Skip to comments.28 Fundamental Principles of the Founding Fathers
Posted on 05/20/2010 11:39:50 AM PDT by JimBobWay
Discover the 28 fundamental beliefs of the Founding Fathers which they said must be understood and perpetuated by every people who desired peace, prosperity, and freedom...
These beliefs have made possible more progress in 200 years than was made previously in over 5,000 years. Thus the title "The 5,000 Year Leap".
The following is a brief overview of the principles found in The 5,000 Year Leap, and one chapter is devoted to each of these 28 principles...
Read more at: http://www.volusia912.org/The_28_Principles.pdf
Principle 2 - A free people cannot survive under a republican constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong. "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." - Benjamin Franklin
Principle 3 - The most promising method of securing a virtuous people is to elect virtuous leaders. "Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who ... will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man." - Samuel Adams
Principle 4 - Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained. "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.... And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion." - George Washington
Principle 5 - All things were created by God, therefore upon him all mankind are equally dependent, and to him they are equally responsible. The American Founding Fathers considered the existence of the Creator as the most fundamental premise underlying all self-evident truth. They felt a person who boasted he or she was an atheist had just simply failed to apply his or her divine capacity for reason and observation.
Principle 6 - All mankind were created equal. The Founders knew that in these three ways, all mankind are theoretically treated as: 1. Equal before God. 2. Equal before the law. 3. Equal in their rights.
Principle 7 - The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things. The Founders recognized that the people cannot delegate to their government any power except that which they have the lawful right to exercise themselves.
Principle 8 - Mankind are endowed by God with certain unalienable rights. "Those rights, then, which God and nature have established, and are therefore called natural rights, such as are life and liberty, need not the aid of human laws to be more effectually invested in every man than they are; neither do they receive any additional strength when declared by the municipal [or state] laws to be inviolable. On the contrary, no human legislation has power to abridge or destroy them, unless the owner [of the right] shall himself commit some act that amounts to a forfeiture." - William Blackstone
Principle 9 - To protect human rights, God has revealed a code of divine law. "The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law, and they are to be found only in the Holy Scriptures. These precepts, when revealed, are found by comparison to be really a part of the original law of nature, as they tend in all their consequences to man's felicity." - William Blackstone
Principle 10 - The God-given right to govern is vested in the sovereign authority of the whole people. "The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of the consent of the people. The streams of national power ought to flow immediately from that pure, original fountain of all legislative authority." - Alexander Hamilton
Principle 11 - The majority of the people may alter or abolish a government which has become tyrannical. "Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes ... but when a long train of abuses and usurpations ... evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security." - Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence
Principle 12 - The United States of America shall be a republic. "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America And to the republic for which it stands...."
Principle 13 - A Constitution should protect the people from the frailties of their rulers. "If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.... [But lacking these] you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself." - James Madison
Principle 14 - Life and liberty are secure only so long as the rights of property are secure. John Locke reasoned that God gave the earth and everything in it to the whole human family as a gift. Therefore the land, the sea, the acorns in the forest, the deer feeding in the meadow belong to everyone "in common." However, the moment someone takes the trouble to change something from its original state of nature, that person has added his ingenuity or labor to make that change. Herein lies the secret to the origin of "property rights."
Principle 15 - The highest level of prosperity occurs when there is a free-market economy and a minimum of government regulations. Prosperity depends upon a climate of wholesome stimulation with four basic freedoms in operation: 1. The Freedom to try. 2. The Freedom to buy. 3. The Freedom to sell. 4. The Freedom to fail.
Principle 16 - The government should be separated into three branches. "I call you to witness that I was the first member of the Congress who ventured to come out in public, as I did in January 1776, in my Thoughts on Government ... in favor of a government with three branches and an independent judiciary. This pamphlet, you know, was very unpopular. No man appeared in public to support it but yourself." - John Adams
Principle 17 - A system of checks and balances should be adopted to prevent the abuse of power by the different branches of government. "It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it." - James Madison
Principle 18 - The unalienable rights of the people are most likely to be preserved if the principles of government are set forth in a written Constitution. The structure of the American system is set forth in the Constitution of the United States and the only weaknesses which have appeared are those which were allowed to creep in despite the Constitution.
Principle 19 - Only limited and carefully defined powers should be delegated to government, all others being retained by the people. The Tenth Amendment is the most widely violated provision of the bill of rights. If it had been respected and enforced America would be an amazingly different country than it is today. This amendment provides: "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."
