- "I Love the Union and the Constitution, he said..."
There was a time when the states knew how, and when to delegate.
- Jefferson Davis, the last American president to preside
over a constitutional republic (the Confederate States of America) had
this to say about the Constitution and the Union.
- "I love the Union and the Constitution," he
said, "but I would rather leave the Union with the Constitution than
remain in the Union without it."
- I would guess many Americans have no idea what Davis
meant, because they have no idea what the original intent of the Constitution
was. Many today, I suspect, think that the Constitution is what allows
people to burn flags and dance naked in bars.
- In fact, the Founding Fathers had a rather more serious
purpose in mind. The first step in understanding the original intent is
to recall that Colonial America existed for about 169 years before the
American Revolution; these colonies existed separately and independent
of each other.
- When they seceded from the British Empire, they did so
separately and independently.
- The Declaration of Independence is clear on this point.
It states, "We, therefore, the representatives of the United States
of America,...solemnly publish and declare, that these United Colonies
are, and of Right ought to be, Free and Independent States" (note
the plural) "...and that as Free and Independent States, they have
full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce,
and to do all the other Acts and Things which Independent States may of
- They called themselves the United States because of the
Articles of Confederation. Article II of that document states,
- "Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and
independence, and every power, jurisdiction and right, which is not by
this confederation expressly delegated to the United States in Congress
- Many people today seem to think that the federal government
created the states when it was the reverse. The states created the federal
government as a stronger form of confederation by delegating certain of
their powers to it. Thus, the purpose of the Constitution of 1787, like
the Articles of Confederation, was to create a voluntary union to accomplish
specific purposes, mainly to ensure a domestic free market, to provide
for the common defense of the states and to deal with foreign countries
with one voice.
- In the original Constitution, people were not American
citizens per se but were instead citizens of their respective states. The
Constitution stipulated that each state would grant to the citizens of
other states the rights and privileges it granted to its own. It's difficult
to understand the War Between the States without understanding the loyalty
Americans - North and South felt for their respective states.
- But what is relevant for us today is that the people
in the American Republic (1787-1860) understand that the powers of the
federal government were strictly limited to those spelled out in the Constitution
and that the Constitution would be interpreted literally and narrowly.
And, most important, that the states themselves would be the final judge
of the federal government's actions.
- In the North, however, there arose new feelings of nationalism
and a belief that a strong central government should provide economic benefits
- protective tariffs and infrastructure, for example. Southerners disagreed;
hence the split.
- Because the North prevailed and amended the Constitution
to expand the powers of the federal government, that's what we live under
- But Davis also said that questions that are settled by
force and violence remain forever unsettled and will arise again. And so,
today, we are seeing more and more people object to an unlimited central
government. It seems sometimes that human "progress" travels
in a circle rather than a straight line.
- "No one is above the law. No law is above the U.S.
Constitution. If a law violates the Constitution and Bill of Rights, it
is unconstitutional. Therefore is not binding on any respective State or
it's citizens." -- James D. Jones, Tennessee
- Suggested reading: The Real Lincoln by Thomas DiLorenzo.
You can also hear the March 31, 2003, interview with him in our Archives.
A native American Indian
- When, if ever, can we convince our brethern of color,
the truth about what the Confederacy was reallyabout? It was not about
color ... it was not about racism ... is was not about slavery. In fact,
if you can find older existing history books, you will discover that slavery
was being phased out of existance years before the Civil War ever began!
And worse, slavery in the North existed long after the Civil War ended.
- The whole fight was simply and totally over States' rights,
as is clearly laid out in the 9th and the 10th Amendment of the Bill of
- Sadly, the average American student does not know the
truth, and his partents and grand-parents before him did not learn either!
- And guess what? Slavery exists today. Right here, in
the "land of the free and home of the brave."
- Simply ... it's time to wake up and understand ... the
white man, the black man and the man of any color are not enemies .. the
system is the enemy.
- It's time to "clean the house", and get rid
of the filth, slithering through the Halls of Congress. It's no longer
a matter of Republican, or Democrat. Its a matter of reality .... they
have all lied to us.
- From Richard Arnold
- This page is based more on opinions that facts. The
founding fathers of the Constitutional Convention were convened because
Congress recognized that the framework of the Articles of Confederation
was so seriously flawed, that the very survival of each of the former colonies,
as well as the confederation itself was at stiake.
- The majority of those at the Constitutional Convention
wanted a far stronger central goverenment than they thought they could
sell the American people, and deliberately left vagueness in the Constituion
so that future Americans could keep it a "Living Document".
Even those members
- of the Convention who refused to sign the proposal (because
they thought it went too far) recognized the existing Confederation was
- Member states were not paying their share of taxes, foreign
policy was virtually impossible, and European governments were presumed
to be courting individual states for treaties
- that would be detrimental to other neighboring states.
- Edmund Randolf of Virginia, probably the most ardent
"states rights" man at the convention, eventually became a supporter
and the principal promoter of its ratification in Virginia. I am appalled
by constant "states rights" dreamers who think the original Confederation
was the great answer, or that the Constitution was originally conceived
to limit the Federal power to a subserviant level. It ignores far too
much well documented history.
- Richard Arnold