Historical Correspondent

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 Europe."
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 slavery.
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 day.

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.
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