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Articles of Confederation, better than the Constitution.

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posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 06:24 PM
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In the words of the American Revolutionary, Patrick Henry;

"It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"


When you read these words the hair on the back of your neck probably stand up, I know mine did, it was probably the most provocative and hardline speeches in the American Revolution. At the time if you even muttered any word of revolution against the crown you could be killed.

We are not all Libertarians, I know I am not, but to read the text and the opinions of these great men such as Henry you cannot help but be moved by their statements. They were tired of the oppression, they were tired of the tyranny and they were tired of the hostility that was forced upon them by an outside force from across the Ocean.

So they created a new Republic after years of war, defeating the most powerful empire that world had ever seen at the time. They defeated the British in one of the most humiliating events an Empire could face, a loss to a small colony.

What did the American Revolutionaries do then? they signed the Decleration of Independence followed by what the Articles of Confederation. When the war was over a new document was introduced known as the Constitution of the United States. But there were some Revolutionaries who did not believe it gave Americans and the states the rights they were given under the Articles of Confederation, so they opposed adopting the Constitution.

I STRONGLY URGE YOU TO READ THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION. For all you Liberty lovers, especially Libertarians this is more of a rallying crie than the Constitution.

This is what it says about the role of the Federal Government:

"To declare war, to set weights and measures (including coins), and for Congress to serve as a final court for disputes between states."


edit on 9/13/2010 by Misoir because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 07:05 PM
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Nice thread, I agree.

I would also like to share this link which talks about the Presidents of the Continental Congress. It is information that is not really discussed in public school at all, and is pretty well hidden from 99% of the population.

en.wikipedia.org...

The most notable President of the Continental Congress was John Hancock. His name now signifies "signature" as he played quite an important role during his long tenure.



Because John Hanson was the first president elected under the terms of the Articles of Confederation, his grandson promoted him as the "first President of the United States" and waged a successful campaign to have Hanson's statue placed in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol, even though Hanson was not really one of Maryland's foremost leaders of the Revolutionary era.


Don't mix up John Hancock with John Hanson though, two totally different guys.

Also note that there has been quite a distinction drawn between the Presidents of the Continental Congress and the later office known as the President of the United States. The Pres of the CC is said to be much more like a presider over the Congress, where the current President has powerful executive abilities.

Nevertheless, it is a subject/topic that is commonly overlooked and yet it plays a very important and direct role in the foundation of our current nation.

Just adding this here for anyone interested, don't hold me to anything as I am only an amateur of the dense and complex history of the era. Any corrections are welcomed.

I hope that this thread gets more attention from some of our more educated members who can share even more information about the period, and hopefully those who know nothing about it will stumble through here and discover the wonders of our deep history.



edit on 13-9-2010 by muzzleflash because: addition of info



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 07:05 PM
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Brilliant. I have often stated that we need to go back to the Articles of Confederation. The Constitution gives the Federal Government too much power, and Hamilton used very shady tactics to get it ratified. The fact that the Constitution could only become law with the unanimous votes of all thirteen colonies, and then Hamilton persuades them to make it 9/13 to get it passed, speaks volumes.

Or the fact that Hamilton wanted America to be another Monarchy.

Or the fact that Hamilton purposefully called his political party "The Federalists" giving Americans a false sense of comfort that his group was against strong, centralized government.

But just wait. You will have all of Hamilton's supporters here in a few minutes using the same regurgitated arguments straight from The Federalist Papers to defend the Constitution.



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 07:12 PM
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Aaron Burr Jr. took care of Hamilton. After that duel, it is said that the Federalists party lost much of it's influence and power. However, Burr also lost any real chance of being a central figure in the early politics of our nation and was pretty successfully ostracized. It says he is the first Vice President never to serve as President.


en.wikipedia.org...

Totally awesome reading indeed. I spent at least two hours yesterday reading and researching on ol Burr.

Aaron Burr Jr was Thomas Jefferson's Vice President.

I consider myself a fan. I actually really like the guy for the most part. Despite the conspiracy charges against him. I personally believe they were mostly trumped up by Hamilton's supporters as retribution for his slaying of Mr Hamilton.



edit on 13-9-2010 by muzzleflash because: additions



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 07:23 PM
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All of these people opposed the Constitution on the grounds that it did not offer enough Liberty and gave too much power to the federal government.

Patrick Henry


After the Revolution, Henry was a leader of the anti-federalists who opposed the replacement of the Articles of Confederation with the United States Constitution, fearing that it endangered many of the individual freedoms that had been achieved in the war.


Samuel Adams


When the Constitution was sent to the states for ratification, Adams expressed his displeasure. "I confess," he wrote to Richard Henry Lee in 1787, "as I enter the Building I stumble at the Threshold. I meet with a National Government, instead of a Federal Union of States.”


