The Meaning of the Preamble to the Constitution

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Duncan

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Feb 17, 2020
Without the people, no legislatures. States, counties, legislatures and conventions -- they won't exist without the people of the United States. The people of the United States of America made the constitution and only they can dissolve this Union.

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Without the States there is no Philadelphia Convention. There are no Ratifying Conventions. There is no United States. There is no Union. The States voluntarily entered the Union, and they made the Constitution. And only they can decide whether to remain a member of the Union and subject to the Constitution that they created and ratified.
 

Horrido67

Private
Joined
Sep 29, 2019
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Without the States there is no Philadelphia Convention. There are no Ratifying Conventions. There is no United States. There is no Union. The States voluntarily entered the Union, and they made the Constitution. And only they can decide whether to remain a member of the Union and subject to the Constitution that they created and ratified.
Without "We the People", there are no states. The People of the United States created this perpetual Union (through conventions or whatever they called them) and only they can undo what they did. The US Constitution is a mutual contract that requires approvals from all involved parties, the people of United States of America. There is no mechanism in the constitution that allows a few people to destroy this Union created by the constitution. There is no mechanism in the constitution that allows a few subdivisions of the United States to secede from the country.
 

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Except, of course, that the Convention itself was unconstitutional and illegal, and accordingly, the Congress had no authority whatsoever, none, zero, zip, nada, to act on its behalf or pursuant to its dictates.
What in the world are you talking about?
  1. The Philadelphia Convention was called legally by Congress under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union to create a report and deliver it to Congress -- which it did. Your claim that it was "unconstitutional and illegal" is completely false.
  2. The Congress considered the report and decided to approve sending it on to the States for ratification according to the procedure recommended by the Philadelphia Convention -- which is completely in accord with the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. The Congress has every authority required to do this under the law and your claim that it had "no authority whatsoever, none, zero, zip, nada" to act is completely false.
 
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Andersonh1

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''They clearly intended the Convention to work on "the preservation of the Union". Your opinion of the practicability of what they wanted to attempt does not change their intent and purpose."

Nope, not possible. It is impossible, absolutely impossible, to make a perpetual union more perpetual. The very idea is counterfactual. Even bizarre. And you attempting to alter the definition of the word "perpetual" to fit your personal narrative is irrelevant. Utterly irrelevant.

"They had reason to believe the United States of America might fall apart in a year or two or ten or some other number like that."

One can only conclude you are being deliberately outrageous and outlandish. A perpetual union that might fall apart in a year or two? What an absurd proposition.

"None of the men who founded the United States ever talked in these terms. I doubt any of them was thinking in terms much longer than "for my children's lives" or "for my grandchildren's lives" or "a hundred years".

Well golly gee, I guess I was spot-on. The term "perpetual union" was false and inflated. Meaningless, in other words.
For some other problematic language in the preamble, how exactly can something be made "more perfect"? By definition, perfection is as good as it is possible to get. There is no room for improvement.
 
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Duncan

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Feb 17, 2020
Without "We the People", there are no states. The People of the United States created this perpetual Union (through conventions or whatever they called them) and only they can undo what they did. The US Constitution is a mutual contract that requires approvals from all involved parties, the people of United States of America. There is no mechanism in the constitution that allows a few people to destroy this Union created by the constitution. There is no mechanism in the constitution that allows a few subdivisions of the United States to secede from the country.

The States individually and voluntarily acceded to the Constitution, and the States can individually and voluntarily secede from the Constitution. There simply is no lawful mechanism to prevent them from exercising their right to political independence and self-government.
 

Duncan

Sergeant
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
What in the world are you talking about?
  1. The Philadelphia Convention was called legally by Congress under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union to create a report and deliver it to Congress -- which it did. Your claim that it was "unconstitutional and illegal" is completely false.
  2. The Congress considered the report and decided to approve sending it on to the States for ratification according to the procedure recommended by the Philadelphia Convention -- which is completely in accord with the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. The Congress has every authority required to do this under the law and your claim that it had "no authority whatsoever, none, zero, zip, nada" to act is completely false.

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What in the world are you talking about?

1. The Philadelphia Conventional was thoroughly illegal under the Articles Of Confederation. More specifcally, it was, as Pulitzer prize winning Stanford Historian Jack Rakove observed, a "flagrant" violation of Article XIII. Flagrant.

2. The Philadelphia Convention was illegal.Under Article XIII, alterations to the Articles were required to be done in the Congress, not a Convention. And they were to be unanimously approved in every state legislature before taking effect. Your claim that the Philadelphia Convention and the adoption of the Constitution were done lawfully is completely false. Completely false.
 
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trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
That was because they did not know which states would ratify and which would not, so it was felt that it was best not to name them individually.
As I have said, that was one of the reasons; it was not the only one.

However, the names were not there, despite Duncan's constant efforts to act as if they were.
 
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Duncan

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Feb 17, 2020
That was because they did not know which states would ratify and which would not, so it was felt that it was best not to name them individually.

Perfectly correct. And despite trice's persistent efforts to disguise this and act as if it was done to minimize the importance of the States to the creation of the Constitution, the fact stands that the language "United States" was used in place of naming the States individually because it was feared some States would reject the Constitution.
 
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Duncan

Sergeant
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Below, I have re-written the Preamble so it reflects the fact that it is The People, and not the States, who are united under the Constitution.

"We, the United People of the American States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United People of America."

One has to wonder why the founder's didn't write something like that that if it was their intention to unite the People, and not the States.
 

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
What in the world are you talking about?
  1. The Philadelphia Convention was called legally by Congress under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union to create a report and deliver it to Congress -- which it did. Your claim that it was "unconstitutional and illegal" is completely false.
  2. The Congress considered the report and decided to approve sending it on to the States for ratification according to the procedure recommended by the Philadelphia Convention -- which is completely in accord with the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. The Congress has every authority required to do this under the law and your claim that it had "no authority whatsoever, none, zero, zip, nada" to act is completely false.
What in the world are you talking about?

