Skip to comments.This Day in History: 1788 U.S. Constitution ratified
Posted on 06/21/2017 2:35:38 PM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer
New Hampshire becomes the ninth and last necessary state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, thereby making the document the law of the land.
By 1786, defects in the post-Revolutionary War Articles of Confederation were apparent, such as the lack of central authority over foreign and domestic commerce. Congress endorsed a plan to draft a new constitution, and on May 25, 1787, the Constitutional Convention convened at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. On September 17, 1787, after three months of debate moderated by convention president George Washington, the new U.S. constitution, which created a strong federal government with an intricate system of checks and balances, was signed by 38 of the 41 delegates present at the conclusion of the convention. As dictated by Article VII, the document would not become binding until it was ratified by nine of the 13 states.
Beginning on December 7, five statesDelaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticutratified it in quick succession. However, other states, especially Massachusetts, opposed the document, as it failed to reserve undelegated powers to the states and lacked constitutional protection of basic political rights, such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press. In February 1788, a compromise was reached under which Massachusetts and other states would agree to ratify the document with the assurance that amendments would be immediately proposed. The Constitution was thus narrowly ratified in Massachusetts, followed by Maryland and South Carolina. On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the document, and it was subsequently agreed that government under the U.S. Constitution would begin on March 4, 1789. In June, Virginia ratified the Constitution, followed by New York in July.
On September 25, 1789, the first Congress of the United States adopted 12 amendments to the U.S. Constitutionthe Bill of Rightsand sent them to the states for ratification. Ten of these amendments were ratified in 1791. In November 1789, North Carolina became the 12th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Rhode Island, which opposed federal control of currency and was critical of compromise on the issue of slavery, resisted ratifying the Constitution until the U.S. government threatened to sever commercial relations with the state. On May 29, 1790, Rhode Island voted by two votes to ratify the document, and the last of the original 13 colonies joined the United States. Today the U.S. Constitution is the oldest written constitution in operation in the world.
Signers to the document are currently spinning in their graves. Flim at 11.
We have a Constitution?
Thank you, James Madison!
I wonder if there’s a single student at Evergreen State College who knows this.
I wonder how many students at Harvard know it.
Certainly Google doesn’t give a s* about it.
And our job is the restoration of our Free Constitutional republic by dismantling the 80% unconstitutional portion of the federal government, putting them back into their constitutional cage with lock and key, and setting back in place the Constitution as written and originally understood and intended as a watchdog against the feds breaking out of their cage.
I always thought that Connecticut was called the Constitution State because it was the last necessary state to ratify the Constitution. But apparently that is not true:
King John signing Magna Carta, June 15, 1215 A.D.
England was invaded by Dane Vikings from Scandinavia who destroyed churches, libraries and defeated all opposition except for 23-year-old King Alfred. Forced into the swampy, tidal marshes of Somerset, Alfred, King of the Anglos and Saxons, began a resistance movement in 878 A.D.
According to biographer Bishop Asser, Alfred attacked the whole pagan army fighting ferociously in dense order, and by divine will eventually won the victory.
King Alfreds battle song was:
When the enemy comes in aroarin like a flood,
Coveting the kingdom and hungering for blood,
The Lord will raise a standard up and lead His people ,
The Lord of Hosts will go before defeating every foe;
defeating every foe.
For the Lord is our defense, Jesus defend us,
For the Lord is our defense, Jesu defend.
Some men trust in chariots, some trust in the horse,
But we will depend upon the Name of Christ our Lord,
The Lord has made my hands to war and my fingers to fight.
The Lord lays low our enemies, but He raises us upright;
He raises us upright.
For the Lord is our defense, Jesus defend us,
For the lord is our defense, Jesu defend.
A thousand fall on my left hand, ten thousand to the right,
But He will defend us from the arrow in the night.
Protect us from the terrors of the teeth of the devourer,
Embue us with your Spirit, Lord, encompass us with power;
encompass us with power.
For the Lord is our defense, Jesus defend us,
For the Lord is our defense, Jesus defend.