George Mason


Like anti-federalist Patrick Henry, Mason was a leader of those who pressed for the addition of explicit States rights [7] and individual rights to the U.S. Constitution as a balance to the increased federal powers, and did not sign the document in part because it lacked such a statement. His efforts eventually succeeded in convincing the Federalists to add the first ten amendments of the Constitution.


Richard Henry Lee

Robert Yates


He is also well known as the presumed author of political essays published in 1787 and 1788 under the pseudonyms "Brutus" and "Sydney". The essays opposed the introduction of the Constitution of the United States.


James Winthrop

James Monroe


As an anti-Federalist delegate to the Virginia convention that considered ratification of the United States Constitution, Monroe opposed ratification, claiming it gave too much power to the central government.


Mercy Otis Warren

George Clinton


In 1787–1788, Clinton publicly opposed adoption of the new United States Constitution. Herbert Storing identifies Clinton as "Cato", the pseudonymous author of the Anti-Federalist essays which appeared in New York newspapers during the ratification debates. However, the authorship of the essays is disputed. Clinton withdrew his objections after the Bill of Rights was added.



edit on 9/13/2010 by Misoir because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 07:45 PM
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reply to post by Misoir
 


excellent topic for today..long overdue.. may one also mention the Most Honorable Jefferson Davis.. what an amazing man he was.. most never learn of him for reasons known only by those have read his writings.. confederacy, confederate states, articles of confederation...???..hhmmmm----oh yeah wait a minute what about slavery??? public school shamstem will never teach J.D.--not the drink--which is something also to be proud of..



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 08:55 PM
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reply to post by rebeldog
 


Yes, the names are similar aren't they? I didn't even notice that... huh.



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 09:06 PM
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what a great thread
S&F from me

I tend to agree
just what condition might we be in today
had the AC been the primary document?



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 09:08 PM
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I've long suspected the Constitution was one of the biggest mistakes America ever made. We've all heard the old stories about how trade between the States was strained due to tariffs and currency problems and this and that. But we hear little of the points that were made by the losing side of this debate, which is unfortunate considering this was a huge, hotly-debated issue in its time.

I wonder if some of the original Federalists, looking at a national government now that presumes to make sweeping dictates to an entire continent of 300 million people and to a global empire of many more, in retrospect would have seen it as a huge mistake too. I don't think humans are cut out for political units of such size.

The Articles essentially left the States as soverign republics of their own except unified by a permanent military alliance among a few other provisions. I suspect that the States would have sorted out their difficulties in time, as the bickering was helping nobody, and that they jumped the gun by leaping into a more coercive union.

The Anti-Federalists made a last-ditch effort by getting through the Tenth Amendment, but we see how much good that's done. How many people do you know are aware of that Amendment and what it says? It's perhaps the most important clause in the whole document and yet the most utterly ignored piece of it as well.

I'm for decentralization. At this point in time 50 independent nations is looking a lot better than the huge, vastly powerful, irredeemably corrupt global seat of power sitting in Washington today.

S&F all the way!



edit on 13-9-2010 by NewlyAwakened because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 09:11 PM
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Originally posted by boondock-saint
what a great thread
S&F from me

I tend to agree
just what condition might we be in today
had the AC been the primary document?


We would have a country where the only governing power is the states. As stated in the OP the feds would have very limited powers just to coinage, foreign relations, defense and interstate issues. other than that the feds could do nothing.

If I read it right the Federal Government politicians would be selected by the state legislatures and the President would be a lot like the President of the Senate where his powers would lie in very limited decision making and just rule over the Senate and be the de facto head of state.

If that would have lasted until today, since the Articles of Confederation were a lot more strict in their interpretation, we would see a federal government that is just there basically. We would have to manage ourselves in the states we live in. This would give each state the right to choose their own laws and their own civil liberties/civil rights. Whether that is a good or bad thing is up for debate.


edit on 9/13/2010 by Misoir because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 09:22 PM
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I actually disagree.

The AC were too weak. There was no central government, and the federal government had absolutely no power over the states. There was no formal military because the federal government couldn't afford it, because they had no power to tax the states (they could 'request funds' haha but of course the states wouldn't give funds if they didn't have to). The AC didn't have the Bill of Rights. The AC let states declare war on other countries, for god's sake. All in all, it was like... a whole bunch of little governments that had no binding together. No President, no nothing, and honestly, I don't like that idea. I think that the federal government needs to have the power to have it's own military, and I think that all the states need to be unified enough that when war is declared, all the states agree haha.

