ___ thousand men."
General Pinckney (SC) asked if no troops were to be raised until we were attacked.
Mr. Gerry was concerned for instance, with States establishing military governments.
Hugh Williamson (NC) agreed with an earlier comment by Mr. Mason that a limit on appropriations was the best guard.
John Langdon (NH) trusted the peoples reps much more than Mr. Gerry.(Sidebar: John Langdon and fellow NH delegate Nicholas Gilman arrived in late July. While NH assigned delegates, the Legislature refused to fund their trip. Mr. Langdon paid the expenses of both men from his personal funds. Without his sacrifice, NH would have been the third State to miss all or most of the Convention.)
Jonathan Dayton (NJ) noted that preparations for war are typically made during times of peace.
The motion of Mr. Martin and Mr. Gerry to limit the size of a standing army was defeated without opposition.
George Mason (VA) motioned to add, in the interest of national uniformity, "to make laws for the regulation and discipline of the militia of the several States reserving to the States the appointment of the officers."
General Pinckney (SC) supported Mr. Mason. The irregularity of militia forces in the last war was a serious problem. The States would never maintain militia discipline.
Judge Oliver Ellsworth (CN) would not go quite as far as Mr. Mason. He would have State militias under National, uniform rules when in actual service of the US or when States fail to provide for same. Still, the whole authority of the States should not be taken away.
Roger Sherman (CN) seconded Mr. Ellsworth.
John Dickinson (DE), as everyone else, regarded this clause as of immense importance. The States should never give up all authority over the Militia.
Pierce Butler (SC) urged complete National control over the Militias. (Was his opinion affected by the large slave population of SC?)
George Mason (VA) withdrew his motion and substituted, to make laws for regulating and disciplining the militia, not exceeding one tenth part in any one year, and reserving the appointment of officers to the States."
General Pinckney (SC) renewed Mr. Masons original motion. To split the militia would be an incurable evil. He trusted the National Government in this regard.
John Langdon (NH) seconded General Pinckney (SC)s renewal. There was no reason to be more afraid of either the State or National Governments. He was apprehensive of different authorities over the Militias.
James Madison (VA) alluded to the deployment of State militias during the war, in which States often withheld them from common service when the British Army was distant. For this reason, regulation of it naturally tended to the National Government.
Charles Pinckney (SC) thought the States would see the necessity of relinquishing most of their power over their militia. Recent history showed their relative ineffectiveness and Mr. Pinckney supported a real, standing, military force. He alluded to Shays Rebellion as an example of the need.
Roger Sherman (CN) pointed out the obvious that States may need their militias to combat invasion or insurrections or to enforce their laws.
Elbridge Gerry (MA), in a powerful statement, said this (militias) was the last point to be surrendered. (He would not, at the last, sign the Constitution) He did not have the confidence other men had in the evolving National Government.
George Mason (VA) gave great weight to Mr. Shermans observations and moved an exception to his motion, "of such part of the Militia as might be required by the States for their own use."
Judge George Read (DE) thought officers of the State militias should be appointed by the Executives.
The Convention committed the motions of George Mason (VA) and General Pinckney (SC) to the Grand Committee by a vote of 8-2-1.
Here are some 1823 Commerce Clause notes of the events of August 18th (edited for brevity) from John Taylor, Clerk of the District Court for the District of Columbia.
It was proposed to empower the legislature of the United States, . . . to establish institutions, rewards, and immunities, for the promotion of agriculture, commerce, and manufactures."
The propositions of August the 18th, seem to have been the last considerable struggle for a national government; but the residue of the journal is so concise and imperfect, that their rejection is only discoverable by a reference to the Constitution, in which not a single one of them is to be found.
Their rejection was a necessary consequence of substituting a federal for the national government zealously contended for, from the 29th of May to the 14th of September. It was obvious that powers to . . . bestow rewards and immunities for the promotion of agriculture, commerce, and manufactures, would certainly swallow up a federal, and introduce a national government. . . The same soothing but insidious argument is now addressed to the intelligence of the publick, to justify an exercise of the very powers which the intelligence of the convention withheld from a federal government.
Yet, whatever may have been their temporary effect, it is obvious that the enlightened framers of the constitution considered the condition of publick good, as an enlargement and not a restriction of power; and that it would defeat all the limitations of the constitution, by which a federal government could be formed or sustained. It was a pretext which would fit every encroachment or usurpation; and no powers could be more indefinite and sovereign than those of granting exclusive privileges, bestowing rewards and immunities upon the three comprehensive interests of society, agriculture, commerce, and manufactures, and patronising capitalists, paupers, knowledge, and ignorance. Such a nest of powers, though exhibited as sleeping in the bed of publick good, bore so strong a resemblance to the old bed of justice in France, which was the repository of evil as well as good, that they were all rejected. It was evident that they would be sufficient to re-hatch the strangled national form of government; and the convention having finally preferred the federal form, thought that no good to the publick could result from such powers, which would recompense it for the evils it would sustain from the subversion of that form.
