People you should know
Note: Who wrote the Constitution ?
Gouverneur Morris – the most active member of the Constitutional convention – speaking 173 times – more then any other founder. He is the penman of the Constitution, who took all the words and put them together. In 1791 he wrote 2 commentaries on the Constitution. Morris is the man who gave us the phrase ‘We the People’.
James Wilson – Signer, Supreme Court Justice, one of only six men to sign both the ‘Declaration of Independence and The Constitution’. (Second most active speaker, according to two out of three references)
Joseph Story – Father of American Jurisprudence, foremost of American legal writers.
John Jay – Original Chief Justice U.S. Supreme Court, co-author of the Federalists Papers.
Prof. Montesquieu, of France – source of Separation of Powers.
Noah Webster, Jedediah Moore and Benjamin Rush – America’s Founding Educators.
Fisher Ames – language of the First Amendment.
George Mason – Father of the Bill of Rights.
James Madison – Father of the U.S. Constitution and third most active speaker at the Convention.(according to two out of three references)
Daniel Webster – Defender of the Constitution.
John Hancock – The First signer, President of the Continental Congress.
Samuel Adams – titled the Firebrand of the Revolution and The Father of the American Revolution.
Henry Laurens – Member of the Continental Congress, P.O.W. released in exchange for Lord Cornwallis.
Benjamin Franklin – the oldest Statesman, a scientist, an inventor, an author and first American Humorist.
Patrick Henry – the most eloquent spokesman of Freedom, considered by many to be the second most important Founding Father.
Richard Henry Lee – made the resolution, which led to the Declaration of Independence.
Benjamin Rush – Father of American Medicine.
Zephaniah Swift – Author of America’s first law book
Alexander Hamilton – co-author Federalists Papers, first Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, killed by Aaron Burr in a dual-1804. Soldier, Attorney and Statesman, called the ‘Ratifier of the Constitution’.
William Holmes McGuffey – Schoolmaster of the nation.
John Jay, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton co-authors of the Federalist Papers – instrumental in securing the ratification of the Constitution.
John Witherspoon – Member of Continental Congress serving on over 100 committees. He may well be America’s most famous and important teacher (educator).
Thomas Jefferson – Principle author of the Declaration of Independence, father of the University of Virginia, author of Virginia’s Statute for Religious Freedom and third President of the United states.
George Washington –called the Father of our Nation.
Truth you should know, About Our Government or Basic knowledge lost
Thomas Jefferson – “Our country is too large to have all its affairs directed by a single government. Public servants at such a distance, and from under the eye of their constituents, must, from the circumstance of distance, be unable to administer and overlook all the details necessary for the good government of the citizens; and the same circumstance, by rendering detection impossible to their constituents, will invite public agents to corruption, plunder and waste.
Our citizens have wisely formed themselves into one nation as to others and several States as among themselves. To the united nation belong our external and mutual relations; to each State, severally, the care of our persons, our property, our reputation and religious freedom.
With respect to our State and Federal governments, I do not think their relations [are] correctly understood by foreigners. They [foreigners] generally suppose the former subordinate to the latter. But this is not the case. They are coordinate departments of one simple and integral whole.
Taking from the states the moral rule of their citizens and subordinating it to the general authority [Federal government] … would … break up the foundations of the Union … I believe the states can best govern our home concerns, and the Federal government our foreign ones.
I ask for no straining of words against the general (federal) government, nor yet against the states. I believe the states can best govern our home concerns and the general our foreign ones. I wish, therefore, to see maintained that wholesome distribution of powers established by the Constitution for the limitation of both; and never to see all offices transferred to Washington.”
Thomas jefferson, when explaining the dangers of the ‘welfare state’ where the government endeavors to care for the citizen from cradle to grave, warned -” I f we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.”
Jefferson continued -” Preach a crusade against ignorance; establish and improve the law for educating the common people. Let our countrymen know that the people alone can protect us against the evils [of misgovernment].” All above quotes come from the “Writings of Thomas Jefferson’, either from Ford or Berg.
Samuel Adams, without today’s knowledge, said that the Founders had done everything possible to make the ideas of socialism and communism unconstitutional. Said he –The Utopian schemes of leveling [redistribution of the wealth] and a community of goods[central ownership] are as visionary and impractical as those which vest all property in the Crown. [These ideas] are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional.” From ‘The Life and Public Service of Samuel Adams’, 3volumes. Little, Brown and Company.
Samuel Adams said the Bill of Rights was created because the people wished … “to see a line drawn as clearly as may be between the Federal powers vested in Congress and the distinct sovereignty of the several states upon which the private and personal rights of the citizens depend. Without such distinction there will be a danger of the Constitution issuing imperceptible and gradually into a consolidated government over all the states … the population of the U.S. live in different climates, of different education and manners, and possessed of different habits and feelings [and] under one consolidated government cannot long remain free. ” Ibid.
John Marshall, Founding Father and Chief Justice -“In almost every state convention by which the Constitution was adopted, amendments to guard against the abuse of power were recommended. These amendments demanded security against the apprehended encroachments of the general [Federal] government – not against those of the local [State] governments …”
James Madison – “I may say, with truth that there never was a more economical government in any age or country, nor which will require fewer hands, or give less influence… From the chief officers to the lowest, we shall find the scale preponderating so much in favor to the states, that, while so many persons are attached to them, it will be impossible to turn the balance [of power] against them. There will be an irresistible bias towards the state governments.”
Alexander Hamilton – “The State legislators, who will always be not only vigilant but suspicious and jealous guardians of the rights of the citizens against encroachments from the Federal government, will constantly have their attention awake to the conduct of the national rulers, and will be ready enough, if anything improper appears. To sound the alarm to the people, and not only to be the VOICE, but, if necessary, the ARM of their discontent.”
Alexander Hamilton – “The people have an obvious and powerful protection in their state governments. Should anything dangerous be attempted, these bodies of perpetual observation will be capable of forming and conducting plans of regular opposition. Can we suppose the people’s love of liberty will not, under the incitement of their legislative leaders, be roused into resistance, and the madness of tyranny be extinguished at a blow?”
James Madison – “The powers delegated by the … Constitution to the Federal government are few and defined. Those which … remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The powers reserved to the …States will extend to all the objects which … concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people …”
Justice David Davis – “The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances.”
Instructor’s Note: All that was needed to understand a certain phrase or clause was to apply what Alexander Hamilton called the “Unsophisticated dictates of common sense.” The Founding Fathers knew there would always be Federal officials trying to give themselves more power by twisting Constitutional provisions far beyond their Original Intent. They also knew there would be powerful special interests working to incite public support for such distorting of a new Federal charter. In the end, they knew that whether the system actually operated as they had established – would really depend upon the people.
John Marshall, Constitutional scholar, third Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court – He held the view that power sought by government had to be specifically stated or expressly implied in the Constitution before they could be taken. Section 8, Powers Delegated to Congress lists 20 and only 20 powers. Marshall said; “When the Constitution is silent on a power and it is not incidental to another power, nor is it an expressly implied power, it is a prohibition [inhibition of that power].”.
NOTE: Jefferson and Madison were two of several Founding Fathers who pointed out that the Federal government had been granted authority by the states to do only twenty things, and that each of these twenty charges must be carried out for the General welfare of the whole nation. These men clearly expressed that this meant that the welfare clause was designed as a restriction of power, not a grant of power.
Principle from the Preamble – this Constitution is designed to promote those practices and policies which shall be for the general welfare of the whole nation.
This provision, according to Cleon Skousen, PhD anticipates the Right of Americans to have its government serve the welfare of the people in their collective needs – that is, their General welfare – and not use the resources of the people for the benefit of certain states or certain people, which would be Special welfare. From the book The Making Of America, Substance and Meaning of the Constitution – Cleon Skousen
The term “general welfare” was used in the Articles of Confederation and elsewhere in State charters to refer to the well being of the Whole people. One of the most objectionable elements of other forms of government was the discriminatory manner in which favors and privileges were extended. It was fundamental therefore to a Constitutional Republic that the national government administers its power without prejudice, discrimination, or favoritism. The Founders did not want the power and resources of the Federal government to be used for the “special” benefit of any one region or State. Nor were the resources of the people to be extended for the benefit of any particular group or special class of citizens.
James Madison, in a speech delivered to the First U. S. Congress – “If Congress can apply money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may undertake the regulation of all roads, other than post roads. In short, everything from the highest object of state legislation, down to the most minute object of policy, would be thrown under the power of Congress; for every object I have mentioned would admit the application of money, and might be called, if Congress pleased, provisions for the general welfare.” Source: Thomas James Norton ‘Undermining the Constitution; A History of Lawless Government’ (New York; Devin-Adair Company 1950)
James Iredell, member of the First U. S. Supreme Court, – “The only real security of liberty, in any country, is the jealousy and circumspection of the people themselves. Let them be watchful over their rulers. Should they find a combination against their liberties, and all other methods appear insufficient to preserve them, they have, thank God, an ultimate remedy. That power which created the government can destroy it. Should the government, on trial, be found to want amendments, those amendments can be made in a regular method, in a mode prescribed by the Constitution itself … We have [this] security, in addition to the natural watchfulness of the people, which I hope will never be found wanting.”
Note: Are we today not found wanting?
James Madison, the principal author of the Constitution, said, “With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the details of powers (enumerated in the Constitution) connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proof was not contemplated by its creators.” Note: Madison called the principal author ought to know his subject well. He continued:
“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”
Other quotes – Not necessarily founders.
Thomas Payne – “When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.”
Old Proverb – “He who seeks to regulate everything by law, is more likely to arouse vices then to reform them.”
Karl Hess – “ … taxation …[is] the single most powerful technique ever devised to keep people in their place no matter the form of rule under which they live.”
Thomas Jefferson – “That government which governs best – governs the least.”
George Washington – “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence – it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” From “Lifetime Speaker’s Encyclopedia’.
C. N. Parkinson, social scientist, wrote “Parkinson’s Law” (not a Founding Father) wrote; “The first stage of the collapse of empires – was the consolidation of political and financial power under one government machine into which all problems are fed and from which all wisdom is to emerge.”
In 1999, Representative Ellen Tauscher Democrat Congresswoman from California, is quoted as saying; “the Constitution is like my old blue dress … it doesn’t fit anymore.” Note: So much for words — we pledge our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor …So much for the oath of office to support the Constitution – and support the state Constitution as well!
Instructor’s Note: Maybe poor Ellen is a product of liberal schools that no longer teach American History (or proper English, real Math and Science). I can’t help but wonder how many ‘Ellens’ there are in the good old U. S. of A … How long will it take us to re-educate them?
John Adams 1765 – “A native of America who cannot read or write is rare an appearance as …a comet or an earthquake.” Note: A survey conducted in 1800 sighted that only 4 out of every 1000 children were illiterate. At least three sources today claim – 45 to 50% of all Americans are functionally illiterate.
Alexis deTocqueville, a visitor in 1831, here to learn the reasons for our success and Europe’s failure, said this – In New England every citizen recieves the elementary notions of human knowledge; he is taught, moreover, the doctrines and the evidences of his religion, the history of his country, and the leading features of it’s Constitution. In the States of Connecticut and Massachusetts, it is extremely rare to find a man imperfectly acquainted with all these things, and a person whooly ignorant of them is a sort of phenomenon.” From “Democracy in America’.
Alexander Tytler, Prof. University of Edinburgh (mid-1700s). The 13 original colonies were still part of the British Empire. Professor Tytler, I believe, summed up the history of the world in two short paragraphs.
“All the world’s great civilizations have lasted approximately 200 years, and they have all gone through the following cycle; from bondage they developed great spiritual faith; from spiritual faith they developed courage; from courage they won their freedom; from freedom they gained great prosperity; from prosperity they developed selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency, and from dependency back to bondage.”
“A democracy cannot be a permanent form of government. It will survive only until its citizenry discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that time they will vote for those candidates who promise them the greatest benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses from fiscal irresponsibility, always followed by a dictatorship.”
Instructor’s Note; Is there any question as to why historical information like this is no longer taught in today’s classrooms? Why would professional politicians want impressionable children to understand words like ‘vote themselves largess’, especially if it doesn’t sound like a good idea for America?
Our Founding Fathers: How Many & Who Were These Men? …What Became of Them?….
Information on them-state by state, with bio’s on each.
George Washington’s – Farewell Address