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Journal of the Federal Convention August 28th 1787
Avalon Project ^ | James Madison

Posted on 08/28/2011 5:26:40 AM PDT by Jacquerie

Ports & Trade Report Tabled. Appellate Review. Article XI Sections 3 & 4. Habeas Corpus. Impeachment. Gold & Silver Coin. Paper Money Ban. Contracts. Madison & Judicial Review. Ex Post Facto. Article XII. Commerce. Embargoes. State Imposts. Article XIII. Mississippi. Clymer Outburst. Article XIV. Privileges and Immunities. Fugitive Slaves. Article XV.

In Convention.

Mr. SHERMAN from the Committee to whom were referred several propositions on the 25th. instant, made the following report- [FN2]

That there be inserted after the 4 clause of [FN3] 7th. Section

"Nor shall any regulation of commerce or revenue give preference to the ports of one State over those of another, or oblige vessels bound to or from any State to enter, clear or pay duties in another and all tonnage, duties, imposts & excises laid by the Legislature shall be uniform throughout the U. S."

Ordered to lie on the table. [FN4]

Art XI Sect. 3 [FN5], [FN6] It was moved to strike out the words

"it shall be appellate" & to insert the words "the supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction,"-in order to prevent uncertainty whether "it" referred to the supreme Court, or to the Judicial power.

On the question

N. H ay. Mas. ay. Ct. ay. N. J. abst. Pa. ay. Del. ay. Md. no. Va. ay. N C ay. S. C. ay. Geo. ay. [FN7]

Sect. 4. [FN8] was so amended nem; con; as to read "The trial of all crimes (except in cases of impeachment) shall be by jury, and such trial shall be held in the State where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, then the trial shall be at such place or places as the Legislature may direct." The object of this amendment was to provide for trial by jury of offences committed out of any State.

Mr. PINKNEY, urging the propriety of securing the benefit of the Habeas corpus in the most ample manner, moved "that it should not be suspended but on the most urgent occasions, & then only for a limited time, not exceeding twelve months"

Mr. RUTLIDGE was for declaring the Habeas Corpus inviolable. [FN9] He did not conceive that a suspension could ever be necessary at the same time through all the States.

Mr. Govr. MORRIS moved that "The privilege of the writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended; unless where in cases of Rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it."

Mr. WILSON doubted whether in any case a suspension could be necessary, as the discretion now exists with Judges, in most important cases to keep in Gaol or admit to Bail.

The first part of Mr. Govr. Morris' motion, to the word "unless" was agreed to nem: con: -on the remaining part;

N. H. ay. Mas. ay. Ct. ay. Pa. ay. Del. ay. Md. ay. Va. ay. N. C. no. S. C. no. Geo. no.: [FN10]

Sec. 5. of art: XI. [FN8] was agreed to nem: con: [FN10]

Art: XII. [FN8] being [FN12] taken up. Mr. WILSON & Mr. SHERMAN moved to insert after the words "coin money" the words "nor emit bills of credit, nor make any thing but gold & silver coin a tender in payment of debts" making these prohibitions absolute, instead of making the measures allowable (as in the XIII art:) with the consent of the Legislature of the U. S.

Mr. GHORUM thought the purpose would be as well secured by the provision of art: XIII which makes the consent of the Genl Legislature necessary, and that in that mode, no opposition would be excited; whereas an absolute prohibition of paper money would rouse the most desperate opposition from its partizans.

Mr. SHERMAN thought this a favorable crisis for crushing paper money. If the consent of the Legislature could authorise emissions of it, the friends of paper money, would make every exertion to get into the Legislature in order to licence it.

The question being divided; on the 1st. part-"nor emit bills of credit"

N. H. ay. Mas. ay. Ct. ay. Pa. ay. Del. ay. Md. divd. Va. no. N. C. ay. S. C. ay. Geo. ay. [FN13]

The remaining part of Mr. Wilson's & Sherman's motion was agreed to nem: con:

Mr. KING moved to add, in the words used in the Ordinance of Congs. establishing new States, a prohibition on the States to interfere in private contracts. Mr. Govr. MORRIS. This would be going too far. There are a thousand laws, relating to bringing actions-limitations of actions & [FN14] which affect contracts. The Judicial power of the U. S. will be a protection in cases within their jurisdiction; and within the State itself a majority must rule, whatever may be the mischief done among themselves.

