The Preamble to the Constitution dos not offer powers to any particular branch of Government, nor does it offer any powers to the nation-states of this United States. I call them nation-states for that is what our country was originally comprised of and each state that came into the Union of States retains its own authority.
The Preamble was a statement to the Crown of England and to all who would care to know, that the nation-states comprised of the 13 original colonies would no longer take orders from a tyrannical government, towit, the then King of England, Charles III.
Let’s look at the words of the Preable of the Constitution and try to comprehend what the Framers had in mind. Keep in mind that I am not a Constitutional Scholar. I do not hold a doctorate of any degree. I am the descendent cousin of at least 12 of our country’s presidents and the descendent cousin of James Madison and George Washington, and their spouses separately. I am a descendent cousin of Zachary Taylor, Theodore Roosevelt, James Madison, George Washington, John F. Kennedy, Lindon Baines Johnson, and others. I hold no loyalties to any single progenetor of my family particularly since I descend from King Henry VII and, thereby, all the royal houses of Europe. I am an American first and foremost. I am an amateur (lover) of history. I am loyal to my country and its founding documents.
Back when I was in 9th grade, American Government was a required course. Today I am saddened to know that American Government is not taught in our public school system. American History is only featured as a portion of “global social studies” which does nothing to teach our young people the importance of the founding documents.
So, I look at this as a way to educate my nephews and those of you who value and believe in our country’s founding. It was a time when we stripped away all trappings of European life, including the way things were done in Europe, the justice systems of Europe, the monarchical rule of Europe.
Therefore, I present you my interpretation of the Preamble of the Constitution of the United States.
Before you can fully appreciate the meaning behind the Preamble, you must first understand the meaning of each of the specific phrases and words (particularly those in capital letters for they were capitalized for specific effect).
“promote the general Welfare”: According to the case presented to the Supreme Court, M’CULLOCH v. STATE, 17 U.S. 316 (1819), the intent of the phrase, “promote the general welfare” speaks to the general welfare of the union and the combined states, not to the individual. In other words, “welfare” as used in the Constitution’s preamble (and in Article 1, section 8 ) is for the general WELLBEING of the country. It has no bearing on providing welfare to the individual. The case noted here was fought in the Supreme Court by none other than James Madison as an issue of whether the federal government could tax a bank established in a state by the federal government in order to carry out its responsibilities of collecting taxes and provide for the common defense as a power given it in the articles of the Constitution.
“Order”: As many people know, a number of the Constitution’s Framers were FreeMasons. As such, they were members of an “Order” or organization. In creating the United States of America, it is my not-so-humble-opinion that the term “Order” in this instance refers simply to an “organization of states”, particularly since it is capitalized in the original draft of the Constitution (and is generally not capitalized in reprints or quoted material).
“Union”: Unions as labor groups did not yet exist in any form. The term, as intended and used in the Preamble and other founding documents, relates therefore, to a “uniting” for the common good of the individual states. As individual states, they were weak and could be easily defeated in any military situation; however, as a united front or “union” of states, they could band together their militias and armies to defend one another.
“establish Justice”: Up until the Constitutional Convention of 1787 established the Constitution, there was no uniform code of justice among the several states. The “justice” meted out by the Crown was arbitrary and stank of bribery of crown officials. In order to establish a uniform method of dispensing justice among not only individual states but within the overall union of states, the newly created federal government had to be able to try cases for disputes between the states and against the federal government. This took the form of the Supreme Court. It was created to try not only the cases between states but also between states and the federal government, states and private entities (i.e., businesses), and between businesses.
“secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”: This was the written declaration of war against the Crown. The framers had to secure the freedom of their citizens. Keep in mind, the war had already been fought by the time this document was written, but it was necessary to stipulate that the method by which this country was formed was through the war to secure freedom from the Crown. The Framers wanted all succeeding generations (their ‘posterity’) to enjoy that freedom. The only way to do this was to wage war against England. Thankfully, the French supported our separation from the Crown of England.
“do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”: Just as monarchs were “ordained” and priests were “ordained”, the Constitution of the United States was ordained in the minds and spirit of the people to be God-established through those who fought for the freedom of this country.
So, were you or I to write the preamble in today’s language, it might be presented something like this:
We, the citizens of the United States, in order to form a more perfect country, establish justice, insure domestic peace, provide for the common defense, promote the general wellbeing, and secure the blessings of freedom to ourselves and our heirs, do install and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.
Along with 99.9% of my conservative friends and those out there participating in the Tea Party Movement, the time has come for me to focus my energies into teaching everyone who reads this blog about what Conservatism is really about. Where did Conservatism arise? Why does it exist? What did our Founding Fathers, the Framers, intend for the consolidation of the individual nation states into one United States of America?
