Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

1 posted on 01/20/2011 7:50:21 AM PST by Publius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies ]

To: 14themunny; 21stCenturion; 300magnum; A Strict Constructionist; abigail2; AdvisorB; Aggie Mama; ...
Ping! The thread has been posted.

Earlier threads:

FReeper Book Club: The Debate over the Constitution
5 Oct 1787, Centinel #1
6 Oct 1787, James Wilson’s Speech at the State House
8 Oct 1787, Federal Farmer #1
9 Oct 1787, Federal Farmer #2
18 Oct 1787, Brutus #1
22 Oct 1787, John DeWitt #1
27 Oct 1787, John DeWitt #2
27 Oct 1787, Federalist #1
31 Oct 1787, Federalist #2
3 Nov 1787, Federalist #3
5 Nov 1787, John DeWitt #3
7 Nov 1787, Federalist #4
10 Nov 1787, Federalist #5
14 Nov 1787, Federalist #6
15 Nov 1787, Federalist #7
20 Nov 1787, Federalist #8
21 Nov 1787, Federalist #9
23 Nov 1787, Federalist #10
24 Nov 1787, Federalist #11
27 Nov 1787, Federalist #12
27 Nov 1787, Cato #5
28 Nov 1787, Federalist #13
29 Nov 1787, Brutus #4
30 Nov 1787, Federalist #14
1 Dec 1787, Federalist #15
4 Dec 1787, Federalist #16
5 Dec 1787, Federalist #17
7 Dec 1787, Federalist #18
8 Dec 1787, Federalist #19
11 Dec 1787, Federalist #20
12 Dec 1787, Federalist #21
14 Dec 1787, Federalist #22
18 Dec 1787, Federalist #23
18 Dec 1787, Address of the Pennsylvania Minority
19 Dec 1787, Federalist #24
21 Dec 1787, Federalist #25
22 Dec 1787, Federalist #26
25 Dec 1787, Federalist #27
26 Dec 1787, Federalist #28
27 Dec 1787, Brutus #6
28 Dec 1787, Federalist #30
1 Jan 1788, Federalist #31
3 Jan 1788, Federalist #32
3 Jan 1788, Federalist #33
3 Jan 1788, Cato #7
4 Jan 1788, Federalist #34
5 Jan 1788, Federalist #35
8 Jan 1788, Federalist #36
10 Jan 1788, Federalist #29
11 Jan 1788, Federalist #37
15 Jan 1788, Federalist #38
16 Jan 1788, Federalist #39
18 Jan 1788, Federalist #40
19 Jan 1788, Federalist #41
22 Jan 1788, Federalist #42
23 Jan 1788, Federalist #43
24 Jan 1788, Brutus #10
25 Jan 1788, Federalist #44
26 Jan 1788, Federalist #45
29 Jan 1788, Federalist #46
31 Jan 1788, Brutus #11
1 Feb 1788, Federalist #47
1 Feb 1788, Federalist #48
5 Feb 1788, Federalist #49
5 Feb 1788, Federalist #50
7 Feb 1788, Brutus #12, Part 1
8 Feb 1788, Federalist #51
8 Feb 1788, Federalist #52
12 Feb 1788, Federalist #53
12 Feb 1788, Federalist #54
14 Feb 1788, Brutus #12, Part 2
15 Feb 1788, Federalist #55
19 Feb 1788, Federalist #56
19 Feb 1788, Federalist #57
20 Feb 1788, Federalist #58
22 Feb 1788, Federalist #59
26 Feb 1788, Federalist #60
26 Feb 1788, Federalist #61
27 Feb 1788, Federalist #62
1 Mar 1788, Federalist #63
7 Mar 1788, Federalist #64
7 Mar 1788, Federalist #65
11 Mar 1788, Federalist #66
11 Mar 1788, Federalist #67
14 Mar 1788, Federalist #68
14 Mar 1788, Federalist #69
15 Mar 1788, Federalist #70
18 Mar 1788, Federalist #71
20 Mar 1788, Brutus #15
21 Mar 1788, Federalist #72
21 Mar 1788, Federalist #73
25 Mar 1788, Federalist #74
26 Mar 1788, Federalist #75
1 Apr 1788, Federalist #76
4 Apr 1788, Federalist #77
10 Apr 1788, Brutus #16
5 Jun 1788, Patrick Henry’s Speech to the New York Ratifying Convention #1

2 posted on 01/20/2011 7:52:14 AM PST by Publius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

To: Publius

Let me first say that it is abundantly clear that Mr. Henry was one long winded dude!