Mr. SHERMAN. Why then prohibit bills of credit?

Mr. WILSON was in favor of Mr. King's motion.

Mr. MADISON admitted that inconveniences might arise from such a prohibition but thought on the whole it would be overbalanced by the utility of it. He conceived however that a negative on the State laws could alone secure the effect. Evasions might and would be devised by the ingenuity of [FN15] Legislatures.

Col: MASON. This is carrying the restraint too far. Cases will happen that can not be foreseen, where some kind of interference will be proper & essential. He mentioned the case of limiting the period for bringing actions on open account-that of bonds after a certain lapse of time-asking whether it was proper to tie the hands of the States from making provision in such cases.

Mr. WILSON. The answer to these objections is that retrospective [FN16] interferences [FN17] only are to be prohibited.

Mr. MADISON. Is not that already done by the prohibition of ex post facto laws, which will oblige the Judges to declare such interferences null & void.

Mr. RUTLIDGE moved instead of Mr. King's Motion to insert- "nor pass bills of attainder nor retrospective [FN18] laws" on which motion

N. H. ay. Ct. no. N. J. ay. Pa. ay. Del. ay. Md. no. Virga. no. N. C. ay. S. C. ay. Geo. ay. [FN19]

Mr. MADISON moved to insert after the word "reprisal" (art. XII) the words "nor lay embargoes." He urged that such acts by the States would be unnecessary-impolitic-and unjust.

Mr. SHERMAN thought the States ought to retain this power in order to prevent suffering & injury to their poor.

Col: MASON thought the amendment would be not only improper but dangerous, as the Genl. Legislature would not sit constantly and therefore could not interpose at the necessary moments. He enforced his objection by appealing to the necessity of sudden embargoes during the war, to prevent exports, particularly in the case of a blockade.

Mr. Govr. MORRIS considered the provision as unnecessary; the power of regulating trade between State & State already vested in the Genl. Legislature, being sufficient.

On the question, N. H. no. Mas. ay. Ct. no. N. J. no. Pa. no. Del. ay. Md. no. Va. no. N. C. no. S. C. ay. Geo. no. [FN20]

Mr. MADISON moved that the words be transferred from art: XIII where the consent of the Genl. Legislature may licence the act-into art: XII which will make the prohibition on the States absolute. He observed that as the States interested in this power by which they could tax the imports of their neighbors passing thro' their markets, were a majority, they could give the consent of the Legislature, to the injury of N. Jersey, N. Carolina &c-

Mr. WILLIAMSON 2ded. the motion

Mr. SHERMAN thought the power might safely be left to the Legislature of the U. States.

Col: MASON, observed that particular States might wish to encourage by import [FN21] duties certain manufactures for which they enjoyed natural advantages, as Virginia, the manufacture of Hemp &c. Mr. MADISON. The encouragement of Manufactures in that mode requires duties not only on imports directly from foreign Countries, but from the other States in the Union, which would revive all the mischiefs experienced from the want of a Genl. Government over commerce.

On the question, N. H. ay. Mas. no. Ct. no. N. J. ay. Pa. no. Del: ay. Md. no. Va. no. N. C. ay. S. C. no. Geo. no. [FN22]

Art: XII as amended [FN23] agreed to nem: con:

Art: XIII [FN24] being [FN25] taken up. Mr. KING moved to insert after the word "imports" the words "or exports" so as to prohibit the states from taxing either,-&

On this question it passed in the affirmative.

N. H. ay. Mas. ay. Ct. no. N. J. ay. P. ay. Del. ay. Md. no. Va. no. N. C. ay. S. C. no. Geo. no. [FN26]

Mr. SHERMAN moved to add after the word "exports"-the words "nor with such consent but for the use of the U. S."-so as to carry the proceeds of all State duties on imports & [FN27] exports, into the common Treasury.

Mr. MADISON liked the motion as preventing all State imposts- but lamented the complexity we were giving to the commercial system.

