“FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT”
by Michael Gaddy, ©2016, blogging at The Rebel Madman
One of the most critical subjects which our founders faced both in the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 and the subsequent state ratification conventions was where did sovereignty reside: was it with the people, the states or the newly proposed government? In the vernacular of today, who would be the boss of whom?
It is of significant import that one view the wording of the Treaty of Paris when discussing this topic. In Article 1, the United States was acknowledged to be 13 “free, sovereign and independent states.”
But, where does the “ultimate sovereignty” sit in residence? Is it with the federal government, the state governments or with the people? Most of the colonists understood the belief in Great Britain, prevalent since 1640, that the ultimate sovereignty resided in Parliament. This concept is confirmed in the words of Sir William Blackstone in his description of Parliament, “the place where that absolute despotic power which in all governments reside somewhere, is intrusted by the constitutions of these kingdoms. The power and jurisdiction of Parliament” was so “transcendent and absolute that it cannot be confined… True it is that what Parliament doth, no authority upon Earth can undo.” Using this same paradigm, the majority of people in this country today, especially cops and judges, believe that our central government has the ultimate sovereignty, that nothing can undo its will and often point to Article VI, Section II of our Constitution (Supremacy Clause) as the basis for confirmation of their beliefs. But to believe thusly is to completely dismiss a crucial element in why the colonists fought an eight-year war in order to gain their independence from such a Parliament.
We also have those who believe that true sovereignty, in some cases ultimate sovereignty, lies with the states. To believe that ultimate sovereignty lies with either the central or state governments is to discount the very concept and purpose of our Declaration of Independence.
Our basic organic document, The Declaration of Independence, is a document of secession, the proof of which can be found in its words and phrases. “dissolve the political bands, … assume among the powers of the earth, declare the causes which impel them to the separation … it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and institute new government … it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such Government and to provide new Guards for their future security … that all political connection between them is and ought to be totally dissolved.”
To refuse to accept the Declaration of Independence as an article of secession is to call attention to one’s own ignorance. The demanded separation contained in our Declaration is a complete refutation of any government being the ultimate sovereign over the people.
Our founders, including those on both sides of the Federalist/Anti-federalist divide, wrote and spoke often of the ultimate sovereignty of the individual. James Wilson of Pennsylvania was a delegate to the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 as well as a delegate to the Ratification Convention of his state. It was during that ratification debate James Wilson stated the following as to the forms of government that might be created.
“The United States may adopt any one of four different systems. They may become consolidated into one [National] government, in which the separate existence of the states shall be entirely absorbed. They may reject any plan of union or association and act as separate and unconnected states. They may form two or more confederacies. They may unite in one federal republic. Which of these systems ought to have been formed by the Convention? To support, with vigor, a single government over the whole extent of the United States would demand a system of the most unqualified and the most unremitted despotism.” (All emphasis mine)
Patrick Henry also addressed the issue of a consolidated government during the Virginia Ratification Convention when on June 5, 1788, Henry rose to speak and said this about the new proposed government.
“Here is a revolution as radical as that which separated us from Great Britain. It is radical in this transition; our rights and privileges are endangered, and the sovereignty of the states will be relinquished: And cannot we plainly see that this is actually the case?”
Thomas Jefferson and James Madison both stated the actual meaning of the Constitution was to be found in the debates at the various state ratification conventions. Reading through these debates one will find the descriptions and meanings of the proposed constitution are very well stated by those who advocated for ratification and were “selling” the constitution (Federalists) to those who had questions (Anti-federalists) or those who opposed ratification outright. The Federalists were most clear; the government would not be a national government, the powers “delegated” to the government would be few and limited; the states would at the very least have an equal say in the actions of the government. I list below just a sampling of what form of government was promised to the states and to the people.
“It is the opinion of the greatest writers, that a very extensive country cannot be governed on democratical principles, on any other plan than a confederation of a number of small republics, possessing all the powers of internal government but united in the management of their foreign and general concerns. It would not be difficult to prove, that anything short of despotism could not bind so great a country under one government; and under whatever plan you might, at first setting out, establish, it would issue in a despotism.” ~ George Bryan of Pennsylvania
In this one simple paragraph, George Bryan describes not only what was happening at the time of the ratification conventions but also perfectly describes how unconstitutional and tyrannical our government has become since its creation. Mr. Bryan mentions first “a very extensive country.” Please remember that at that time our “country” only contained the 13 original colonies. Then there is the mention of “democratical principles’ which is a reference to a democratic form of government which if you asked the common person on the street what form of government we have today, the majority would answer “a democracy.” If 13 colonies or states would be too large for a democracy, what makes anyone believe a democracy would work for 50 states? (57 if you believe our current chief magistrate)
Mr. Bryan then spoke to the proposition that all smaller parts of this confederacy (the states) would possess all the powers of “internal government.” Is that true today? Absolutely not! Bryan then states “nothing short of despotism” would issue from the implementation of any other form of government other than what the people were guaranteed would be created with the ratification of the constitution.
“Any law … of the United States, for securing to Congress more than a concurrent right with each state is usurpation and void.” ~ Theophilus Parsons, Massachusetts, 1788
“Any law,” says Mr. Parsons, is void if passed by Congress and does not provide a “concurrent right” to the states. I would begin to cite for you the hundreds of laws that should be void and unenforceable, but time and logistics of such a listing prohibit such.