3 posted on 01/20/2011 8:12:54 AM PST by Bigun ("It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." Voltaire)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

To: Publius

Patrick Henry bump. The Antifederalists were right.

9 posted on 01/20/2011 2:02:44 PM PST by Huck (Did the Iron Lady wear lip gloss?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

To: Publius

The honorable member then observed, that nations will expend millions for commercial advantages; that is, that they will deprive you of every advantage if they can. Apply this another way. Their cheaper way, instead of laying out millions in making war upon you, will be to corrupt your senators. I know that, if they be not above all price, they may make a sacrifice of our commercial interests. They may advise your President to make a treaty that will not only sacrifice all your commercial interests, but throw prostrate your bill of rights.

An excellent point and today we are mostly there. By reasonable calculations, we will be forced to default on our debt in five years when it reaches 100% of GDP. The President can then negotiate a treaty with our debtors (mostly China) and the Senate can ratify it. Who knows what it will require? Madison’s favorite chamber, the House, will have no say on it.

Compare the peasants of Switzerland . . . Their valor, sir, has been active; every thing that sets in motion the springs of the human heart engaged them to that protection of their inestimable privileges. They have not only secured their own liberty, but have been the arbiters of the fate of other people. Here, sir, contemplate the triumph of the republican governments over the pride of monarchy.

Another excellent point. I thought he was going to make it when I read his first address.

The citizens of republican borders are only terrible to tyrants. Instead of being dangerous to one another, they mutually support one another’s liberties. We might be confederated with the adopting states without ratifying this system. No form of government renders a people more formidable. A confederacy of states joined together becomes strong as the United Netherlands. The government of Holland, execrated as it is, proves that {146} the present Confederation is adequate to every purpose of human association.

Where is there now, or where was there ever, a nation of so small a territory, and so few in number, so powerful, so wealthy, so happy? What is the cause of this superiority? Liberty, sir, the freedom of their government.

Another excellent point. I remember many histories of prior governments being discussed at the Constitutional Convention. I will have to go back and read Madison’s note and compare them to what Patrick Henry is saying here.

They tell us that one collector may collect the federal and state taxes. The general government being paramount to the state legislatures, if the sheriff is to collect for both, —his right hand for Congress, his left for the state, —his right hand being paramount over the left, his collections will go to Congress. We shall have the rest. Deficiencies in collections will always operate against the states. Congress, being the paramount, supreme power, must not be disappointed. Thus Congress will have an unlimited, unbounded command over the soul of this commonwealth. After satisfying their uncontrolled demands, what can be left for the states? Not a sufficiency even to defray the expense of their internal administration. They must therefore glide imperceptibly and gradually out of existence. This, sir, must naturally terminate in a consolidation. If this will do for other people, it never will do for me.

Patrick Henry is taking names and kicking tail. He was right of course. The explanation from the Federalists that the National Government would have the final right to decided the boundary between the States and the National government was always weak, i.e. "Well in areas the states know better the National Government will choose to defer" to paraphrase.

Mr. Henry then declared a bill of rights indispensably necessary; that a general positive provision should be inserted in the new system, securing to the states and the people every right which was not conceded to the general government; and that every implication should be done away. It being now late, he concluded by observing, that he would resume the subject another time.

Necessary but insufficient and by adding a Bill of Rights it enabled the Judiciary to legislate further.

Henry’s Critique

Henry’s weaknesses, one of which would place Henry in a very difficult position for one whose theme was the rights of the citizen in the face of an oppressive government . For Henry, there is no ideal government, no engineered Platonic society under the benevolent guidance of a philosopher-king. Government is an artificiality and a threat to man’s natural liberty.

Well that the problem isn’t it? We can complain about our constitution all we want but "framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself." One still has to wonder if this Constitution was necessary.