Mr. Govr. MORRIS thought the regulation necessary to prevent the Atlantic States from endeavoring to tax the Western States-& promote their interest by opposing the navigation of the Mississippi which would drive the Western people into the arms of G. Britain.

Mr. CLYMER thought the encouragement of the Western Country was suicide on [FN28] the old States. If the States have such different interests that they can not be left to regulate their own manufactures without encountering the interests of other States, it is a proof that they are not fit to compose one nation.

Mr. KING was afraid that the regulation moved by Mr. Sherman would too much interfere with a policy of States respecting their manufactures, which may be necessary. Revenue he reminded the House was the object of the general Legislature.

On Mr. Sherman's motion N. H. ay. Mas. no. Ct. ay. N. J. ay. Pa. ay. Del. ay. Md. no. Va. ay. N. C. ay. S. C. ay. Geo. ay. [FN29]

Art XIII was then agreed to as amended.

Art. XIV [FN30] was [FN31] taken up.

Genl. PINKNEY was not satisfied with it. He seemed to wish some provision should be included in favor of property in slaves.

On the question on Art: XIV.

N. H. ay. Mas. ay. Ct. ay. N. J. ay. Pa. ay. Del. ay. Md. ay. Va. ay. N. C. ay. S. C. no. Geo. divided. [FN32]

Art: XV [FN30] being taken up, the words "high misdemesnor," were struck out, and [FN33] "other crime" inserted, in order to comprehend all proper cases: it being doubtful whether "high misdemeanor" had not a technical meaning too limited.

Mr. BUTLER and Mr. PINKNEY moved "to require fugitive slaves and servants to be delivered up like criminals."

Mr. WILSON. This would oblige the Executive of the State to do it at the public expence.

Mr. SHERMAN saw no more propriety in the public seizing and surrendering a slave or servant, than a horse.

Mr. BUTLER withdrew his proposition in order that some particular provision might be made apart from this article. Art XV as amended was then agreed to nem: con:

Adjourned

FN1 The year "1787" is omitted in the transcript.

FN2 The phrase "which was ordered to lie on the table" is here added in the transcript.

FN3 The word "the" is here inserted in the transcript.

FN4 This sentence is omitted in the transcript.

FN5 See ante.

FN6 The words "being considered" are here inserted in the transcript.

FN7 In the transcript the vote reads: "New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye-9; Maryland, no-1; New Jersey absent."

FN8 See ante.

FN9 The word "inviolate" is substituted in the transcript for "invilable."

FN10 In the transcript the vote reads: "New Nampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, aye-7; North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, no-3."

FN11 The vote on this section as stated in the printed Journal is not unanimous; the statement here is probably the right one.

FN12 The word "then" is here inserted in the transcript.

FN13 In the transcrip the vote reads: "New Nampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye-8; Virginia, no-1; Maryland, devided."

FN14 The character "&" is changed in the transcript to "&."

FN15 The word "the" is here inserted in the transcript.

FN16 The transcript does not italicize the word "retrospective."

FN17 The transcript italicized the word "interferences."

FN18 In the printed Journal-"ex post facto."

FN19 In the transcript the vote reads: "New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye-7; Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, no-3."

FN20 In the transcript the vote reads: "Massachusetts, Delaware, South Carolina, aye-3; New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, no-8."

FN21 The word "impost" is substituted in the transcript for "import."

FN22 In the transcript the vote reads: "New Jersey, Delaware, North Carolina, aye-4; Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, no-7."

FN23 The words "was then" are here inserted in the transcript.

FN24 See ante.

FN25 The words "was then" are substituted in the transcript for "being."

FN27 In the transcript the vote reads: "New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina, aye-6; Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, no-5."

FN27 The word "or" is substituted for "&" in the transcript.

FN28 The words "the part of" are here inserted in the transcript.

FN29 In the transcript the vote reads: New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye- 9; Massachusetts, Maryland, no-2."

FN30 See ante.

FN31 The word "then" is here inserted in the transcript.

FN32 In the transcript the vote reads; "New Nampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, aye-9; Georgia, divided.

FN33 The expression "the words" is here inserted in the transcript.