1. The Philadelphia Conventional was thoroughly illegal under the Articles Of Confederation. More specifcally, it was, as Pulitzer prize winning Stanford Historian Jack Rakove observed, a "flagrant" violation of Article XIII. Flagrant.
The Philadelphia Convention was legally called by the Congress. They had no authority to do anything at all except discuss possible changes to the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, then create a report making recommendations. This is what they did -- exactly what they were supposed to do. Your "thoroughly illegal under the Articles Of Confederation" is just a red herring and has no element of truth to it.

Your quote of by Jack Rakove is possibly wrong. IIRR, Rakove was actually criticizing Bruce Ackerman for Ackerman's claims of "flagrant illegality":
There are other problems with Ackerman's account of the Founding, which I will discuss in a concurrent essay being published by another New Haven legal journal. Foremost among these is the emphasis on what Ackerman calls the "flagrant illegality" of the Constitution, a claim that ignores the critical doctrinal developments in the American understanding of a constitution that had taken place during the decade since the first state constitutions and the Articles of Confederation were drafted in the mid-1770s. There is a curious irony here. In Transformations, Ackerman the legal theorist poses as a shrewd political realist, which is the same characterization that it is fair to say my work has earned for me; yet here I am claiming that Ackerman ignores or at least undervalues critical developments in legal theory occurring before 1787.

2. The Philadelphia Convention was illegal.Under Article XIII, alterations to the Articles were required to be done in the Congress, not a Convention. And they were to be unanimously approved in every state legislature before taking effect. Your claim that the Philadelphia Convention and the adoption of the Constitution were done lawfully is completely false. Completely false.
This is just wrong.

The Philadelphia Convention was legally called by the Congress. They had no authority to do anything at all except discuss possible changes to the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, then create a report making recommendations. This is what they did. Your "thoroughly illegal under the Articles Of Confederation" is just a red herring and has no element of truth to it. All the Philadelphia Convention did was generate the report and recommendations they had been tasked with creating. They made no alterations to the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union at all.

Please note also that -- once all 13 States do actually ratify -- the adoption of the Constitution is completely legal under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. The Congress has agreed to the changes (as required in Article XIII). All 13 State legislatures have called Conventions of the People to ratify them -- and so the new Constitution has been confirmed by the legislatures of every State. From that date on, the adoption of the Constitution is completely in accord with Article XIII -- and completely legal under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.

If you want to say that Article VII of the Constitution should have been a reason to protest the new Constitution under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, that is fine. If you want to say the instructions to the State legislatures to call Conventions of the People was a reason to protest the new Constitution under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, that is fine as well.

If they had wanted to, any of the 13 States could have asked for a decision on those issues. Unfortunately for you, it appears not one State bothered to protest to the Congress -- which is what they would have to do if they wanted to make a protest. As Article XIII also says: "Every State shall abide by the determination of the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions which by this confederation are submitted to them."
 
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Duncan

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Feb 17, 2020
The Philadelphia Convention was legally called by the Congress. They had no authority to do anything at all except discuss possible changes to the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, then create a report making recommendations. This is what they did -- exactly what they were supposed to do. Your "thoroughly illegal under the Articles Of Confederation" is just a red herring and has no element of truth to it.

Your quote of by Jack Rakove is possibly wrong. IIRR, Rakove was actually criticizing Bruce Ackerman for Ackerman's claims of "flagrant illegality":
There are other problems with Ackerman's account of the Founding, which I will discuss in a concurrent essay being published by another New Haven legal journal. Foremost among these is the emphasis on what Ackerman calls the "flagrant illegality" of the Constitution, a claim that ignores the critical doctrinal developments in the American understanding of a constitution that had taken place during the decade since the first state constitutions and the Articles of Confederation were drafted in the mid-1770s. There is a curious irony here. In Transformations, Ackerman the legal theorist poses as a shrewd political realist, which is the same characterization that it is fair to say my work has earned for me; yet here I am claiming that Ackerman ignores or at least undervalues critical developments in legal theory occurring before 1787.



This is just wrong.

The Philadelphia Convention was legally called by the Congress. They had no authority to do anything at all except discuss possible changes to the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, then create a report making recommendations. This is what they did. Your "thoroughly illegal under the Articles Of Confederation" is just a red herring and has no element of truth to it. All the Philadelphia Convention did was generate the report and recommendations they had been tasked with creating. They made no alterations to the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union at all.

Please note also that -- once all 13 States do actually ratify -- the adoption of the Constitution is completely legal under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. The Congress has agreed to the changes (as required in Article XIII). All 13 State legislatures have called Conventions of the People to ratify them -- and so the new Constitution has been confirmed by the legislatures of every State. From that date on, the adoption of the Constitution is completely in accord with Article XIII -- and completely legal under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.

If you want to say that Article VII of the Constitution should have been a reason to protest the new Constitution under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, that is fine. If you want to say the instructions to the State legislatures to call Conventions of the People was a reason to protest the new Constitution under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, that is fine as well.

If they had wanted to, any of the 13 States could have asked for a decision on those issues. Unfortunately for you, it appears not one State bothered to protest to the Congress -- which is what they would have to do if they wanted to make a protest. As Article XIII also says: "Every State shall abide by the determination of the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions which by this confederation are submitted to them."
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Below is a link to Rakove's Pulitzer Prize winning book Original Meanings. The link will bring you to the exact page where he describes the Founders worry that they were "flagrantly" violating Article XIII.

https://books.google.com/books?id=zJlJkNZ897MC&pg=PA104&lpg=PA104&dq=jack+rakove+flagrantly+violating+article+xiii&source=bl&ots=bcj97HNphN&sig=ACfU3U2atc2vmqwSi7nxLpDW-HJYtyW46w&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjvz4zm2oPoAhUclXIEHUmOBMQQ6AEwAHoECAsQAQ#v=onepage&q=jack rakove flagrantly violating article xiii&f=false

As you can see, Rakove also fully recognizes that the destruction of the AOC is the end of the Perpetual Union. And that a new Union, quite possibly a partial Union, would follow.

Also, the Convention itself was completely illegal, as the AOC specified alterations must be made under, again, Article XIII, not a convention. Goueveneur Morris (a dedicated nationalist) expressed it this way (Ferrand's Records):

"Mr. Govr. Morris considered the inference of Mr. Elseworth from the plea of necessity as applied to the establishment of a new System on ye. consent of the people of a part of the States, in favor of a like establishnt. on the consent of a part of the Legislatures as a non sequitur. If the Confederation is to be pursued no alteration can be made without the unanimous consent of the Legislatures: Legislative alterations not conformable to the federal compact, would clearly not be valid. The Judges would consider them as null & void. Whereas in case of an appeal to the people of the U. S., the supreme authority, the federal compact may be altered by a majority of them; in like manner as the Constitution of a particular State may be altered by a majority of the people of the State. The amendmt. moved by Mr. Elseworth erroneously supposes that we are proceeding on the basis of the Confederation. This Convention is unknown to the Confederation.

So there is Morris openly acknowledging that the AOC is being directly violated. And surely you don't suggest that the Constitution was submitted to the State Legislature for approval? Aren't you constantly screaming just the opposite? Again, both the Philadelphia Convention, because the AOC Congress had no authority to call it, and the State ratifying conventions, because alterations needed to be submitted to the Legislatures for approval, were in gross violation of Article XIII. Just as I said.

PS- Couldn't help notice you wrote: "once all
13 States do actually ratify" At least we finally agree that the States ratified.
 
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trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
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Below is a link to Rakove's Pulitzer Prize winning book Original Meanings. The link will bring you to the exact page where he describes the Founders worry that they were "flagrantly" violating Article XIII.

https://books.google.com/books?id=zJlJkNZ897MC&pg=PA104&lpg=PA104&dq=jack+rakove+flagrantly+violating+article+xiii&source=bl&ots=bcj97HNphN&sig=ACfU3U2atc2vmqwSi7nxLpDW-HJYtyW46w&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjvz4zm2oPoAhUclXIEHUmOBMQQ6AEwAHoECAsQAQ#v=onepage&q=jack rakove flagrantly violating article xiii&f=false

As you can see, Rakove also fully recognizes that the destruction of the AOC is the end of the Perpetual Union. And that a new Union, quite possibly a partial Union, would follow.
I looked at it. I notice that you have misquoted Rakove and he does not say what you claim.

Rakove (and anyone else claiming the Philadelphia Convention "acted illegally) would be wrong if he claimed calling the Philadelphia Convention violated the procedures in Article XIII. While it is certainly possible that Article VII of the Constitution and the Conventions might be procedural problems under the Articles, the Philadelphia Convention did nothing but recommend the new Constitution to the Congress (September 17). The illegal actions you go on about never happened, which is why your "the Philadelphia Convention was illegal" line is wrong.

The Congress then debated the report and proposed new Constitution. They decided to send it on to the states (September 28). You may not like what the Congress did -- but under the Articles they are acting exactly as they should in Article XIII ("unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States"). The Congress did agree to send the Constitution on, exactly as Article XIII says, so that is completely legal under the Articles up to that point.

The Congress debated the Constitution for a short time (8 days, IIRR). Some might say they should have done it longer, but there was no such legal requirement; legally, they could have voted to accept it and sent it on the same day. But be reasonable: 34 of the men who signed the Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention were sitting members of Congress in September of 1787. They had already spent months on this document, and clearly there was a large body of men with intimate knowledge of the Constitution already in Congress when they met in New York.

You may want to complain about the Congress telling the state legislatures that they should call Conventions of Delegates of the People to approve and ratify the Constitution -- but the state legislatures actually did call Conventions of Delegates of the People to ratify the Constitution for them. When the state legislatures do that, they legitimize this Convention process (not very surprising -- the idea of authority and power coming from the People was a popular one in the America of the 1780s). The Conventions -- legally called by the state legislatures to approve or deny the Constitution -- do approve the Constitution. When the state legislatures do that, and then the Conventions do that, they complete the procedure in Article XIII ("confirmed by the legislatures of every State").

So when Rhode Island finally ratifies on May 29, 1790, every condition in Article XIII of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union has been met. After that, the adoption of the Constitution is clear and legal beyond doubt. Before that, any one of the states might have/could have challenged it in court (really, what passed for a court in the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union: the United States in Congress Assembled). Not one of them -- not even Rhode Island -- actually did so.
 

Duncan

Sergeant
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
I looked at it. I notice that you have misquoted Rakove and he does not say what you claim.

Rakove (and anyone else claiming the Philadelphia Convention "acted illegally) would be wrong if he claimed calling the Philadelphia Convention violated the procedures in Article XIII. While it is certainly possible that Article VII of the Constitution and the Conventions might be procedural problems under the Articles, the Philadelphia Convention did nothing but recommend the new Constitution to the Congress (September 17). The illegal actions you go on about never happened, which is why your "the Philadelphia Convention was illegal" line is wrong.

The Congress then debated the report and proposed new Constitution. They decided to send it on to the states (September 28). You may not like what the Congress did -- but under the Articles they are acting exactly as they should in Article XIII ("unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States"). The Congress did agree to send the Constitution on, exactly as Article XIII says, so that is completely legal under the Articles up to that point.

The Congress debated the Constitution for a short time (8 days, IIRR). Some might say they should have done it longer, but there was no such legal requirement; legally, they could have voted to accept it and sent it on the same day. But be reasonable: 34 of the men who signed the Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention were sitting members of Congress in September of 1787. They had already spent months on this document, and clearly there was a large body of men with intimate knowledge of the Constitution already in Congress when they met in New York.

You may want to complain about the Congress telling the state legislatures that they should call Conventions of Delegates of the People to approve and ratify the Constitution -- but the state legislatures actually did call Conventions of Delegates of the People to ratify the Constitution for them. When the state legislatures do that, they legitimize this Convention process (not very surprising -- the idea of authority and power coming from the People was a popular one in the America of the 1780s). The Conventions -- legally called by the state legislatures to approve or deny the Constitution -- do approve the Constitution. When the state legislatures do that, and then the Conventions do that, they complete the procedure in Article XIII ("confirmed by the legislatures of every State").