And I think it was Shay's Rebellion when they realized they really needed a stronger federal government. (I admit, I googled this to make sure I got the facts straight): A bunch of farmers started an armed uprising, because they were being crushed by debt and taxes from all over the place. They were defeated by a local militia, but this is what got people realizing we needed a stronger federal government, (and I quote from Wikipedia): "Ultimately, however, the uprising was the climax of a series of events of the 1780s that convinced a powerful group of Americans that the national government needed to be stronger so that it could create uniform economic policies and protect property owners from infringements on their rights by local majorities"

en.wikipedia.org...

Anyways, I think the Constitution as it is is a beautiful document. I disagree with some of the ways it has been interpreted. As in, Constitution doesn't actually allow for all of the federal power there is today. The 10th Amendment says the things not enumerated in the Cons. for the Federal Government are left up to the states. However, the Constitution also gives the Federal Government the 'necessary and proper clause' (as in, they can do something if they think it is absolutely necessary) and the commerce clause, to regulate commerce between states. The Federal Gov. uses these two powers in such erroneous ways, but, who decides whether they are obeying the Constitution... the Supreme Court, part of the Federal Government!! Kind of silly, since obviously everything is going to be tipped in power to the Federal Government since it is the Federal Government who get to decide what the Constitution says.



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 09:26 PM
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Originally posted by rebeldog
excellent topic for today..long overdue.. may one also mention the Most Honorable Jefferson Davis.. what an amazing man he was.. most never learn of him for reasons known only by those have read his writings.. confederacy, confederate states, articles of confederation...???..hhmmmm----oh yeah wait a minute what about slavery??? public school shamstem will never teach J.D.--not the drink--which is something also to be proud of..

Never read JD, but from his actions during the war he never seemed like a big civil liberties buff to me. But, aside from slavery, that's always been my problem with the CSA. It seemed they talked a great talk but were full of hypocrisy.

Nevertheless, I'm a huge proponent of reading people's actual words. I've found that through reading actual works written by people I'd only heard about via history and whatnot, you learn that most of the things you "know" about historical figures are flat caricatures. It's always very interesting to hear/read a person's sincere perspective.

Anything you want to recommend?




edit on 13-9-2010 by NewlyAwakened because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 09:39 PM
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reply to post by spacekc929
 

I don't see why the States could not have organized their own internal "militias" to put down situations like Shay's Rebellion. Unless the Articles prohibited it (I'm not sure), but if so it seems to me that's a flaw in the Articles to be corrected, not a reason to throw them out.

I still think they were jumping the gun with the Constitution, just looking at where the situation stands today.

Of course, maybe even if we'd kept the Articles the natural growth of power would have happened anyway. But on the other hand, as long as I'm speculating, maybe there would have been a higher value placed on independence and liberty, and the current fetish for democracy that grew in the late 19th century might never have occurred (the original ideal was liberty, with democracy simply as the means to select lawmakers for what limited powers the government had - when democracy itself is the ideal, the results are disastrous).

And I've never been a fan of the "necessary and proper" clause. What on earth were the founders thinking?



edit on 13-9-2010 by NewlyAwakened because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 12:04 AM
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Almost no one knows this today, but some of the state constitutions written during the American Revolution were FAR more democratic the the present U.S. Constitution. Look up the 1776 Pennsylvania constitution written by Benjaman Franklin and Thomas Paine, for example. No one will ever tell you about it unless you make a specialized study of these things. It's all been long forgotten and it's not taught in school.

Historians have known since the time of Charles Beard and Jackson Turner Main that the present U.S. Constitution was probably not even legitimately ratified at all, and was not in accord with what the common people wanted at that time. They weren't even allowed to vote on its ratification, byt even then it was a very close thing in many state conventions, because the delegates knew it was unpopular.


There were men like Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, James Wilson and other "Federalists" who though these constitutions gave far too much power to the common people, and were badly frightened by Shay's Rebellion. Hamilton would have gone very far to make the US Constitution even less democratic that it was, by having having the Senate and President appointed for life.

It was no coincidence that many of these men were also wealthy--basically early capitalists and bankers, who wanted the government to industrialize the country and protect wealth and property.

For this reason, many historians do NOT see the Constitution as a continuation of the American Revolution, but part of a conservative reaction against it by the elite. And at least half of the members of this ruling elite had been Tories and sided with the King anyway.



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 12:10 AM
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Originally posted by NewlyAwakened
reply to post by spacekc929
 

I don't see why the States could not have organized their own internal "militias" to put down situations like Shay's Rebellion. Unless the Articles prohibited it (I'm not sure), but if so it seems to me that's a flaw in the Articles to be corrected, not a reason to throw them out.

I still think they were jumping the gun with the Constitution, just looking at where the situation stands today.

Of course, maybe even if we'd kept the Articles the natural growth of power would have happened anyway. But on the other hand, as long as I'm speculating, maybe there would have been a higher value placed on independence and liberty, and the current fetish for democracy that grew in the late 19th century might never have occurred (the original ideal was liberty, with democracy simply as the means to select lawmakers for what limited powers the government had - when democracy itself is the ideal, the results are disastrous).