Principle 20 - Efficiency and dispatch require that the government operate according to the will of the majority, but constitutional provisions must be made to protect the rights of the minority. "Every man, by consenting with others to make one body politic under one government, puts himself under an obligation to every one of that society to submit to the determination of the majority, and to be concluded [bound] by it." - John Locke
Principle 21 - Strong local self-government is the keystone to preserving human freedom. "The way to have good and safe government is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the functions he is competent [to perform best]. - Thomas Jefferson
Principle 22 - A free people should be governed by law and not by the whims of men. "The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings, capable of laws, where there is no law there is no freedom. For liberty is to be free from restraint and violence of others, which cannot be where there is no law." - John Locke
Principle 23 - A free society cannot survive as a republic without a broad program of general education. "They made an early provision by law that every town consisting of so many families should be always furnished with a grammar school. They made it a crime for such a town to be destitute of a grammar schoolmaster for a few months, and subjected it to a heavy penalty. So that the education of all ranks of people was made the care and expense of the public, in a manner that I believe has been unknown to any other people, ancient or modern. The consequences of these establishments we see and feel every day [written in 1765]. A native of America who cannot read and write is as rare ... as a comet or an earthquake." John Adams
Principle 24 - A free people will not survive unless they stay strong. "To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace." - George Washington
Principle 25 - "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations -- entangling alliances with none." - Thomas Jefferson, given in his first inaugural address.
Principle 26 - The core unit which determines the strength of any society is the family; therefore the government should foster and protect its integrity. "There is certainly no country in the world where the tie of marriage is more respected than in America, or where conjugal happiness is more highly or worthily appreciated." Alexis de Tocqueville
Principle 27 - The burden of debt is as destructive to human freedom as subjugation by conquest. "We are bound to defray expenses [of the war] within our own time, and are unauthorized to burden posterity with them.... We shall all consider ourselves morally bound to pay them ourselves and consequently within the life [expectancy] of the majority." - Thomas Jefferson
Principle 28 - The United States has a manifest destiny to eventually become a glorious example of God's law under a restored Constitution that will inspire the entire human race. The Founders sensed from the very beginning that they were on a divine mission. Their great disappointment was that it didn't all come to pass in their day, but they knew that someday it would. John Adams wrote: "I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence for the illumination of the ignorant, and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth."
Ping for later
Bookmarking for later
The 5,000 Year Leap is a rocky reading road, but indispensable. I researched a dozen or so of the most obscure quotes attributed to Jefferson, Washington . . . and verified them all.
It is only in the context of Natural Law that our Declaration and Constitution form a coherent whole.
Like Ben Frank said...
The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance.
The dumbing down of America was no accident, but a calculated assault on our freedom.
Bump for later
Your post deserves wider attention.
I found it fascinating.
It was a great distillation of the founding principles - Christian based founding principles.
Obviously, the majority of those in political office today disgrace these principles and disgrace our founding fathers as well as all those that protected and defended this nation. God help us all.
LOL...thanks for pinging me...I was crestfallen to realize it was not some kind of post I did...:)
Thought for a second I was going to be noticed among the critically thinking crowd!
I will read this when I get home...looks great!
Oops. You are quite right. It does read that way.
I'll do what I can to help spread this excellent compilation around.
Interesting; I just bought 5,000 Year leap.
I will spread this about and see what it brings in.
Thanks for the ping.
Thanks for the ping!
The founders believed in a creator. Those who abhor the studies into the supernatural (in favor of honoring their gods in politics) fail in Aristotle’s encouragement, who said it is the highest calling of the human mind.
I think studies into the supernatural have been elevated to such levels, because it gives us all a chance to argue, discuss and compare our lofty theories, without that pain in the butt need or ability to prove any of it.
That sounds like a defense of our president’s economic programs and theories..... ;^)
Yes, but the issue is confused by the context of the times. That is, that European nations proclaimed that their nations and their kings were appointed by God, and as such, to disagree with the king was also heresy.
So, with all due respect to God, the founding fathers wanted no pretense that the US constitution was written in heaven. As Lincoln later said, that it was “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
This in no way disparages God, in fact just the opposite. It takes away the use of God’s name from the vanity of secular law. This is no small thing, as it is said that “those who enjoy sausage and the law should never see either being made.”
With this idea behind the constitution, the people can feel free to create, change or amend the US constitution and US laws, without offending heaven. If heaven is offended, then it is up to heaven to say so, not some smarmy Episcopalian leftist priest.
This is far more respectful of God than proclaiming that He directs your hand in creating zoning ordinances and mandating the minimum size of bikini swimsuits, and all who say otherwise are heathens.
Read the book a few months back. Really excellent read.
Recommend another of Dr. Skousen's books entitled, "The Making of America.
Also recommend another volume outlining those principles, published in 1987's Bicentennial of the Constitution Year, entitled, "Our Ageless Constitution."
In addition to outlining and describing the principles, the Editors of "Our Ageless Constitution" engaged constitutional scholars for the purpose of tracing, step by step, how those fundamental principles had been eroded and changed over the 200 years.