To do this, I will focus on two easily-read books and will later move on to the papers of James Madison, one of my ancestral cousins.
The first of the two books is “The United States Constitution and Other American Documents”, 2009 edition. It is in its 3rd printing and is available for less than $7 through Barnes & Noble on sale right now.
As the introduction states, “America won its freedoms through revolution, but that was not enough to ensure them for posterity. Our founding fathers recognized the importance of articulating those freedoms in words that could be put in print to guide the policies of the fledgling nation and speak to generations of Americans to come.”
The second is a book called, “Dynamic Freedoms”, compiled and published by a FreeMason of the 33rd degree, Robert B. Watts, Director of Education of the Supreme Council of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, published in 1977. It’s first edition printing was 475,000 copies. I’m not certain where you’ll find it except possibly on Amazon as a used book; however, it should still be out there. I happened across my copy at a yard sale for $1.
As you can tell from the cover, it covers our country’s founding documents, the threat of communism in all its forms (Socialism is a mild form of communism as defined in Websters Dictionary). Those who prefer a Socialistic form of government are those who prefer that the government take care of them from cradle to grave. As you can imagine, those who recently passed healthcare legislation are of the same ilk since they are trying to do away with the ability of private healthcare insurers to make their own private company decisions, force you and I into purchasing a private product under penalty of law, and eventually force such businesses out of existence.
Our “shot across the bow” of England was the Declaration of Independence, declaring our separation from the ‘mother country’ which espoused subjugation rather than any form of freedoms for the people who settled here.
We think about George Washington as being our country’s first president and, when one looks at the fact that he was the first president under our Constitution, that would be correct; however, if one thinks about the Continental Congress, there were several presidents who preceeded Washington who were essentially Congressional presidents.
The Declaration of Independence was revolutionary in its nature. Never before in the history of mankind had any peoples established their independence from their monarchies. Never had any people separated themselves from the rule of those who governed them. And, more importantly, none had ever been successful in their attempts at physical overthrow of their monarchical governments.
The Declaration of Independence would have no force or effect, however, were it not for the forethought of the Framers to create the Constitution. The Constitution brought together the individual Colonies, then operating more or less as independent nation states, each with their own currency, governmental bodies, and laws. The Constitution brought cohesion to these nation states and, as such, provided for a common defense, a common currency, and common laws. It introduced the concept of a judiciary, executive, and law making group of bodies that could provide the necessary cohesion to make the states successful and, in fact, the new nation.
The colonies enacted the Articles of Confederation and through it a Congress of the Confederation of Colonies. This body was overseen by a president and such presidency preceeded what we think of today as the President of the United States. The Articles of Confederation were enacted in 1777, during the American Revolution. Each man who participated in the formation of this country knew that his actions placed him at risk of immediate death and, moreover, that his actions constituted treason against the Crown of England. Each could potentially be dragged back in irons to England to face death at the hands of the Crown’s lackies.
When the Articles of Confederation were created, each of the 13 colonies had a single vote to either engage in the confederation or preventing its enactment. The purpose of the Articles was to balance the power between the states and the Confederation (central governing body). They did not want the Continental Congress to have too much power whereby it could overrule a single state or all the states. Each of the 13 original colony states was to have sovereignty in its own jurisdiction and the Continental Congress was to provide for common defense, common currency, common judicial rules and laws, the ability to declare war, and to mediate inter-state disputes.
The Revolutionary War did not conclude until 1783. The framers understood that there were problems that existed in the Articles of Confederation and, as such, the Continental Congress gathered. In 1786, a Continental Congress had gathered with the purpose of creating the Constitution and governing documents, but it was not successful. There may simply have been too much infighting to achieve the necessary goals. However, they met again in 1787, the Second Constitutional Convention, with 55 delegates from 12 of the 13 colonies. Taking more than four months, they achieved the basic architecture of what is now our country’s form of government.
A simple democracy was not planned for because of the fact that there would be an inequity amongst the several states simply due to population. A state with more inhabitants would be able to tell smaller states what to do and this could not be permitted. So, each state was given two representatives in what was to become the upper house (Senate) and the lower house (the House of Congress) was to be based on the distribution of inhabitants of each state.
They came up with seven articles to balance the powers of the federal government. After enacting this document, they determined that certain amendments needed to be created to ensure the rights of the people to prevent the federal government from usurping the powers of the individuals and the states in which they resided. This became what we call today, the Bill of Rights. It was not a method of giving the federal government authority, but rather protecting the common person from the abuse of power and authority of the federal governement.
Even today the Constitutional Amendments are to be a protection for the people to prevent the federal government from overtaking our lives. Yet, as we’ve seen all too frequently in the past several years, the federal government has elected to run roughshod over the lives of its citizenry.
