Skip to comments.Conservatism and the Founding
Posted on 05/21/2002 5:44:16 PM PDT by aconservaguy
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Madison is a very intriguing figure. The papers of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln have largely been digitized by the Library of Congress, the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan. Madison would be a good next choice, as would Adams or Hamilton.
Incidentally, if the Federalist party went extinct after its dumb flirtation with secesion doctrine, and if the Democrat-Republicans of Jefferson and Madison became Jacksonian Democrats, who spawned John C. Calhoun? Or did he spawn himself? As I recall, Georgia and South Carolina were the fire eaters at the Constitutional Convention. I don't recall who the delgates were, but perhaps they are the orginators of Calhounism, and subsequently, DiLorenzoism. Any thoughts?
Makes me chuckle. I was out fishing today with my wife at a state park, and while walking along a footpath, we heard a boy call out to his mother, "Mommy, Mommy, I am King of the Universe!" There, I thought to myself, is where the trouble begins. :-)
The Federalists, though, were already on the skids when the War of 1812 started. Perhaps at some point they figured they would never win the Presidency again, and fell back on just being the voice of New England, so secession followed as a consequence of the abandonment of the Middle States to the Democratic-Republicans. Our system works best when parties compete in all regions of the country, but it's always turned out that party divisions tended to reflect regional fissures.
Calhoun was actually a fiery War Hawk and young nationalist in 1812. His transformation is another topic that could be examined more closely. I suspect that he was so nationalistic because he came from the upcountry, where settlement had been comparatively recent and identification with new states like Tennessee and Kentucky was strong. As the frontier moved West and memories of frontier days and wild Scots Irishmen faded and plantation culture grew stronger, it was natural that the men of central South Carolina would look more to Charleston and less to the West. There must have been some pan-Western feeling that tied those who lived beyond the Eastern seaboard together in the early years of the republic. As settlement grew thicker, the differences between North and South increased.
I don't know the details about the Convention, but as I recall, South Carolina and Georgia were always the "odd men out." Virginia acted as mediator between them and the other states to hold the compromises over slavery together. I don't think it was that SC and GA had a highly developed state's rights ideology -- there were some people in many states who did -- but they did want to ensure that the Federal government would do as little as possible about internal matters like slavery. Supposedly, Charleston had close ties to the West Indies, and thus was always a little out of step with the rest of the country.
Madison's records of the Conventions debates are on the web -- http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/debates/debcont.htm http://www.constitution.org/dfc/dfc_0000.htm -- but it can be hard to get into the transcript format.
It has taught me to be much more careful in for what I wish, and to be very grateful for FR.
Dear Huck, did you think for a moment that I was advancing a "preference" here? I know very well that the scenario I laid out is completely unrealizable in our present day and age. There is no way to go home again, as the story goes.
If a tyrant such as I claimed to be were ever to do such a thing as I "proposed" in my last, there would be great wailing and knashing of teeth abroad in the land; millions of people employed in the "complaince business" -- mainly lawyers and tax accountants and professional consultants specializing in the regulatory field -- would have to find higher value jobs; and teachers would actually be required to master their subjects before imparting them to our young; the professional tax consumers organizations would be out of work; etc., etc., yada yada yada. So it would never happen. (This list is very, very long.)
Yet zillions of federal statutes instantly would fall off the books under my little scenario, lacking a bona fide constitutional warrent.
Not to mention that any such tyrant or dictator in America to impose such a regime as that contemplated by the Framers would be almost instantly assassinated.
Huck, I think you may have missed my point altogether. best, bb.
You misunderstood me. I don't believe you are plotting to become a dictator. It just strikes me that the notion--what if I were king--occurs naturally in humans. You were speaking hypothetically, I know. The boy in the park was being fanciful. But 1000 years from now, no matter what system humans live under, it seems to me boys will still be fancying themselves omnipotent rulers, the idea will live on. You can't get rid of it. Your turn of phrase sparked that thought in me, that's all. I don't take you for a would be tyrant. It's just natural that a person doesn't say, "If I were chief magistrate and held a solid majority in both houses...". C'mon. The notion is funny.
Yeah Huck. It seems human nature remains fairly constant from eon to eon. Which fact seems to constitute some legitimate ground for suspicion that the macro-Darwinists may not have gotten their particular case right from the git-go.
You suggest that the will to dominate is a naturally occurring condition in many if not most human persons. You may very well be right about this. I personally know all kinds of people from lived life (i.e., from daily experience) who, already having everything they could possibly need or want, still would not ever rest satisfied unless or until absolutely everybody else agreed with them about whatever seemed important to them .
Im glad for your flight of fancy, in which you seem to lay down the law of human nature. To which I would add, in my particular rendition of a flight of fancy: a few lines from Kate Hepburn, in the film The African Queen: Human nature is what were put here to rise above.
Dunno why, but I have always liked that line, delighting in its highly serious humor.
Best to Huck with thanks, bb.
On glancing through this, I see that I placemarked, but never read it! Thanks for bringing the thread to my attention again.
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