Alfred drove the Danes back to Englands coastal area of East Anglia, where he gave their King Guthrum the choice of sailing back to Scandinavia or converting to Christianity. He chose the latter.
G.K. Chestertons narrative poem about Alfred, called The Ballad of the White Horse (1910), is said to have influenced J.R.R. Tolkien in his writing of The Lord of the Rings.
Afterwards, King Alfred the Great wrote his Law Code, drawing from as far back in history as:
Lucius King of Britons (c.156 A.D.) prayed and entreated
he might be made a Christian
St. Patricks Celtic Senchus Mor Laws (c.438 A.D.);
Laws of Æthelberht of Kent (c.602 A.D.) the first Saxon king in England to be baptized, by St. Augustine of Canterbury
Laws of Christian King Ine of Wessex (c.694 A.D.)
Laws of Christian King Offa of Mercia (c.755 A.D.)
King Alfred the Great was credited with beginning the University of Oxford. He included in the preface of his Law Code the Ten Commandments, passages of the book of Exodus, Christs Sermon on the Mount, and the Acts of the Apostles.
King Alfred wrote: These are judgments which Almighty God Himself spoke to Moses and commanded him to keep. Now, since the Lords only begotten Son our God and healing Christ has come to Middle Earth (the Mediterranean World) He said that He did not come to break nor to forbid these commandments but to approve them well, and to teach them with all mild-heartedness and lowly-mindedness.
King Alfreds Law is considered the basis for English Common Law as it contained concepts such as liberty of the individual family and church, a decentralized government and equal justice for all under the law: Doom very evenly! Do not doom one doom to the rich; another to the poor! Nor doom one doom to your friend; another to your foe!
Winston Churchill wrote in his Nobel Prize-winning book, A History of the English Speaking Peoples (1956, vol. 1): King Alfreds Book of Laws as set out in the existing laws of Kent, Wessex, and Mercia, attempted to blend the Mosaic code with Christian principles and old Germanic customs.
Around the year 911 A.D., on the opposite side of the English Channel, Norse Vikings, called Normans, invaded an area that came to be called Normandy, in northern France. The Normans eventually became Christians.
In 1066, the Norman King, William the Conqueror, crossed the English Channel and invaded England. William the Norman replaced King Alfreds law with a feudal system of government which concentrated power into the hands of the king. This continued in England till the Magna Carta.
While Englands King Richard the Lionheart was away fighting the Muslims in the Third Crusade, his brother John was left in charge. The legend of Robinhood is considered to have originated during this time period. Richard the Lionheart returned to England in 1192, but was killed in 1199, leaving King John to rule.
Though the Normans had originally come from Normandy over a century earlier, King John lost Normandy and almost all the other English possessions to King Philip II of France by 1205. Englands barons became so frustrated by this loss and by King Johns absolute and arbitrary despotism that 25 of the leading barons surrounded him on the plains of Runnymede.
There they forced him to sign the Magna Carta, the Great Charter of English Liberties, on June 15, 1215.
British judge, Lord Denning, described the Magna Carta as the greatest constitutional document of all times the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot.
The Magna Carta limited the unbridled centralized power of the king. Winston Churchill stated in 1956: Here is a law which is above the King and which even he must not break. This reaffirmation of a supreme law and its expression in a general character is the great work of the Magna Carta; and this alone justifies the respect in which men have held it.
Sir Edwin Coke stated: The Magna Carta will have no sovereign.
The Magna Carta began the process of redefining governments purpose from dominating peoples lives into guaranteeing individual rights, culminating in the U.S. Constitution. Political power changed from top-down to bottom-up.
Sir Edwin Cokes book, Institutes on the Laws of England, which emphasized the importance of the Magna Carta, was studied by John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
Sir Edwin Coke had written in a 1610 case: When an act of Parliament is against common right or reason the common law will adjure such an act void.
When Britain imposed the hated Stamp Act on the American colonies, the Massachusetts Assembly responded that it was against the Magna Carta and the natural rights of Englishmen, and therefore, according to Lord Coke, null and void.