BTW, Publis – Thanks for the explanation of Josiah Philips. Google couldn’t find much on him without including too much information on Josiah Phillips Quincy. I gave up.


Is there any way to address this without demolishing the modern state? Should the modern state be demolished, and why?

After I got done with my look at the financial numbers over the holidays, I’m sure this is a real and present question. The short answer is, I don’t know. When I look at my own personal options, the thought that I can’t pick up and move like my ancestors did, really bothers me. I once had a conversation with a cabbie while riding from an airport. He was telling me what he liked about America. I told him that the difference between most every other country and America was that first the people came then the government came. I don’t know if I can find a country. As Reagan said, "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." Internally, we must regain the right to move away from oppressive or irresponsible governments without moving away from America.

Which of Henry’s cherished liberties would he now consider long gone?

The ability to avoid our government. The Commerce Clause, Elastic Clause, 14th and 16th Amendment have all been used against us. Mathematically this reminds me of an optimization problem with constraints. If one manipulates the constraints, it doesn’t matter what equation is being optimized.

Henry sees the Preamble to the Constitution as an invitation to consolidate the nation into a "common herd"

If he had the word "socialist" to use, he would have. If he had seen what sociologists do with statistics, he would have shot everyone considering a national government. "Let us assume that people’s characteristics are normally distributed….."

The solution would seem to be the reinvigoration of the states, but what would that do to national unity in a dangerous world?

The question was and is, can we provide for the common defense while allowing people to move away from an oppressive government? Well, we can die trying one way or the other.

Henry pushes for the existing system of federal requisitions from the states as opposed to direct taxation. Could the early system of the federal government dunning the states for their share of the federal budget by population be reinstated, and if so, how?

I’ve been thinking about that one lately. Tariffs were typically the way national governments collected taxes and Hamilton used the whiskey tax to incite rebellion and keep the rum tariff down. I don’t suppose there is a "good" way to tax that evil men can’t use.

Was his criticism of the Constitution on this point hypocritical?

Thinking about it in this one dimension, yes it is, but I his argument was that the super majority requirement of the Constitution was no guaranty against mistakes. Only a government so weak that it’s mistakes didn’t matter could be expected to fail in the oppression of its people.

Did the episode of Josiah Philips undermine Henry’s arguments in favor of civil rights? Jefferson’s?

With what little understanding I have of the situation, it seems obvious. We are all sinners and Henry’s sin was used by other sinners against him.

11 posted on 01/20/2011 9:12:28 PM PST by MontaniSemperLiberi (Moutaineers are Always Free)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

To: Publius

Publis, Did they consider a temporary constitution? One lasting long enough to pay off the war debts then to dissolve? I don’t remember ever reading it coming up.

What were the proposals short of this particular constitution? In know the Virginia plan, New Jersey plan, Connecticut compromise, etc. Were there others?

12 posted on 01/23/2011 3:47:04 PM PST by MontaniSemperLiberi (Moutaineers are Always Free)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

To: Publius
They say that everything that is not given is retained.

281 The reverse of the proposition is true…

284 The existence of powers is sufficiently established.

285 If we trust our dearest rights to implication, we shall be in a very unhappy situation.

He was absolutely right, and even the 10th amendment does NOTHING to change it, because it only begs the question of what is or isn't given.

It is also a fact that EXPRESSLY delegated powers were shot down. This system was intentionally broad, whereas the old system was intentionally strict. They went from one extreme to the other, with Madison claiming to have found some "middle ground." Beware of those who claim the middle ground.

Henry's speech also underlines the fact that the proponents of the Constitution used typical political tactics to get it passed--they created a crisis atmosphere, they claimed we must pass THIS constitution or perish. Hell, Ben Franklin's famous speech at the end of the convention is nothing more than your typical "it's the best bill we could get" speech.

Now watch as Obamacare is ultimately decided by one judge--Justice Kennedy--and reflect on whether or not that represents a limited government, a free republic, a setup MOST able to preserve the blessings of LIBERTY.

16 posted on 02/03/2011 6:09:12 AM PST by Huck (one per-center)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson