Restricted What Is Our Constitution, - League, Pact, Or Government?

CW Buff

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It always seemed to me, that the colonial leaders of the Revolution, were, of necessity, more concerned over the unity of the colonies/states, than the philosophical foundations of what that unity would mean, after the Revolution. I think, 'Unity' was the priority, to the leaders, in the aggregate, of the Revolutionary leaders and framers of its national gov'ts.

If by philosophical foundation, you mean life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, or the more specific "no taxation without representation," they go hand in hand with that unity. The former motivated the latter. Similar motivations prevailed 1860-1865. These were the same objects that drove the barons to establish Magna Carta in 1215, and the parliamentarians to overthrow kings in 17th century England. The colonists were simply being very English. But could there be any other motivation for unity? It began as collective bargaining. They couldn't get anywhere with the British government individually. Upon declaring independence, they were small, petty nation-states that couldn't expect to win that independence (and secure those objectives) except via a united effort. Once they won it, they were still petty nation-states, and knowing how Europe loved to dominate (a trait they shared; it was, after all, ALL Indian land at one time), they knew they had to stay united to stay independent. Franklin wrote the original AoCs in 1775, at which time he specified the Union would last until reconciliation or, otherwise, perpetually. The Unionists of 1860-1865 (and any other period) could have borrowed directly from the unionists of 1765-1790: "In all our deliberations on this subject we kept steadily in our view, that which appears to us the greatest interest of every true American, the consolidation of our Union, in which is involved our prosperity, felicity, safety, perhaps our national existence." — Letter of Transmittal, Federal Convention to Congress, September 17, 1787

Of course, seeking life, liberty, and property rights and granting them to others are two different things. For instance, half the population was not even considered in all men are created equal. And enlightenment is a trickling stream, not a flood.
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
If by philosophical foundation, you mean life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, or the more specific "no taxation without representation," they go hand in hand with that unity. The former motivated the latter. Similar motivations prevailed 1860-1865. These were the same objects that drove the barons to establish Magna Carta in 1215, and the parliamentarians to overthrow kings in 17th century England. The colonists were simply being very English. But could there be any other motivation for unity? It began as collective bargaining. They couldn't get anywhere with the British government individually. Upon declaring independence, they were small, petty nation-states that couldn't expect to win that independence (and secure those objectives) except via a united effort. Once they won it, they were still petty nation-states, and knowing how Europe loved to dominate (a trait they shared; it was, after all, ALL Indian land at one time), they knew they had to stay united to stay independent. Franklin wrote the original AoCs in 1775, at which time he specified the Union would last until reconciliation or, otherwise, perpetually. The Unionists of 1860-1865 (and any other period) could have borrowed directly from the unionists of 1765-1790: "In all our deliberations on this subject we kept steadily in our view, that which appears to us the greatest interest of every true American, the consolidation of our Union, in which is involved our prosperity, felicity, safety, perhaps our national existence." — Letter of Transmittal, Federal Convention to Congress, September 17, 1787

Of course, seeking life, liberty, and property rights and granting them to others are two different things. For instance, half the population was not even considered in all men are created equal. And enlightenment is a trickling stream, not a flood.



I was thinking more along the line of, The Union of the AOC was made perpetual, by its(Organic Laws) creators, i.e., the States.
 

CW Buff

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Location
Connecticut
I was thinking more along the line of, The Union of the AOC was made perpetual, by its(Organic Laws) creators, i.e., the States.

I'm probably one of the denser readers on the Forum. I think I understand what you mean by philosophical foundation now, but rather than guess wrong again, I'd need a fuller explanation to comment.
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
I'm probably one of the denser readers on the Forum. I think I understand what you mean by philosophical foundation now, but rather than guess wrong again, I'd need a fuller explanation to comment.



Well, as long as I am on this board, you cannot be the densest.

What I mean here(I think) is that a perpetual Union contradicts the basic tenant of the DoI, about the right of all people to be free, and the right to form their own gov'ts, and, I believe it violates the concept of the inviolability of the sovereignty of states right.
 

CW Buff

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Location
Connecticut
What I mean here(I think) is that a perpetual Union contradicts the basic tenant of the DoI, about the right of all people to be free, and the right to form their own gov'ts, and, I believe it violates the concept of the inviolability of the sovereignty of states right.

It does violate the DoI, sortof. But it has to. You can either have a government that is at all times voluntary, or you can have an effective government (a government that effectively keeps you free from foreign domination). That was, as far as union goes, the lesson of the AoCs. The right to alter or abolish cannot be an individual, legal right. It wasn't in the states, and what they learned was that it can't be in the Union either. The right, on a personal level, has to remain moral. And in that case, the judge on the matter must be God ("We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions,..."). In order for a free government to work, the people who form it have to be committed to obeying it (to maintain the loyalty-protection relationship), unless a majority of them choose to alter/abolish it (the legal right), or any number of them have been oppressed by that power in a significant, lasting way (the moral right). That's my take on it anyway.
 

jgoodguy

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It always seemed to me, that the colonial leaders of the Revolution, were, of necessity, more concerned over the unity of the colonies/states, than the philosophical foundations of what that unity would mean, after the Revolution. I think, 'Unity' was the priority, to the leaders, in the aggregate, of the Revolutionary leaders and framers of its national gov'ts.

In any case though, as far as the courts, I have often wondered if the deal worked out between the Marshall Court and Congress concerning 'Judicial Oversight' was Political or Judicial, in nature?
IMHO. I agree with an observation that a brand new form of government does not have a lot of political philosophy to drawn on. Judicial Oversight existed before Marshall's decision.
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
It does violate the DoI, sortof. But it has to. You can either have a government that is at all times voluntary, or you can have an effective government (a government that effectively keeps you free from foreign domination). That was, as far as union goes, the lesson of the AoCs. The right to alter or abolish cannot be an individual, legal right. It wasn't in the states, and what they learned was that it can't be in the Union either. The right, on a personal level, has to remain moral. And in that case, the judge on the matter must be God ("We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions,..."). In order for a free government to work, the people who form it have to be committed to obeying it (to maintain the loyalty-protection relationship), unless a majority of them choose to alter/abolish it (the legal right), or any number of them have been oppressed by that power in a significant, lasting way (the moral right). That's my take on it anyway.


What you say may be true. but, historically, it seems that when faced with a decision between Unity or states right, it shows the difference between the fine words of the theory of states right, and the actions of those, in positions of authority of its gov'ts, state and federal, both., I.e., That Unity(The Union) took precedence over states right ideals. at least, until, at least, 1854.
 

jgoodguy

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What you say may be true. but, historically, it seems that when faced with a decision between Unity or states right, it shows the difference between the fine words of the theory of states right, and the actions of those, in positions of authority of its gov'ts, state and federal, both., I.e., That Unity(The Union) took precedence over states right ideals. at least, until, at least, 1854.

State Righters also tended to be seduced by the power of the Federal government which, IMHO diminished their philosophy. The closest thing we had to a States Rights centric government was the AOC which simply did not work. I find that the lack of a new States Rights philosopher like Calhoun, Upshur et.al. after 1840 interesting. Secession seems to me to be an opportunistic rehash of a goulash as far as theory.
 
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OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
State Righters also tended to be seduced by the power of the Federal government which, IMHO diminished their philosophy. The closest thing we had to a States Rights centric government was the AOC which simply did not work. I find that the lack of a new States Rights philosopher like Calhoun, Upshur et.al. after 1840 interesting. Secession seems to me to be an opportunistic rehash of a goulash as far as theory.



I agree. IMO, States Right, as a political philosophy, was hi-jacked by Pro-slavery politicians, on which they could better defend the peculiar institution of the South and, later, to validate secession.

Calhoun, I believe, invented a whole new political history and constitutional form of gov't that, really could only apply, IMO, to the ante-bellum America of his time.
 
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