The Magna Carta, Clause 1: the English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired is reflected in the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
The Magna Carta, Clause 6: If our chief justice, our officials, or any of our servants offend in any respect against any man and the offense is made known to four of the said twenty-five barons, they shall come to us and claim immediate redress is reflected in the First Amendment: and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The Magna Carta, Clause 12: No scutage (tax) nor aid shall be imposed on our kingdom, unless by common counsel is reflected in the the Revolutionary phrase, No taxation without representation and the Declaration of Independence, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
The Magna Carta, Clause 13: We also will and grant that all other cities, boroughs, towns, and ports shall enjoy all their liberties and free customs is reflected in the U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Section 2: The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several states and Article IV, Section 1: Full faith and credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.
The Magna Carta, Clause 20: For a trivial offence, a free man shall be fined only in proportion to the degree of his offence, and for a serious offence correspondingly, but not so heavily as to deprive him of his livelihood is reflected in the Eighth Amendment: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The Magna Carta, Clause 28: No constable or other bailiff shall take corn or other provisions from anyone without immediately tendering money is reflected in the Fifth Amendment: nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
The Magna Carta, Clause 38: No official shall place a man on trial upon his own unsupported statement, without producing credible witnesses to the truth of it is reflected in the Sixth Amendment: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to be confronted with the witnesses against him.
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The Magna Carta, Clause 39: No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land is reflected in the Fifth Amendment: (N)or shall any person be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law and the 14th Amendment: nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.
The Magna Carta, Clause 40: To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice is reflected in the Sixth Amendment: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury.
If King John did not adhere to the Magna Carta, the 25 barons promised to levy war against him.
The U.S. Supreme Court wrote in Bank of Columbia v. Okely, 17 U.S. 235, 244 (1819): The words from Magna Carta were intended to secure the individual from the arbitrary exercise of the powers of government, unrestrained by the established principles of private right and distributive justice.
In over 100 U.S. Supreme Court decisions, the Magna Carta is referenced regarding:
due process of law
trial by jury of ones peers
the importance of a speedy and unbiased trial
protection against excessive bail or fines or cruel and unusual punishment
Acknowledging Americas debt to the Magna Carta, the American Bar Association erected a monument to it in England at Runnymede in 1957.
Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., stated in a Re-dedication Address to The American Bar Associations Memorial to the Magna Carta (19 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 55, 1985): The Magna Carta, in Bryces words, was the starting point of the constitutional history. Throughout the 196 year history of the Supreme Court of the United States, the bedrock principles of the Magna Carta have had and continue to have, a profound influence over the Justices deliberations.
The Magna Carta ends: for the salvation of our souls, and the souls of all our heirs, and unto the honor of God.
The Magna Carta was signed by King John, the younger brother of Richard the Lionheart, who was renown for fighting the Muslims in the Third Crusade.
<> Today the U.S. Constitution is the oldest written constitution in operation in the world.<>
If only. Somebody tell scotus.
The two of Madison’s 12 amendments that didn’t make the cut:
The first of these would have established how members of the House of Representatives would be apportioned to the states. It was drafted to ensure that members of the House would continue to represent small constituencies even as the general population grew, small enough that Representatives would not be too far removed from the concerns of citizens. In addition, keeping the House of Representatives from being too small was thought to protect against its becoming a kind of oligarchy. Congress did send this amendment to the states, but the number of states that ratified it was just short of the number needed. Although the proposed amendment did not become law, Congressional apportionment is nevertheless grounded in the Constitution (Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3) and the total number of members of the House of Representatives is set by federal statute (currently at 435).
The second of Madison’s 12 amendments forbade Congress from giving itself a pay raise: Congress could vote for a raise but it would only apply from the beginning of the next Congress. This amendment also failed to gather the required number of state ratifications in the years after it was introduced. In 1982, however, Gregory Watson, a university student doing research for a government class, ran across a description of this amendment and realized that it remained “alive” because it had included no language in it about a window of time in which it had to gain the needed number of state ratifications. Watson organized a successful effort to lobby various state legislatures, seeking their ratification of the amendment. As a result, the needed number was eventually reached and this amendment, first proposed in 1789, became the 27th (and most recent) amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1992.
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