We shall explore, article by article, including each amendment, the true role of the government in our lives and what we, as simple citizens, can do to put the federal government back into its correct and limited role and to take the people off the socialist teat. For without putting the federal government back into its proper place, we shall, as a people, allow its unlimited usurpation of power.
In addition, we will take a good hard look at the current legislative “reforms” that our Congress has enacted and compare them with the intent of the Framers. Appropriate documentary substantiation shall be used for these comparisons and simple mathematics, caculating the actual cost of such enacted legislation will be given for examples.
Eventually, I will review the contents of the red pouches of James Madison, the Federalist Papers. James Madison, one of my ancestral cousins, along with George Washington, were reluctant heroes of our country and their heroic conduct under wrongs of persecution will be fully explored here on these pages.
As a Constitutional Conservative, I am a Federalist. I am a Republican. I am my ancestors’ descendant.
“We The People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.“
The basis for this preamble was many-fold, but most important was to make clear to the Crown of England that those who settled on our shores would never be subject to an absentee government; would never be subject to the whims of a government that did not recognize the power of its people; would never again endure the tyrannical reign of a monarch.
I find it quite interesting that George Washington, on his selection by the 2nd Continental Congress to be the country’s first president, had difficulty in determining how to act in situations where he was greeting dignitaries because he wanted to be formal, but not “kingly”. In addition, when he accepted the position of president, he presented his generals’ sword to the Congress as a sign of his acceptance and to prove that he would not serve in a dictatorial or tyrannical manner. Congress debated on what to call the head of our country. Was he to be like a “king” and be called “majesty”? No – after significant debate, the Congress decided he would simply be calle “Mr. President”. “Mr” signified that he was a man of integrity as all men who’d achieved some standing were presumed to be.
The phrase, “in Order to form a more perfect Union” was a specific allusion to the congregation of the colonies into states. They wanted to stand together against the British government, not act as separate individual state countries. It would be only through this union of purpose that the Colonies would be successful in their purpose of separating themselves from British authority.
Each Colony had its own way of keeping the peace. Some of the Colonies were organized on religious grounds (i.e., New England area being based purely on Puritan Church government rules), others on commercial grounds (i.e., the Virginia Company), and yet others based their governmental structure on British charter with a Royal Governor. At some point, the British Monarchy decided that in order to quell the masses, more Royal Governors needed to be put in place to control the people and the forms of government upon which many of the Colonies were structured were suddenly moot. But the people in the Colonies would not be put down quietly. Instead, they burned the houses of Royal Governors, burned their likenesses in effigy, and basically ran them out of town on a rail in order to have their governmental systems re-established. But in order to have a “more perfect union”, it would be necessary to have a common army for its defense. No individual Colony had sufficient resources to defend itself on its own from any invading force. Therefore, a standing army was necessary for the anticipated upcomining conflict. The 2nd Congressional Congress established a standing army, to be comprised of at least one garrison of British troops that they took over outside Philadelphia and of the common citizen of the Colonies who would, for a period of a few months, be conscripted to serve the Continental Army. George Washington was put at the head of the army.
The Democrat party points to the significance of the term, “promote the general Welfare” as being their charge to introduce all manner of social programs. When the Constitution was written, this sort of thing would never have entered the minds of those who wrote the Constitution. Instead, it refers to the general well-being of the nation and its reputation abroad. The preamble issues no specific authority to the Congress, nor does it give them any freedoms to establish what we have come to know as welfare programs. Serious constitutional scholars agree on this point.
The Framers wanted to secure liberty from tyrannical rule, unjust taxation and religious opression. In order to “secure the Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” meant that in their lifetime, they wanted to be free of England for themselves and their descendents with England never again to issue any edict on how our Colonies would be run. This did not mean that we would not appreciate Britain for what it was – the ‘mother’ of our country’s founding, nor its powerful status in the world, but it was time for the monarchy to end its reign of tyranny and unjust taxation on a people who had already paid for all the services that England had given in its development. Our Founders and their kin said “enough” to taxation of cane sugar, tea, stamp tax, and shipping taxes on any vessel that was not British coming to our shores or any vessel carrying non-British goods. Our citizens had had enough! (And that’s where our Tea Party movement gets its strength.)
Next lesson will be on Article I of the Constitution.
The polls are terribly skewed. The link below gives a great explanation of this skew, particularly as regards MSNBC. They are being affected, in large part, by foreign nations’ viewers who would love to see Obama succeed to the White House. Overwhelmingly, though, McCain leads with AMERICAN poll participants.
So, the next time you see a poll, dig a little deeper to see where the data is actually coming from (If the link doesn’t work, cut and paste into your browser bar).