TOPICS: Government; Reference
KEYWORDS: constitution; convention; framers; freeperbookclub; madison
The Ports and Trade Committee, composed on 25 Aug. of one delegate from each State, submitted its report.

(The Avalon source next cited the 4th Clause of the 7th Section, which did not make sense. I’m convinced the 4th Section of the 7th Article was intended.) Their submission, "Nor shall any regulation of commerce or revenue give preference to the ports of one State over those of another, or oblige vessels bound to or from any State to enter, clear or pay duties in another and all tonnage, duties, imposts & excises laid by the Legislature shall be uniform throughout the U. S," was tabled.

Next, by a 9-1 vote, "the supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction," in order to avoid confusion, was inserted in place of, "it shall be appellate" in Article XI Section 3.

Article XI Section 4, “The trial of all criminal offences except in cases of impeachments shall be in the State where they shall be committed; and shall be by Jury,” was struck and replaced with,

"The trial of all crimes (except in cases of impeachment) shall be by jury, and such trial shall be held in the State where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, then the trial shall be at such place or places as the Legislature may direct."

Charles Pinckney (SC) motioned to protect Habeas Corpus with, “that it should not be suspended but on the most urgent occasions, & then only for a limited time, not exceeding twelve months."

John Rutlidge (SC) would declare Habeas Corpus inviolable.

Governeur Morris (PA) motioned, "The privilege of the writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended; unless where in cases of Rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it."

James Wilson (PA) questioned the necessity of the Clause; Judges had discretion as it was.

Mr. Morris’ motion passed 7-3.

Article XI Section 5 passed without opposition. “Judgment, in cases of Impeachment, shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honour, trust or profit, under the United States. But the party convicted shall, nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment according to law.” (Why was Alcee Hastings allowed to sit in Congress after impeachment and conviction for taking bribes as a judge?)

Article XII was next. “No State shall coin money; nor grant letters of marque and reprisal; nor enter into any Treaty, alliance, or confederation; nor grant any title of Nobility.”

James Wilson (PA) and Roger Sherman (CN) motioned to insert, "nor emit bills of credit, nor make any thing but gold & silver coin a tender in payment of debts," after “coin money.” The purpose was to remove any doubt (as to our Framer’s loathing of anything other than silver or gold tender and paper money.)

(I ask Freepers to explain how we ended up with a fiat currency.)

(As the following illustrates, there will always be calls for fiat money)

Nathaniel Gorham (MA) thought the wording in Article XIII sufficient to achieve the purpose without inciting paper money supporters.

Roger Sherman (CN) thought the current crisis perfect for the abolition of paper money. If there was a loophole, paper money people would certainly get their supporters elected to exploit it.

The question was divided. On the first, “nor emit bills of credit,” passed 8-1-1.

The remainder of Mr. Sherman’s and Mr. Wilson’s motion passed without opposition.

Rufus King (MA) (I suppose, wished to add this to Article XIII, the list of “No State shall”) wished to prohibit States from interference with private contracts.

Governeur Morris (PA) thought Mr. King went too far and gave his reasons for opposition.

Roger Sherman (CN) asked why prohibit bills of credit?

James Wilson (PA) favored the motion.

James Madison (VA) thought the positive aspects outnumbered the negative. The Legislative negative on State Laws would suffice.

George Mason (VA) thought the motion went too far; there would be occasions where such interference would be proper.

James Wilson (PA) suggested the ban be limited to after the fact.

James Madison (VA) immediately remarked that the “ex post facto” clause addressed the issue, which would oblige Judges to declare such interference “null and void.”

(Once again, the notion of Judicial Review appeared; rendering unconstitutional laws null and void.)

John Rutlidge (SC) motioned to replace Mr. King’s motion with, "nor pass bills of attainder nor ex post facto laws," which passed 7-3.

More of Article XII, No State shall coin money; nor emit bills of credit, nor make any thing but gold & silver coin a tender in payment of debts; nor grant letters of marque and reprisal; nor enter into any Treaty, alliance, or confederation; nor grant any title of Nobility; nor pass bills of attainder nor ex post facto laws.

James Madison (VA) motioned to insert, “nor lay embargoes,” after “reprisal.”