“If the gentleman will attend, he will see this is a government for confederated states; that, consequently, it can not meddle where no power is given.” ~ Archibald Maclaine, North Carolina, 1788
Mr. Mcclaine states very clearly that the government cannot meddle where no power is given. Again, time and space do not permit an accurate listing of all of the laws passed by Congress that “meddle” where no such power was ever delegated by the states and the people to the central government. Of course, any such list would include the Affordable Care Act and the many variations of the Patriot Act.
“The State governments can put a veto, at any time, on the general government, by ceasing to continue the executive power.” ~ William Richardson Davie, North Carolina, 1788
Is what Mr. Davie so clearly stated in 1788 true today? If not, our government has been perverted, stolen and used to enslave us all. Are we any more subjects than were our founders in 1775 and who declared their grievances and separation in our most famous of founding documents?
John Adams predicted what would occur should the tenets and principles of what the people of their respective states were promised if these principles were violated and usurped by the central government.
“It is not even said in our Constitution that the People shall be guarranteed in a Free Republican Government. The Word is So loose and indeffinite that Successive Predominant Factions will put Glosses and Constructions upon it as different as light and darkness, and if ever there should be a Civil War which Heaven forbid, the conquering General in all his Tryumphs may establish a Military Despotism and yet call it a constitutional Republic as Napoleon has already Set him the Example. The only Effect of it that I could ever See, is to deceive the People: and this practice my heart abhors, my head disapproves, and my Tongue and my Pen have ever avoided.” (Spelling and capitalization in the original)
John Adams was most knowledgeable of history and he correctly predicted usurpations on the part of the government which included the assumption of powers the states and the people were guaranteed would never occur would eventually lead to a “civil war.” Adams also predicted a triumph in such a “civil war” by military forces of the central government would lead to a military despotism such as that of Napoleon. He also correctly predicted that such a government would continue to call itself a “constitutional republic.” This is precisely why the Pledge of Allegiance, written by an avowed socialist, is embraced by those who support a continuation of the Napoleonic constitutional republic mentioned by John Adams.
The type and form of government promised to the people and the states in their ratification conventions ceased to exist well before the election of Abraham Lincoln and the assumption of power by the so-called Radical Republicans. The election of Lincoln simply brought all of the simmering resentments to a full boil in 1860. With the assumption of power by the Lincolnites, the government promised 72 years prior to the people and the states had ceased to exist.
The people from Virginia who ratified the Constitution by a very slim margin in 1788 were still very suspicious of the intentions of those who would be assuming the mantle of power and possible future usurpations of the powers of the individual states by an overreaching central government. To this end, they placed the following in their ratification agreement.
“Do in the name and in behalf of the People of Virginia declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression and that every power not granted thereby remains with them and at their will …”
Here, in plain and simple words is established the authority of the states and the people to withdraw from a government of their own creation “whensoever that government shall be perverted to their injury or oppression.” The wording also clearly indicates the people of the states are the ones to determine when that injury and oppression has occurred; not the Congress of that government, the executive of that government or the judicial element of that government.
The original ratification documents were presented and discussed during the first Convention of Secession in Virginia in which the people of Virginia, acting the same as those who had ratified the Constitution in 1788, at first voted to remain in the Union. It was the actions of Abraham Lincoln and his radical republicans who forced the acts of secession on Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Missouri.
The states which seceded did so in an effort to recapture and retain the form of government promised to them 72 years prior. Yet, Lincoln chose to deal with a constitutional issue, not with the courts, mediation or reconciliation, but through the use of force and coercion, both of which comprise the very essence of tyranny.
The only path left to those who wish to oppose the overreach of government-enforced tyranny is first nullification, as well outlined in Jefferson’s Kentucky Resolution, and should that fail, a full and complete withdrawal from the forces of tyranny: Secession.
Regardless of who is elected in November, the tyranny and oppression will continue to increase. Such is the natural course of history, for the form of government promised at the ratification conventions totally ceased to exist under the fusillade of bullets, bayonets, and cannons, delivered courtesy of Abraham Lincoln to the people of at least 12 states who only wanted the form of government their ancestors had been promised in 1787-1788.
Delaware Senator James Bayard III stated on the floor of the US Senate in 1861,
” … to warn gentlemen that the system of government adopted in 1787 is inconsistent with the prosecution of war for the subjection of the South: and yet you cannot execute the laws as you claim to do within the Confederate States without their entire conquest and subjugation. You must, if successful, convert, and it has been threatened by many leading papers, and at least one leading member of the administration, that you will convert this government into a single government, and absolve all the state lines. In answer to such a purpose, and as an all-sufficient objection to it, I give you the general truth enunciated by Mr. Wilson, that a government of that kind, to exist over the extent of the this country must be a system of the most unqualified and unremitting despotism.”
The government employees, media shills and useful idiots in academia and the common street idiot, all of whom would guarantee the right of an individual to escape an abusive relationship, would deny the same to the states and its citizens. The government that was promised to our ancestors has long since ceased to exist—-Nullification and Secession are our only options.
IN RIGHTFUL REBEL LIBERTY