.c After that, the adoption of the Constitution is clear and legal beyond doubt. Before that, any one of the states might have/could have challenged it in court (really, what passed for a court in the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union: the United States in Congress Assembled). Not one of them -- not even Rhode Island -- actually did so.
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I read your reply. I noticed you falsified what Rakove wrote. Contrary to your false claim, it is precisely as I said it was. In fact, here's exactly what he wrote in reference to the Framers and Article XIII:

"they worried about the wisdom of violating Article XIII so flagrantly". Word for word, and exactly as I said.

And that flagrant violation was openly acknowledged by many, including Goueveneur Morris, as indicated by the records I provided. And here's what Article XIII says:

"and the union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a congress of the united States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State.

Not agreed to in a Constitutional Convention and confirmed by State Conventions. In fact, it makes no mention of a Constitutional Convention at all. And The Constitution went into effect well before both North Carolina and Rhode Island ratified, making the gross violations, again, obvious to all. In fact, the Delaware delegation initially threatened to quit the Convention over its illegalities when the decision was made to write a new Constitution instead of doing what they agreed to do, which was to amend the AOC. Madison also acknowledged this in Federalist 40. In fact, the whole point of ratifying by Convention was to assert first principles. And of course, the union of the AOC, a "league of friendship" was destroyed and replaced with the new union under the Constitution, as Rakove also notes.
Gross, gross, violations of Article XIII. Just as I said.
 
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CW Buff

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Below is a link to Rakove's Pulitzer Prize winning book Original Meanings. The link will bring you to the exact page where he describes the Founders worry that they were "flagrantly" violating Article XIII.

https://books.google.com/books?id=zJlJkNZ897MC&pg=PA104&lpg=PA104&dq=jack+rakove+flagrantly+violating+article+xiii&source=bl&ots=bcj97HNphN&sig=ACfU3U2atc2vmqwSi7nxLpDW-HJYtyW46w&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjvz4zm2oPoAhUclXIEHUmOBMQQ6AEwAHoECAsQAQ#v=onepage&q=jack rakove flagrantly violating article xiii&f=false

As you can see, Rakove also fully recognizes that the destruction of the AOC is the end of the Perpetual Union. And that a new Union, quite possibly a partial Union, would follow.

Also, the Convention itself was completely illegal, as the AOC specified alterations must be made under, again, Article XIII, not a convention. Goueveneur Morris (a dedicated nationalist) expressed it this way (Ferrand's Records):

"Mr. Govr. Morris considered the inference of Mr. Elseworth from the plea of necessity as applied to the establishment of a new System on ye. consent of the people of a part of the States, in favor of a like establishnt. on the consent of a part of the Legislatures as a non sequitur. If the Confederation is to be pursued no alteration can be made without the unanimous consent of the Legislatures: Legislative alterations not conformable to the federal compact, would clearly not be valid. The Judges would consider them as null & void. Whereas in case of an appeal to the people of the U. S., the supreme authority, the federal compact may be altered by a majority of them; in like manner as the Constitution of a particular State may be altered by a majority of the people of the State. The amendmt. moved by Mr. Elseworth erroneously supposes that we are proceeding on the basis of the Confederation. This Convention is unknown to the Confederation.

So there is Morris openly acknowledging that the AOC is being directly violated. And surely you don't suggest that the Constitution was submitted to the State Legislature for approval? Aren't you constantly screaming just the opposite? Again, both the Philadelphia Convention, because the AOC Congress had no authority to call it, and the State ratifying conventions, because alterations needed to be submitted to the Legislatures for approval, were in gross violation of Article XIII. Just as I said.

PS- Couldn't help notice you wrote: "once all
13 States do actually ratify" At least we finally agree that the States ratified.
You have misinterpreted Morris. He says IF they were pursuing the Confederation (i.e. amending the AoCs), they would have to comply with Article XIII (obtain the ratification of all 13 state legislatures). However, they were replacing the AoCs with something entirely new (the Constitution), not amending them. Therefore, Article XIII does not apply.

They were also not seeking ratification by the state legislatures. They were seeking ratification directly via the people, whose authority to alter or abolish their governments at will is supreme and unimpeachable. Article XIII of the AoCs was completely irrelevant. Article VII of the Constitution applied. Who in their right mind would deny the right or the people to decide the matter? Certainly not Congress, they passed the Constitution on to the states. Certainly not the state legislatures, they called ratifying conventions and passed the Constitution on to the those conventions.

The Convention was not "completely illegal." Article XIII states "...nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State." There is no requirement regarding how alterations are developed or proposed, as long as Congress agrees to them and all of the state legislatures ratify them. Article XIII does not say proposed amendments have to originate within Congress. IF the Convention had proposed amendments, Congress had approved them, and all 13 legislatures ratified them, you'd have amendments to the AoCs that complied entirely with Article XIII. Article XIII does not touch the matter of how amendments are developed and proposed.

It can be said that the Convention violated its mandate to develop amendments to the AoCs. Congess's resolution read as follows:

"Whereas there is provision in the Articles of Confederation & perpetual Union for making alterations therein by the Assent of a Congress of the United States and of the legislatures of the several States; And whereas experience hath evinced that there are defects in the present Confederation, as a mean to remedy which several of the States and particularly the State of New York by express instructions to their delegates in Congress have suggested a convention for the purposes expressed in the following resolution and such Convention appearing to be the most probable mean of establishing in these states a firm national government, Resolved: that in the opinion of Congress it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of delegates who shall have been appointed by the several states be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as shall when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the states render the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government & the preservation of the Union."

The Framers judged that the bold portions of the mandate were contradictory, that revision of the AoCs could not preserve the Union. That no confederation, no union based on a treaty of confederation, could possibly work. There was no reason to believe that amendments proposed by the Convention and approved by Congress would be ratified by all 13 state legislatures any more than had the amendments that previously originated in Congress and were ratified by only 12 state legislatures. The entire confederation method was dysfunctional, ineffective, and "impracticable." The Convention chose the more important of the two incompatible aspects of the mandate: to preserve the Union, and developed a plan that would actually work. Again, Congress issued the mandate, and Congress tacitly approve the actions of the Convention when they passed the Constitution on to the states.

It was actually Morris who made the Convention consider the question of revise vs replace, on May 30, the second day of debate. On the first day, Edmund Randolph had introduced the Virginia Plan. At the start of the next day:

"The propositions of Mr. RANDOLPH which had been referred to the Committee being taken up. He moved on the suggestion of Mr. G. Morris, that the first of his propositions to wit "Resolved that the articles of Confederation ought to be so corrected & enlarged, as to accomplish the objects proposed by their institution; namely, common defence, security of liberty & general welfare: [FN1] -should be postponed, in order to consider the 3 following:

1. that a Union of the States merely federal will not accomplish the objects proposed by the articles of Confederation, namely common defence, security of liberty, & genl. welfare.

2. that no treaty or treaties among the whole or part of the States, as individual Sovereignties, would be sufficient.

3. that a national Government ought to be established consisting of a supreme Legislative, Executive & Judiciary.
"

Morris then "explained the distinction between a federal and national, supreme, Govt.; the former being a mere compact resting on the good faith of the parties; the latter having a compleat and compulsive operation. He contended that in all Communities there must be one supreme power, and one only."

The Convention then voted to create a national, supreme government, 6 states for, 1 against, another divided (i.e. a landslide). In republics, national governments, like those then existing in the states, were established via fundamental laws/political constitutions, like those of the states. A la John Locke's social cmpact. From this point forward, the Convention was drafting a fundamental law, the United States Constitution, rather than amendments to the AoCs. The AoCs were a treaty of confederation, that relied on the "good faith" of the parties to the treaty, i.e. the states, which was obviously sorely lacking, as all of the states had violated various provisions of the AoCs, most notedly the provision of requisitions. A fundamental law, however, carries the "compleat and compulsive" force of law on the entire country, including the respective states, the problem children of the Confederation.

As I previously indicated, the people who establish a fundamental law become the collective sovereigns over that law, the polity and the government it in turn creates. In the Confederation, all sovereignty was retained by the individual states, or more accurately, the people of the individual states. In order to establish the Constitution, the states would therefore be giving up a portion of their original sovereignty to the Union. This is why the decision had to be made by the people of each state, rather than the legislature of each state. This is also why the decision could not be made by the collective states (although you will notice that once the fundamental law is enacted, amendments are enacted by the collective states). Only the people of each individual state could decide whether or not to alter their sovereignty. In their official letter, the Framers noted 1) the unworkable nature of the Confederation, or any union in which the states retain full, independent sovereignty, and 2) the fact that ratification of the Constitution entailed a partial surrender of sovereignty by the individual states.

"It is obviously impractical in the federal government of these states, to secure all rights of independent sovereignty to each, and yet provide for the interest and safety of all: Individuals entering into society, must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest."

There were previously just two systems of sovereignty in the world: national systems (consolidated states) with one consolidated sovereignty; and federal systems, consisting of confederations/unions of consolidated states that each remained perfectly sovereign. The Framers had just invented a third system, a union in which sovereignty is divided between the individual member states and the Union itself. Madison noted the unique nature of the new system: "...it is in a manner unprecedented; we cannot find one express example in the experience of the world. It stands by itself." This system is now called a federation. At the time, the Framers, particularly Madison, explained it as a blend of the preexisting national and federal systems. The above statement was included in a reference to the blended nature of the system:

"There are a number of opinions, but the principal question is whether it be a federal or a consolidated government.... I conceive myself that it is of a mixed nature; it is in a manner unprecedented; we cannot find one express example in the experience of the world. It stands by itself. In some respects it is a government of a federal nature; in others, it is of a consolidated nature."

And he explained the dual sovereignty ("supremacy") of the individual states and the more perfect Union in The Federalist No. 39:

"The idea of a national government involves in it, not only an authority over the individual citizens, but an indefinite supremacy over all persons and things, so far as they are objects of lawful government. Among a people consolidated into one nation [a consolidated state], this supremacy is completely vested in the national legislature. Among communities united for particular purposes [a federation], it is vested partly in the general and partly in the municipal [state] legislatures. In the former case, all local [state] authorities are subordinate to the supreme [national]; and may be controlled, directed, or abolished by it at pleasure. In the latter, the local or municipal [state] authorities form distinct and independent portions of the supremacy, no more subject, within their respective spheres, to the general authority [the Union], than the general authority is subject to them, within its own sphere."

The bold section is reciprocal: the Union is no more subject to the states than the states are to the Union.

"More perfect" does not merely mean improved, the "more perfect Union" was a entirely new, more perfect form of Union. The proof is in the pudding. There are numerous federations in the world today, there are NO confederations.
 

Duncan

Sergeant
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
You have misinterpreted Morris. He says IF they were pursuing the Confederation (i.e. amending the AoCs), they would have to comply with Article XIII (obtain the ratification of all 13 state legislatures). However, they were replacing the AoCs with something entirely new (the Constitution), not amending them. Therefore, Article XIII does not apply.

They were also not seeking ratification by the state legislatures. They were seeking ratification directly via the people, whose authority to alter or abolish their governments at will is supreme and unimpeachable. Article XIII of the AoCs was completely irrelevant. Article VII of the Constitution applied. Who in their right mind would deny the right or the people to decide the matter? Certainly not Congress, they passed the Constitution on to the states. Certainly not the state legislatures, they called ratifying conventions and passed the Constitution on to the those conventions.

The Convention was not "completely illegal." Article XIII states "...nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State." There is no requirement regarding how alterations are developed or proposed, as long as Congress agrees to them and all of the state legislatures ratify them. Article XIII does not say proposed amendments have to originate within Congress. IF the Convention had proposed amendments, Congress had approved them, and all 13 legislatures ratified them, you'd have amendments to the AoCs that complied entirely with Article XIII. Article XIII does not touch the matter of how amendments are developed and proposed.