The convention saw, that if Congress could exercise such powers, for the publick good, it might, upon the same ground, usurp any powers whatsoever, and in rejecting the propositions, decided between investing that body with a general or a limited federal authority. Hence the power to regulate commerce was not intended to revive the rejected proposition to empower Congress to bestow rewards upon agriculture, commerce, and manufactures.
So, the Framers considered and rejected essentially unlimited powers over agriculture, manufactures and commerce. If I know this, why didnt Supreme Court justices back to FDR know as well?
The Court well knew all of this, but it didn’t suit the ambitions of the New Deal, so the judges, intimidated as they were, ignored all scholarship, history and precedent on this matter.
Today, we continue to pay the price for this intentional perfidy.
Our vision is 20/20 and we can see the perfidy clearly, and partly by its effect. It is since compounded by the fact that government schooling has left out all the things Jacquerie is teaching us (thanks Jacquerie for your noble work).
I was once talking to my great aunt who was in her twenties when all this was taking place(she was born in 1910). As she explained what happened then, the thought came to me that ‘socialism’ was the ‘global warming’ of her day. Any elite or educated person saw it as the obvious answer. The smart set bought it all. There wasn’t any alternative information outlet and the gatekeepers didn’t let it out. The pressure was there to ‘just do something, anything.’
There wasn’t an Internet, no FReerepublic or Drudge Report etc. We three and many others remember clearly what it was like to have only 3 big networks - that was all the news. If the newspapers didn’t print it it didn’t happen.
At that vulnerable time all this came down. We got FDR as President, a Great Depression and the smart set peddling socialism - which, by the way, works perfectly for the rich/powerful. Perhaps, being charitable, a little socialism was better than a lot. Clearly, we’ve piled on a whole lot more government since then. The 1960s and our very own Nixon made things much worse.
One thing she said to a question my sister asked on Social Security was startling, ‘Nobody wanted Social Security. We knew it was no good, but they just passed it anyway’ was my aunts response. Sound familiar?
If I read John Eidsmoe (Christian Legal Advisor”correctly FDR appointed liberal judges to the Court replacing the Conservatives that retired. I suspect they knew of this but believed like all “progressives” that they knew better than the framers of what they considered an imperfect and outdated Constitution.
Yep, the big three networks and major newspapers before them shaped American opinion. Could there be a Tea Party without the internet? Not very likely.
I didnt know one way or the other about Soc Sec lack of popularity. Good info.
My father was a Depression era teenager and WWII vet. The only, single time I heard him curse was in the 1960s when uncle Walter brought up FDR. Every other time FDR came up, he'd bite his lip, walk outdoors and I assume, mutter obscenities to himself.
As for FDR era judges, The Four Horsemen of Scotus stuck to the Constitution and stymied much of the New Deal. I forget which one was replaced with an FDR toady; its been downhill ever since.
I alternate between downright despair and weak hope for our country. We are without doubt witnessing a Great Awakening. The Tea Party movement has the statists worried, as they should be, for socialist edifices will soon come crashing down. The only question is what will replace them, tyranny or a new era of freedom? I am not hopeful.
Congress long gave up much of its Article 1 Section 1 powers to the courts and administrative agencies. The reason I am not very hopeful for a return to constitutional government is a practical one. What do we say, "We really, really mean the Constitution means what it says this time around?"
Good, and important remarks!
replies coming to me that aren’t meant for me
I’m getting numerous replies responding to “Journal of the Federal Convention August 17th 1787”. I’ve never done any postings on that subject.
Mods, see previous post.
I have never pinged frposty, he has never commented to my posts, so I don’t know why he would get replies.
re: me (frposty) getting unsolicited posts
Here’s the address line (including the “...”) of one of the unsolicited posts. They are serious posts, not bad ones. Probably the intended audience is not seeing them.
Ok here’s the address line:
Jacquerie to Lady Jag; Ev Reeman; familyof5; NewMediaJournal; pallis; Kartographer; SuperLuminal; unixfox; ...
My oops, you are in my ping list. I shall remove you now.
“you are in my ping list”
Just make sure you read all of my posts.
that is where we get the court packing scandal where FDR was going to dilute the supreme court with FDR socialists until he had a majority.
...Congress long gave up much of its Article 1 Section 1 powers to the courts and administrative agencies. The reason I am not very hopeful for a return to constitutional government is a practical one. What do we say, "We really, really mean the Constitution means what it says this time around?"
It's good that you wrote it and it makes a lot of sense, but at the same time it is sad. Thanks for the education and thanks for your tremendous contributions to this forum.
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