Like "The 5000 Year Leap," "Our Ageless Constitution" has been reprinted and is ready for purchase here. Those who praised the book included President Ronald Reagan (see the Endorsements tab on web site).
Understanding the principles and the steps by which those principles have been ignored, disregarded, and bypassed is essential to any effort to return America to her foundations. TEA Partiers, and all who love liberty, should add these 3 books to their libraries and share with their friends.
Thanks for the ping!
>>The founders believed in a creator. Those who abhor the studies into the supernatural (in favor of honoring their gods in politics) fail in Aristotles encouragement, who said it is the highest calling of the human mind.
“To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, god, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no god, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise ... without plunging into the fathomless abyss of dreams and phantasms. I am satisfied, and sufficiently occupied with the things which are, without tormenting or troubling myself about those which may indeed be, but of which I have no evidence.”
— Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, August 15, 1820
“And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.”
—Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823
“I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition [Christianity] one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded upon fables and mythologies”
—Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Dr. Woods).
“Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law.”
— Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814,
“The common law existed while the Anglo-Saxons were yet pagans, at a time when they had never yet heard the name of Christ pronounced or knew that such a character existed.”
— Thomas Jefferson, letter to Major John Cartwright, June 5, 1824
“That form [of self-government] which we have substituted for that which bound men under the chains of monkish ignorance and superstition restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion.”
—Thomas Jefferson to Roger C. Weightman, 1826.
So, to sum all that up, what message are you attempting to deliver?
>So, to sum all that up, what message are you attempting to deliver?
There is no question that Jefferson was one of those who ‘abhorred the studies into the supernatural’. In fact, the discussions between him and John Adams with regards to Plato, Jefferson’s bible, etc., show that Adams, as well, held similar thoughts. The ‘Creator’ and ‘Nature’s God’ was not the Christian God for many of the founders or for many of the people at the time of the founding. I’m not saying they were ‘deists’ in the absolute sense, they were not - they did believe in a ‘Providence overlooking’, eg. - but Jefferson himself, rejected all the supernaturalism of Christianity - the idea that Jesus was the ‘son of God’, the virgin birth, the resurrection and any other aspect that didn’t, in his view, reflect reality and reason.
What may be true of Samual Adams, was not true of John, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Paine, Monroe, to name a few.
You explained your point very well. Thank You.
A belief in God does not make one a follower of Christianity. From what I gathered in my reading, many people in that time believed in a creator - - and seriously hoped that there was a final judgement by that creator.
Of course, tyrants wish nothing of the sort.
thanks much. Grateful for outlets like Free Republic.
> You explained your point very well. Thank You.
> A belief in God does not make one a follower of Christianity. From what I gathered in my reading, many people in that time believed in a creator - - and seriously hoped that there was a final judgement by that creator.
> Of course, tyrants wish nothing of the sort.
Some ‘background’ ;-)
Not like this subject hasn’t arisen before :-)
And you’re implication that tyrants may face a ‘final judgment’ goes further into the ‘immaterial things’ than Jefferson would be comfortable with.
Another thing that comes up in the conversation about an ‘overseeing Providence’ is the idea that the US form of gov’t was ‘guided by an invisible hand’ - I believe Washington used those words (he must have read Adam Smith :-) However, the idea of something coming about from the Creator, could be in the form of a deistic view of ‘design’ that ‘all was set in motion at creation’ and that the results of that was being felt in the 18th century without there being a direct and present ‘guiding hand’ of God playing out his hand. [some Christians, admirably, imo, use this - ‘design’ - to explain evolution - ‘that’s the way God planned it originally - next question’. lol... It’s a good argument.]
And I’ll grant that some founders and many of the citizens at the time felt that this was a Christian God’s direct intervention, but it is wrong for people and Glenn Beck to discount the religious but non Christian view - esp. when there are direct quotes regarding this - or to read ‘Christian’ into the word ‘Creator’ or ‘Nature’s God’, when coming right out of the Age of Reason, those words meant something entirely different at that time.
I believe that the D of I was a ‘political’ document (and I’ve said this before, here) where it was in a sense, a ‘work of art,’ where people could read into it, from their own viewpoint of what was meant by “Nature’s God”, “Creator”, “self-evident truths” and “Nature’s Laws”. And because that aspect of it could be ‘subjective’ doesn’t mean that there are not real objective truths in the document. There are.... ‘individual rights’ being one of those and the one thing that for the first time in history (it wasn’t democracy - that had been done before ;-) that the rights of the individual was held sovereign rather the needs of the church or the state. And when we attempt to restore those truths, to overemphasize any religious aspect, imo, takes away from the more important and liberating aspect of the sovereignty of the individual.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.