(It appears the States had some habits the delegates wished to terminate.)

Roger Sherman (CN) would leave this power to the States in order to prevent suffering to their poor. (I do not understand the logic of this.)

George Mason (VA) thought the amendment dangerous, since Congress would not always be in session and the States may need to impose sudden embargoes as was demonstrated during the war.

Governeur Morris (PA) (pointed out the obvious) noted that trade was to be regulated, so why push this prohibition? (Commerce, trade, embargoes all pertain to the movement of goods. There is nothing in this Convention to imply Congressional power to regulate manufactures, health, safety . . . etc. under the Commerce Clause.)

Mr. Madison’s motion to prevent State embargoes failed 8-3.

James Madison (VA) motioned, and Hugh Williamson (NC) seconded to move "nor lay imposts or duties on imports," from Article XIII to Article XII. He feared States could band together to impose that which was so troublesome under the Confederation. Under Article XIII, Congress could grant the impost power to States.

Article XIII: “No State, without the consent of the Legislature of the United States, shall emit bills of credit, or make any thing but specie a tender in payment of debts; nor lay imposts or duties on imports; nor keep troops or ships of war in time of peace; nor enter into any agreement or compact with another State, or with any foreign power; nor engage in any war, unless it shall be actually invaded by enemies, or the danger of invasion be so imminent, as not to admit of delay, until the Legislature of the United States can be consulted.”

Roger Sherman (CN) was unconvinced, and tended toward leaving the Clause as it was.

George Mason (VA) mused on the occasions where import duties could be appropriate.

James Madison (VA) retorted to Mr. Mason that such duties would have to be against imports from other States as well as foreign countries, which would revive too many of the tribulations experienced under the Confederation.

On the question to move “nor lay imposts or duties on imports,” to Article XII from Article XIII, it failed 7-4.

Article XII as amended, passed without opposition, “No State shall coin money; nor emit bills of credit, nor make any thing but gold & silver coin a tender in payment of debts; nor grant letters of marque and reprisal; nor enter into any Treaty, alliance, or confederation; nor grant any title of Nobility; nor pass bills of attainder nor ex post facto laws.”

Rufus King (MA) motioned to add to Article XIII, “"or exports,” after “imports,” which passed 6-5.

Roger Sherman (CN) wished to add, "nor with such consent but for the use of the U. S," after "exports." So if approved by Congress, all import/export revenue would still go to the National Treasury.

James Madison (VA) thought well of the intent, but did not like the complexity the Convention gave to the nation’s commercial system.

Governeur Morris (PA) (BOOM, sectional rivalries again) did not wish to encourage taxation by the Atlantic States at the expense of the Western States. (Mississippi River navigation was closed to Americans by the Spanish at that time.)

George Clymer (PA) (Projected negative vibes, to say the least, as to the viability of the US) thought it suicide to embrace new Western States. He opposed Mr. Sherman’s motion, let the States regulate (via impost) their own manufactures.

Rufus King (MA) also thought the amendment interfered too much with the manufactures of the States. “Revenue he reminded the House was the object of the general Legislature.”

(Notice the use by Mr. Clymer and Mr. King of the word “manufactures.” It is clear they viewed manufactures as within the realm of State regulation.

Mr. Sherman’s motion passed 9-2.

Article XIII passed as amended.

Article XIV was next. “The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States.”

General Pinckney (SC) wanted a provision to favor property in slaves. (It sounds petty, but this was probably a reasonable fear if manumission might be accomplished by Congress declaring slaves to be citizens.)

(No debate. While slavery was troublesome to say the least, the goal of the Convention was to plan a government, not create Utopia.)

Article XIV passed 9-1.

Article XV was then taken up. “Any person charged with treason, felony or high misdemeanor in any State, who shall flee from justice, and shall be found in any other State, shall, on demand of the Executive power of the State from which he fled, be delivered up and removed to the State having jurisdiction of the offence.”

“High misdemeanor” was struck and replaced with “other crime.”

Pierce Butler (SC) and Charles Pinckney (SC) motioned to add, "to require fugitive slaves and servants to be delivered up like criminals."

James Wilson (PA) asked why one State should be saddled with the expense of retrieving property for another State.