It can be said that the Convention violated its mandate to develop amendments to the AoCs. Congess's resolution read as follows:

"Whereas there is provision in the Articles of Confederation & perpetual Union for making alterations therein by the Assent of a Congress of the United States and of the legislatures of the several States; And whereas experience hath evinced that there are defects in the present Confederation, as a mean to remedy which several of the States and particularly the State of New York by express instructions to their delegates in Congress have suggested a convention for the purposes expressed in the following resolution and such Convention appearing to be the most probable mean of establishing in these states a firm national government, Resolved: that in the opinion of Congress it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of delegates who shall have been appointed by the several states be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as shall when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the states render the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government & the preservation of the Union."

The Framers judged that the bold portions of the mandate were contradictory, that revision of the AoCs could not preserve the Union. That no confederation, no union based on a treaty of confederation, could possibly work. There was no reason to believe that amendments proposed by the Convention and approved by Congress would be ratified by all 13 state legislatures any more than had the amendments that previously originated in Congress and were ratified by only 12 state legislatures. The entire confederation method was dysfunctional, ineffective, and "impracticable." The Convention chose the more important of the two incompatible aspects of the mandate: to preserve the Union, and developed a plan that would actually work. Again, Congress issued the mandate, and Congress tacitly approve the actions of the Convention when they passed the Constitution on to the states.

It was actually Morris who made the Convention consider the question of revise vs replace, on May 30, the second day of debate. On the first day, Edmund Randolph had introduced the Virginia Plan. At the start of the next day:

"The propositions of Mr. RANDOLPH which had been referred to the Committee being taken up. He moved on the suggestion of Mr. G. Morris, that the first of his propositions to wit "Resolved that the articles of Confederation ought to be so corrected & enlarged, as to accomplish the objects proposed by their institution; namely, common defence, security of liberty & general welfare: [FN1] -should be postponed, in order to consider the 3 following:

1. that a Union of the States merely federal will not accomplish the objects proposed by the articles of Confederation, namely common defence, security of liberty, & genl. welfare.

2. that no treaty or treaties among the whole or part of the States, as individual Sovereignties, would be sufficient.

3. that a national Government ought to be established consisting of a supreme Legislative, Executive & Judiciary.
"

Morris then "explained the distinction between a federal and national, supreme, Govt.; the former being a mere compact resting on the good faith of the parties; the latter having a compleat and compulsive operation. He contended that in all Communities there must be one supreme power, and one only."

The Convention then voted to create a national, supreme government, 6 states for, 1 against, another divided (i.e. a landslide). In republics, national governments, like those then existing in the states, were established via fundamental laws/political constitutions, like those of the states. A la John Locke's social cmpact. From this point forward, the Convention was drafting a fundamental law, the United States Constitution, rather than amendments to the AoCs. The AoCs were a treaty of confederation, that relied on the "good faith" of the parties to the treaty, i.e. the states, which was obviously sorely lacking, as all of the states had violated various provisions of the AoCs, most notedly the provision of requisitions. A fundamental law, however, carries the "compleat and compulsive" force of law on the entire country, including the respective states, the problem children of the Confederation.

As I previously indicated, the people who establish a fundamental law become the collective sovereigns over that law, the polity and the government it in turn creates. In the Confederation, all sovereignty was retained by the individual states, or more accurately, the people of the individual states. In order to establish the Constitution, the states would therefore be giving up a portion of their original sovereignty to the Union. This is why the decision had to be made by the people of each state, rather than the legislature of each state. This is also why the decision could not be made by the collective states (although you will notice that once the fundamental law is enacted, amendments are enacted by the collective states). Only the people of each individual state could decide whether or not to alter their sovereignty. In their official letter, the Framers noted 1) the unworkable nature of the Confederation, or any union in which the states retain full, independent sovereignty, and 2) the fact that ratification of the Constitution entailed a partial surrender of sovereignty by the individual states.

"It is obviously impractical in the federal government of these states, to secure all rights of independent sovereignty to each, and yet provide for the interest and safety of all: Individuals entering into society, must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest."

There were previously just two systems of sovereignty in the world: national systems (consolidated states) with one consolidated sovereignty; and federal systems, consisting of confederations/unions of consolidated states that each remained perfectly sovereign. The Framers had just invented a third system, a union in which sovereignty is divided between the individual member states and the Union itself. Madison noted the unique nature of the new system: "...it is in a manner unprecedented; we cannot find one express example in the experience of the world. It stands by itself." This system is now called a federation. At the time, the Framers, particularly Madison, explained it as a blend of the preexisting national and federal systems. The above statement was included in a reference to the blended nature of the system:

"There are a number of opinions, but the principal question is whether it be a federal or a consolidated government.... I conceive myself that it is of a mixed nature; it is in a manner unprecedented; we cannot find one express example in the experience of the world. It stands by itself. In some respects it is a government of a federal nature; in others, it is of a consolidated nature."

And he explained the dual sovereignty ("supremacy") of the individual states and the more perfect Union in The Federalist No. 39:

"The idea of a national government involves in it, not only an authority over the individual citizens, but an indefinite supremacy over all persons and things, so far as they are objects of lawful government. Among a people consolidated into one nation [a consolidated state], this supremacy is completely vested in the national legislature. Among communities united for particular purposes [a federation], it is vested partly in the general and partly in the municipal [state] legislatures. In the former case, all local [state] authorities are subordinate to the supreme [national]; and may be controlled, directed, or abolished by it at pleasure. In the latter, the local or municipal [state] authorities form distinct and independent portions of the supremacy, no more subject, within their respective spheres, to the general authority [the Union], than the general authority is subject to them, within its own sphere."

The bold section is reciprocal: the Union is no more subject to the states than the states are to the Union.

"More perfect" does not merely mean improved, the "more perfect Union" was a entirely new, more perfect form of Union. The proof is in the pudding. There are numerous federations in the world today, there are NO confederations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"You have misinterpreted Morris. He says IF they were pursuing the Confederation (i.e. amending the AoCs), they would have to comply with Article XIII (obtain the ratification of all 13 state legislatures). However, they were replacing the AoCs with something entirely new (the Constitution), not amending them. Therefore, Article XIII does not apply."

