"The falsification of history has done more to impede human development than any one thing known to mankind" Rousseau
The Constitution of 1787, under which we still live, was made by a small class to further the interests of that class. The gentlemen who made the present Constitution did not intend that the people should ever gain control of this government. The people were barred. Not a workingman, or anyone who by the widest stretch of the imagination could be considered a representative of the working class, sat as a delegate in the convention. The people were barred from the slightest knowledge of the proceedings of the convention and after the proceedings were finished, the people were barred from voting upon the Constitution itself.
Never for a moment did it occur to those aristocratic ancestors of ours to let the people pass upon their work. Instead, the Constitution was submitted to state conventions elected by minorities of the people. In those days, only a part of the people could vote. Those who had property could vote. Most of those who had no property could not vote. Most people had no property.
The Federal government was not by intention a republican government. In plan and structure it had been meant to check the sweep and power of popular majorities. The senate, it was believed, would be a stronghold of conservatism, if not of aristocracy and wealth. The President, it was expected, would be the choice of representative men acting in the electoral college, and not of the people. The Federal judiciary was looked to, with its virtually permanent membership, to hold the entire structure of national politics in nice balance against all disturbing influences, whether of popular impulse or of official overbearance.
"Only in the house of representatives were the people to be accorded an immediate audience and a direct means of making their will effective in affairs. The government had, in fact, been originated and organized upon the initiative and primarily in the interest of the mercantile and wealthy classes. Originally conceived as an effort to accommodate commercial disputes between the States, it had been urged to adoption by a minority, under the concerted and aggressive leadership of able men representing a ruling class. The Federalists not only had on their side the power of convincing argument, but also the pressure of a strong and intelligent class, possessed of unity and informed by a conscious solidarity of material interests."
"Division and Reunion" by Woodrow Wilson.
The movement for the Constitution of the United States was originated and carried through principally by four groups having personal interests which had been adversely affected under the articles of confederation: money, public securities, manufactures, trade and shipping. The first firm steps toward the formation of the Constitution were taken by a small and active group of men immediately interested through their personal possessions in the outcome of their labors.
No popular vote was taken directly or indirectly on the proposition to call the convention which drafted the Constitution.
The propertyless masses under the prevailing suffrage qualifications were excluded at the outset from participation (through representatives) in the work of framing the Constitution.
The members of the Philadelphia convention which drafted the Constitution were, with a few exceptions, immediately, directly and personally interested in, and derived economic advantages from, the establishment of the new system.
The Constitution was essentially an economic document, based upon the concept that the fundamental private rights of property are anterior to government and morally beyond the reach of popular majorities.
The major portion of the members of the convention are on record as recognizing the claim of property to a special and defensive position in the Constitution.
In the ratification of the Constitution, about threefourths of the adult males failed to vote on the question, having abstained from the elections at which delegates to the state conventions were chosen, either on account of their indifference or their disfranchisement by property qualifications.
The leaders who supported the Constitution in the ratifying conventions represented the same economic groups as the members of the Philadelphia convention; and, in a large number of instances, they were also directly and personally interested in the outcome of their efforts.
In the ratification, it became manifest that the line of cleavage, for and against the Constitution, was between substantial personal interests on the one hand and the small farming and debtor interests on the other.
The Constitution was not created by "the whole people" as the jurists have said; neither was it created by " the States " as Southern nullifiers long contended; but it was the work of a consolidated group whose interests knew no state boundaries, and were truly national in their scope.
The evidence is overwhelming that the men who sat in that convention had no faith in the wisdom or political capacity of the people. Their aim and purpose was not to secure a larger measure of freedom, but to eliminate, as far as possible, the direct influence of the people on legislation and public policy. That body, contained many illustrious men who were actuated by a desire to further what they conceived to be the welfare of the country. They represented, however, the wealthy and conservative classes, and had, for the most part, but little sympathy with the popular theory of government. The populous believed in the Constitution. They believed it was made for them.
Wake up! The Constitution of the United States was made for them in the same sense that sheep shears are made for sheep. The men who made the Constitution had sheep to shear. They belonged to a class. The class to which they belonged was the wealthy class. The wealthy class was by no means satisfied with the way things were going under the articles of confederation. Some of the sheep were getting away. Worse than that, they were getting away with their fleeces on. Gentlemen who have sheep to shear are always pained at such a spectacle. We have the same sort of scoundrels with us to-day. They talk today, whenever sheep get away, as the rich men talked when the articles of confederation were in force.
