Report from Our Historical Correspondent, Mac McIntosh
In your Fringe Editorial I read that you think the framers of the
Constitution thought the purpose of Government was to 'stay the hell out
of our lives'. This was in contrast to the Sheriff who thought
government ought to protect us. I came on a quote from George
Washington, who was certainly one of the framers of the Constitution: He
said; " We have probably had too good an opinion of human nature in
forming our confederation. Experience has taught us that men will not
adopt and carry into execution measures the best calculated for their
own good, without the intervention of a coercive power. "
I feel sure old slave owning George would be telling the Sheriff to enforce the seat belt laws with a passion.
In a letter to James Madison written in 1787, Jefferson said: " I think
our government will remain virtuous for many centuries: as long as the
people are chiefly agricultural, and this will be as long as there shall
be vacant lands in any part of America. When they get piled upon one
another in large cities, as in Europe, they will become corrupt as in
In Jefferson's time 90% of the people lived on family farms, and did all
the self sufficiency things farmers do , including help each other.
But the Framers of the Constitution were by in large English merchant
capitalists. They saw great profit in exploiting the natural resources ,
but were not about to get their hands dirty doing that so they launched
a massive propaganda campaign to lure the poor of Europe to America .
More than half of the immigrants to colonial America were indentured
servants. In 1776 , 3 out of 4 persons in Penn, Maryland and Virginia
either were or had been indentured servants. And further of the 250,000
indentured servants that were in Colonial America in 1770 over 100,000
of them had been either kidnapped or released from prison sentences .
Also at that time about 20% of the total population were in a state of
The people that framed the Constitution were not just supporting the
merchant class against the common people that Jefferson talked about ,
but in fact they were the merchant class. Look what the new Constitution
did -- Now the National Government was in a position to protect and
develop markets. The ability of the various States to help out debtors
or the disadvantaged by emitting bills of credit was outlawed. Having a
National Army and Navy gave the Central government ability to force
their edicts and at the same time the Constitution failed to provide any
guarantees to the municipalities where the most political activity had
been taking place. Whereas before with an agricultural community of
common interests that Jefferson spoke of was replaced through the
Constitution with the development of an economy based on impersonal
market relations. Power shifted from local and State level to the
Federal level. Protect the rich and powerful became the order of the
Let's take a look at just how undemocratic the USA's government is.
If we start at the beginning we must point out that the U.S.
Constitution was adopted unconstitutionally. The Articles of
Confederation which was our previous Constitution had a provision that
any amendment would require the consent of all 13 States. When the
secret constitutional convention was held its stated purpose was to
amend the existing Constitution , not write a brand new one. We know, of
course, that the Articles were supplanted without unanimous consent .
The Framers wrote into the new Constitution that it could take effect if
only 9 of the 13 States agreed. It can certainly be argued that Article
VII of the new Constitution was in direct violation of the Constitution
of the day. Madison , our Constitution's father dismissed any objection
on this ground saying it would be "absurd" to " subject the fate of 12
States to the perverseness or corruption of a 13th. "
Then we come to a really absurd provision that has more or less killed
any chances for Democracy. See Article V " no State, without its
Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate." So now
States that represent 1/2 the total population send 18 Senators to
Washington while the other half send 82. The result: Senators elected by
11% of the population can kill any proposed legislation , Senators
elected with as little as 5% of the population can block a
Constitutional amendment. Shall we then go into just how undemocratic
the electoral college has proven to be. It has never functioned as
intended, meaning a deliberative body. Look at the deadlocked election
of 1800, then 1876. In four different elections it has put in office
the man who lost the election.