Roger Sherman (CN) saw no more propriety in the public seizing and surrendering a slave or servant, than a horse.

Pierce Butler (SC) withdrew his motion in order to submit it later as a stand alone.

Article XV passed without opposition.

Adjourned.

1 posted on 08/28/2011 5:26:43 AM PDT by Jacquerie
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To: Lady Jag; Ev Reeman; familyof5; NewMediaJournal; pallis; Kartographer; SuperLuminal; unixfox; ...
Constitutional Convention Ping!
2 posted on 08/28/2011 5:28:17 AM PDT by Jacquerie (The First Fatass is an insult to the republic she despises.)
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To: Jacquerie
Thanks, Jacquerie.

"It is apparent from the whole context of the Constitution as well as the history of the time which gave birth to it, that it was the purpose of the Convention to establish a currency consisting of the precious metals. These were adopted by a permanent rule excluding the use of a perishable medium of exchange . . . or the still more pernicious expedient of paper currency." - President Andrew Jackson (1826), as quoted in "Our Ageless Constitution" (1987), p. 117.

Jackson's words appear in an essay by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., entitled, "Gold and Silver Coin - The Foundation of the Monetary System Created by the Constitution," the second of two essays on the subject in this 292-page volume on the essential principles of liberty underlying the U. S. Constitution. In Vieira's contribution beginning on P. 117, he outlines the background of the Founders' concerns for liberty as they considered the establishment of a monetary system for a free society. Then, he traces the actions which later generations have taken which have endangered liberty over the 200 years between 1787 and 1987 (Bicentennial). A sequel to that essay could reveal more deterioration of the Founders' intended protections for liberty.

The opening two paragraphs are of interest here:

"In 1787, the Founding Fathers wer deeply concerned with the role of government in this nation's monetary system not only because of their deep insights into political and economic theory and their familiarity with numerous historical examples of destruction wrought by governments of other countries which abused their monetary powers, but also from their own personal involvement in what was then a raging economic, social, and political crisis stemming from debauchery of money in the United States itself (See: Part III, Gold and Silver Coin).
"Themselves eye-witnesses to the catastrophic inflation that follwed the emission of "Bills of Credit" (paper money) by both the Continental Congress and the States during the War of Independence, and after lengthy debate in the Constitutional Convention, the Founding Fathers carefullyy structured the monetary powers of the Constitution to prevent repetition of such a calamity, by utterly outlawing what the Continental Congress and the Federalist Papers denounced as the "fallacious Medium" and "improper and wicked project" of paper money (See Part VIII, Notable Quotations, Paper Money).

Dr. Vieira is an attorney and well-known author of works on the subject, including, "Pieces of Eight: The Monetary Powers and Disabilities of the United States Constitution" (1983).

Thomas Jefferson: "Paper is liable to be abused, has been, is, and forever will be abused, in every country in which it is permitted."

". . . although the other nations of Europe have tried and trodden every path of force or folly in fruitless quest of the same object, yet we still expect to find in juggling tricks and banking dreams, that money can be made out of nothing. . . The misfortune is. . . we shall plunge ourselves in unextinguishable debt, and entail on our posterity an inheritance of external taxes, which will bring our government and people into the condition of those of England, an nation of pikes and gudgeons, the latter bred merely as food for the former."

"Stock dealers and banking companies, by the aid of a paper system [paper money] are enriching themselves to the ruin of our country, and swaying the government by their possession of the printing presses, which their wealth commands, and by other means, not always honorable to the character of our countrymen."

Then there is John Maynard Keynes observation in "The Economic Consequences of the Peace - 1920":

"Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the Capitalist System was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method, they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. . . . Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. . . . (It) does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose."

3 posted on 08/28/2011 8:39:35 AM PDT by loveliberty2
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To: loveliberty2

Thanks for your research. IIRC, inflation as measured by basic foodstuffs, (sugar, flour, corn meal come to mind) was a big fat ZERO between 1813 and 1913.

So what will happen when our currency is totally debauched? Will we return to Constitutional principles or demand an authoritarian government to “do something?”


4 posted on 08/28/2011 10:51:21 AM PDT by Jacquerie
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