The rich men of the day were bleeding both at the pocket book and at the bank book. They had invested in things that were not turning out. They had tried to make money out of the activities of the government. They had tried to use inside information to promote outside exploitation. They had sought to relieve the distress of the poor and the needy by buying up, at a few cents on the dollar, the scrip paid to Revolutionary soldiers, in the hope that the scrip would soon go to par. And the scrip had not gone to par. Nor had lands bought at a few cents an acre gone up to a few dollars an acre.
Naturally, these gentlemen could see nothing good in a government under which they could not increase their riches. What was government for if not to increase the riches of those who had riches to increase? So they began to abuse the government. They began to cry out that the government was worthless. Times were represented to be so hard that people arose from their breakfast tables hungry for their suppers. The rich men wailed so loudly about hard times that the echoes of their cries have rung through the centuries down to our times.
Yet, there is just the slightest suspicion that this grief exhibition was a little overdone. There is just a suspicion that while times were indeed bad for the grafters they were not very bad for the rest of the people. Benjamin Franklin, who was alive and about during those years, said times were exceedingly good for the rest of the people.
Early in 1787, before the convention was called, Franklin declared that the country was, on the whole, so prosperous that there was every reason for profound thanksgiving. He mentioned that there were some who complained of hard times, slack trade and scarcity of money, but he was quick to add that there never was an age nor a country in which there were not some people so circumstanced as to find it hard to make a living and that "it is always in the power of a small number to make a great clamor." But taking the several classes of the community as a whole, prosperity, contended Franklin, was widespread and obvious. Never was the farmer paid better prices for his products, "as the published prices current abundantly testify."
Thus do we see that history is usually but fable fabricated by one's favorite liar. The gentlemanly patriots who were moving heaven and earth to get a new constitution in 1786 and thereabouts, were unanimous in the statement that times were bad. To this day, they are disputed only by Franklin and the market reports of their day. Yet their word is almost everywhere accepted, chiefly because no other word is often heard. Not many persons ever heard of what Franklin said or of the market reports to which he referred.
Our patriot forefathers were remarkable, however, for reasons other than their ability to see a famine where none existed. They were remarkable for their colossal audacity. What should we say, in our day, for instance, if Mr. Rockefeller and a contingent of great financiers were to call their lawyers around them and tell them to call a convention to meet in Chicago on a certain day to amend the Constitution of the United States? Should we not be likely to say to Mr. Rockefeller and his associates: "You gentlemen are doubtless very kind, but we have already provided the manner in which steps may be taken to alter our Constitution, and the manner you have proposed is not the one we have chosen, or would our people say "Go for it Dude!"
The American people, in 1787, laid down the method that should be followed in amending the articles of confederation. The articles specifically provided that no amendment should be made except by congress and the legislatures of all of the States. In other words, a proposed amendment must first be introduced in congress and, if approved, must then be transmitted to the legislatures of all the States. Nor could the amendment succeed if a single state legislature should object. Every legislature in the union must consent or there could be no amendment.
That was fairly plain. No one should have misunderstood. No one did misunderstand. And, at first, the patriot forefathers with the fat purses made an effort to follow the law. They told congress how they should like to have the Constitution amended. They asked congress to pass the required amendments and send them on to the legislatures of the several States. Congress seemed deaf, so the requests were repeated again and again. But congress budged not; not to any great extent, at any rate.
Then the patriot forefathers sought to take the situation into their own hands. They went to the legislature of Virginia. They induced the legislature of Virginia to adopt a resolution inviting the legislatures of the several States to send delegates to meet in Annapolis in 1786. The ostensible reason for the meeting was to "take into consideration the trade of the United States." Virginia appointed as her commissioners, James Madison and Edmund Randolph. The Virginia commissioners were at Annapolis, ready for business, at the appointed time-the first Monday in September, 1786. But only four other States were represented, and the meeting came to nothing.
That is not quite an exact statement of the facts. The meeting did not come to nothing. No business was done, because no quorum was present, but the plans of the "aristocracy" who sought to bring the meeting about were revealed. They disclosed the fact that what they were about was to ignore the method provided by the Constitution for its amendment and force such amendments as they desired by methods of their own.
And so it has gone on up to the present time. The one thing that did come out of all the scheming and manipulation, however, was our Constitution. It was born in compromise among the the rich to serve primarily their own interests and the resultant miracle was a document that would serve ALL the people. With vigilence from the people it could serve us very well. Unfortunately, the rich and powerful have continued to corrupt this document in every way they can and the sheep continue to be sheared.
In today's America, neither the people who swear an oath to defend the Constitution, such as the police, the military and the traitors in the White House, nor the public at large know what the Constitution says. This being the case, how can it survive?
How can you protect something when you don't even know what it is?
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