It is you who misinterpreted Morris, as well as the events surrounding the Convention. And badly. If the Convention wished to conduct itself in a lawful manner, then it was required to proceed consistent with the requirements under the AOC, and specifically within the promulgated constraints of Article XIII (as Morris emphatically explained). As for replacing the AOC with "something entirely new" (the Constitution), that, they had absolutely no authority to do. None whatsoever. The delegates were all empowered, authorized, and credentialed merely to revise the AOC. To be perfectly clear, they had no authority whatsoever to write an entirely new Constitution and submit it to State Conventions for ratification. Below are the credentials of the Massachusetts delegation:

"By His Excellency James Bowdoin Esquire Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

To the Honorable Francis Dana, Elbridge Gerry, Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King and Caleb Strong Esquires. Greeting.

"Whereas Congress did on the twenty first day of February Ao Di 1787, Resolve "that in the opinion of Congress it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of Delegates who shall have been appointed by the several States to be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several Legislatures, such alterations and provisions therein as shall when agreed to in Congress, and confirmed by the States render the federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of government and the preservation of the Union." And Whereas the General Court have constituted and appointed you their Delegates to attend and represent this Commonwealth in the said proposed Convention; and have by Resolution of theirs of the tenth of March last, requested me to Commission you for that purpose.

Now therefore Know Ye, that in pursuance of the resolutions aforesaid, I do by these presents, commission you the said Francis Dana, Elbridge Gerry Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King & Caleb Strong Esquires or any three of you to meet such Delegates as may be appointed by the other or any of the other States in the Union to meet in Convention at Philadelphia at the time and for the purposes aforesaid.

In Testimony whereof I have caused the Public Seal of the Commonwealth aforesaid to be hereunto affixed.

Given at the Council Chamber in Boston the Ninth day of April Ao Dom. 1787 and in the Eleventh Year of the Independence of the United States of America.


JAMES BOWDOIN


By His Excellency's Command.


JOHN AVERY JUNr., Secretary


The Connecticut delegation:

CONNECTICUT
State of Connecticut.
(Seal.)
At a General Assembly of the State of Connecticut in America, holden at Hartford on the second Thursday of May, Anno Domini 1787.
An Act for appointing Delegates to meet in a Convention of the States to be held at the City of Philadelphia on the second Monday of May instant.

Whereas the Congress of the United States by their Act of the twenty first of February 1787 have recommended that on the second Monday of May instant, a Convention of Delegates, who shall have been appointed by the several States, be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation.


New York



NEW YORK4
New-York.
(Seal)
By His Excellency George Clinton Esquire Governor of the State of New York General and Commander in Chief of all the Militia and Admiral of the Navy of the same.
To all to whom these Presents shall come It is by these Presents certified that John McKesson who has subscribed the annexed Copies of Resolutions is Clerk of the Assembly of this State.

In Testimony whereof I have caused the Privy Seal of the said State to be hereunto affixed this Ninth day of May in the Eleventh Year of the Independence of the said State.

Geo: Clinton.
State of New York
In Assembly February 28th 1787.

A Copy of a Resolution of the honorable the Senate, delivered by Mr Williams, was read, and is in the Words following, vizt.
Resolved, if the honorable the Assembly concur herein, that three Delegates be appointed on the part of this State, to meet such Delegates as may be appointed on the part of the other States respectively, on the second Monday in may next, at Philadelphia, for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation,

Delaware



DELAWARE
Delaware
(Seal)
His Excellency Thomas Collins, Esquire, President, Captain General, and Commander in Chief of the Delaware State; To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting. Know Ye, that among the Laws of the said State, passed by the General Assembly of the same, on the third day of February, in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven, it is thus inrolled.
In the Eleventh Year of the Independence of the Delaware State An Act appointing Deputies from this State to the Convention proposed to be held in the City of Philadelphia for the Purpose of revising the Federal Constitution.


North Carolina



NORTH CAROLINA
The State of North Carolina To the Honorable Alexander Martin Esquire, Greeting.
Whereas our General Assembly, in their late session holden at Fayette-ville, by adjournment, in the Month of January last, did by joint ballot of the Senate and House of Commons, elect Richard Caswell, Alexander Martin, William Richardson Davie, Richard Dobbs Spaight, and Willie Jones, Esquires, Deputies to attend a Convention of Delegates from the several United States of America, proposed to be held at the City of Philadelphia in May next for the purpose of revising the Fœderal Constitution.

Pennsylvania



PENNSYLVANIA
Pensylvania An Act appointing Deputies to the Convention intended to be held in the City of Philadelphia for the purpose of revising the fœderal Constitution.
Section 1st Whereas the General Assembly of this Commonwealth taking into their serious Consideration the Representations heretofore made to the Legislatures of the several States in the Union by the United States in Congress Assembled, and also weighing the difficulties under which the Confederated States now labour, are fully convinced of the necessity of revising the federal Constitution


No delegate, not a single one, was empowered, authorized, or credentialed, in any way, to do anything other than alter or revise the AOC. Not a single one of them had any authority to write an entirely new Constitution. Accordingly, they could only proceed lawfully by altering or revising the AOC, and by doing so consistent with both their credentials and the requirements and limitations of Article XIII. When the Convention became an illegal runaway, and when the delegates deliberately exceeded their credentials and perpetrated a political revolution, they were forced to use the language and methodologies of Revolution. Madison explains all of this in Federalist 40, and he does so using the language of the American Revolution as articulated by Jefferson;

"that a rigid adherence in such cases to the former, would render nominal and nugatory the transcendent and precious right of the people to "abolish or alter their governments as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness"

Having decided to proceed illegally and in egregious violation of Article XIII, Madison was forced to use revolutionary principles to justify the Convention's obvious illegalities.
 
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trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
The Philadelphia Convention did discuss "revising" the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. In their opinion, the revisions necessary were very extensive. They wrote their revisions up as the Constitution and sent it to Congress. There is nothing "illegal" about that -- and if anyone really wants to make the claim that they acted "illegally" they need to justify their claim by pointing to whatever "law" they claim was violated. Clearly they violated nothing in Article XIII, so what exactly is the law they supposedly broke?
 