And I've never been a fan of the "necessary and proper" clause. What on earth were the founders thinking?



edit on 13-9-2010 by NewlyAwakened because: (no reason given)





Shay's Rebellion was put down by the state militia of Massachusetts, which was actually financed by the wealthy merchants, bankers and capitalist types in Boston and the other towns. The rest of the state was in rebellion and reaady to overthrow the government. They were marching on the arsenal and Springfield to get more guns, which is where the battle was fought against the rebels.

Like I said, the real history of that time shows conclusively that the US Constitution was part of a conservative reaction against the democratic ideas of the American Revolution. Hamilton and James Madison said so quite openly.



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 12:19 AM
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Originally posted by NewlyAwakened


I wonder if some of the original Federalists, looking at a national government now that presumes to make sweeping dictates to an entire continent of 300 million people and to a global empire of many more, in retrospect would have seen it as a huge mistake too. I don't think humans are cut out for political units of such size.

The Articles essentially left the States as soverign republics of their own except unified by a permanent military alliance among a few other provisions. I suspect that the States would have sorted out their difficulties in time, as the bickering was helping nobody, and that they jumped the gun by leaping into a more coercive union.

S&F all the way!



edit on 13-9-2010 by NewlyAwakened because: (no reason given)




Hamilton imagined that the US would become a great empire with a powerful army and navy, and even saw himself as its ruler--a military dictator like Napoleon. He even tried to talk George Washington into declaring himself king or dictator, but he refused. Hamilton would have wanted the US to be industrialized, as well, although the South led by Jefferson frustrated his plans in the end. Not until the Civil War was that taken care of, but the South certainly saw centralization as a threat to its own system, especially the kind of system that Hamilton and the Federalists were trying to create, which would have been based on control of capital rather than land.

Most of teh small farmers--the majority--were more in favor of democracy, which Hamilton strongly opposed since he knew that might also hinder his plans.



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 12:40 AM
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reply to post by NewlyAwakened
 


They did have their own militias, and they stopped Shays Rebellion with a militia.

The point is that the farmers were getting screwed over because of un-uniform economic policy.

And also, little in state militias won't do anything in a full scale war scenario. We need a strong, federal military, which the AC didn't provide because there were no taxes given to the federal government, only charity, therefore there was no money to have a military. Only little militias.



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 02:07 AM
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The whole part about Hamilton... I actually learned that in US History AP in high school... My teacher almost got fired for his teaching us about how our Constitution leaves our govt open to more interpretation and abuse of power and he did say something about Hamilton wanting to have Washington proclaim himself as King and likewise himself. In a way the Articles of Confederation mirrors what the EU is today in my opinion... The EU is not a strong government because the countries themselves make their own laws and have their own military but are allied with each other in such an event that may necessitate that the EU can call to arms the armies of these countries, like in the video game that came out on XBOX several years ago called "Shattered Union" it's an interesting game... play it and see the similarities between the game and real current events that might lead up to such action by states.



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 10:59 AM
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reply to post by NewlyAwakened
 


please friend, the newly awakened moniker is exciting.. im not sure how far down you are (rabbitt hole).. ulysses s. grant's wife refused to give up her slaves six months after the civil war was over.. there were slaves in the whitehouse during the civil war-- hence the term "dumb waiter)-- as in dumb= don't speak.. hidden corridors in walls for slaves to move silently.. so that "union" could solicit money for the war from foreign govt's for freeing slavess..



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 01:23 PM
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The Federalists believed in a nation where a strong central government was the key and was angry about any form of democracy on a federal level. They were the elite of the time being the wealthiest group in the nation, owning the companies and the trade, they set the nation the way they wanted it. The Anti-Federalists tried everything they could to stop them and won by destroying the Central Bank, Expanding across the continent and giving states' rights.

If you trace back the roots of today's two major parties, even though they are vastly different from their origins it is still strange. The first two parties were Federalists and Democratic-Republicans, eventually the Democratic-Republicans completely isolated the Federalists simply to New England when the party collapsed. Then the Federalists become the Whig Party and under the election of Andrew Jackson the Democratic-Republicans became the Democratic Party. The Whig Party eventually collapsed under the isolation which it received being kept in New England. When the Whig Party collapsed due to Isolation, unpopularity and slavery a new party was created, the Republican Party.

So tracing back the roots of the Federalists and Anti-Federalists it was the Republicans who are the descendants of the Federalists and it is the Democrats who are the descendants of the Democratic-Republicans. But with the civil rights legislation the Southern Democrats became Republicans thus pushing in Christian Conservatism and States' rights and the only part of the Democrats left were the Liberals thus becoming the party of the North. It is as if the two parties switched their roles after the '60s.



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