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CW Buff

First Sergeant
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Location
Connecticut
It is you who misinterpreted Morris, as well as the events surrounding the Convention. And badly.
If only saying so made it so, you’d be all set.

If the Convention wished to conduct itself in a lawful manner, then it was required to proceed consistent with the requirements under the AOC, and specifically within the promulgated constraints of Article XIII (as Morris emphatically explained).
Try to bend and twist it all you want, but Morris is obviously explaining that they don’t need to comply with Article XIII of the AoCs because they were NOT revising the AoCs.

As for replacing the AOC with "something entirely new" (the Constitution), that, they had absolutely no authority to do. None whatsoever. The delegates were all empowered, authorized, and credentialed merely to revise the AOC. To be perfectly clear, they had no authority whatsoever to write an entirely new Constitution and submit it to State Conventions for ratification. Below are the credentials of the Massachusetts delegation:
The Convention did not submit the Constitution to the states, Congress did. And you say that I have misinterpreted the events surrounding the Convention? Aye Caramba!

The delegates were empowered, authorized, credentialed to develop provisions “adequate to the exigencies of Government & the preservation of the Union.” That was the all-important goal set by Congress. If they acted improperly and illegally, why didn’t Congress censure the Convention, or quash the Constitution? Answer: because Congress accepted the Convention delegates’ explanations that AoC amendments would not have worked, and that it was proper for the Convention to adhere first and foremost to the goal of the mandate rather than the flawed means (“for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”). How ridiculous it would have been (to put it mildly) to develop revisions that had no reasonable chance of achieving the all-important, overriding goal of saving the Union. You seem to forget who these outlaws you speak of were. Some of the wisest and most honorable statesmen, probably the wisest group of statesmen, that ever existed. Morris, Madison, Wilson, Washington, Franklin, Pickney, Hamilton, etc, etc. Oh, yah, a real band of outlaws there. I can only imagine your thoughts on their motivations for such a dastardly act? You seem to be so upset that they developed a system that precludes unilateral secession, you would demand they place the emphasis on means that had no reasonable chance of achieving the goal, and bye, bye Union.

As far as instructions received from the states, the states also approved the Convention’s actions, when they called state ratifying conventions to decide the matter. Not one state denied their people the right to alter/abolish. And the people, the highest authority of all, then sanctioned the actions of the Convention by ratifying the Constitution via their supreme authority. The people of each and every state, North and South, slave and free. So, in your interpretation that the Convention acted illegally, Congress, the state legislatures, and the people of the US disagree with you. And THAT is the bottom line here.
 

Duncan

Sergeant
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
If only saying so made it so, you’d be all set.



Try to bend and twist it all you want, but Morris is obviously explaining that they don’t need to comply with Article XIII of the AoCs because they were NOT revising the AoCs.



The Convention did not submit the Constitution to the states, Congress did. And you say that I have misinterpreted the events surrounding the Convention? Aye Caramba!

The delegates were empowered, authorized, credentialed to develop provisions “adequate to the exigencies of Government & the preservation of the Union.” That was the all-important goal set by Congress. If they acted improperly and illegally, why didn’t Congress censure the Convention, or quash the Constitution? Answer: because Congress accepted the Convention delegates’ explanations that AoC amendments would not have worked, and that it was proper for the Convention to adhere first and foremost to the goal of the mandate rather than the flawed means (“for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”). How ridiculous it would have been (to put it mildly) to develop revisions that had no reasonable chance of achieving the all-important, overriding goal of saving the Union. You seem to forget who these outlaws you speak of were. Some of the wisest and most honorable statesmen, probably the wisest group of statesmen, that ever existed. Morris, Madison, Wilson, Washington, Franklin, Pickney, Hamilton, etc, etc. Oh, yah, a real band of outlaws there. I can only imagine your thoughts on their motivations for such a dastardly act? You seem to be so upset that they developed a system that precludes unilateral secession, you would demand they place the emphasis on means that had no reasonable chance of achieving the goal, and bye, bye Union.

As far as instructions received from the states, the states also approved the Convention’s actions, when they called state ratifying conventions to decide the matter. Not one state denied their people the right to alter/abolish. And the people, the highest authority of all, then sanctioned the actions of the Convention by ratifying the Constitution via their supreme authority. The people of each and every state, North and South, slave and free. So, in your interpretation that the Convention acted illegally, Congress, the state legislatures, and the people of the US disagree with you. And THAT is the bottom line here.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"If only saying so made it so, you’d be all set."

Yup, if only saying so made it so, you'd be all set indeed.

"Try to bend and twist it all you want, but Morris is obviously explaining that they don’t need to comply with Article XIII of the AoCs because they were NOT revising the AoCs."

Indeed, try to bend and twist it all you want, but Morris is obviously explaining that they do need to comply with Article XIII of the AoCs because they were revising the AoCs.

"How ridiculous it would have been (to put it mildly) to develop revisions that had no reasonable chance of achieving the all-important, overriding goal of saving the Union."

And how much more ridiculous and absurd it would have been (to put it mildly) for the credentials to declare;

for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation


When what they really meant was;

"for the purpose of lawlessly exceeding any and all constitutional restraints"

"You seem to forget who these outlaws you speak of were. Some of the wisest and most honorable statesmen, probably the wisest group of statesmen, that ever existed. Morris, Madison, Wilson, Washington, Franklin, Pickney, Hamilton, etc, etc. Oh, yah, a real band of outlaws there."

Yup. The same slave-owing treasonous outlaws who lawlessly and violently made war against their Mother Country in order to establish a slave-republic. Oh yah, a real band of cherubic angels there.

"You seem to be so upset that they developed a system that precludes unilateral secession"

And you seem to be upset that they didn't. Indeed, there is not so much as a single syllable in the entire Constitution which prohibits that oh-so-dastardly act.

"So, in your interpretation that the Convention acted illegally, Congress, the state legislatures, and the people of the US disagree with you. And THAT is the bottom line here."

So, in your interpretation that the Convention acted legally, Congress, the state legislatures, and the people of the US disagree with you. And THAT is the bottom line here.
 
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