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Old 10-28-2015, 11:51 AM
 
3,490 posts, read 1,705,546 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salmonburgher View Post
Lost? It was not a contest. The Anti-Federalists agreed to ratify the Constitution because the Federalists assured them that the Constitution did indeed limit the powers of the federal government.

Are you saying/admitting that the Anti-federalists were/are the victims of a bait-and-switch?

You are ignoring what I have clearly written in my several posts. I am addressing only the intent of the Founding Fathers and the Framers of the Constitution. I am well aware of what has transpired since the Constitution was ratified.
Of course it was a contest. Anti-federalists were wary of central government authority. The main concession to get them on board with the Constitution was the Bill of Rights (which Madison, among other Federalists, thought unwise).

The Constitution does limit the powers of the federal government, but those limits are quite large. One of the main reasons that the limits are large is the growth and changing nature of commerce. Where commerce once was primarily based on producing and trading goods generated from the land (food, wood, cotton, metals), now commerce is primarily based on producing and trading manufactured goods or intangible services and intellectual property.

The intent of the Framers was to constitute a federal government. That federal government was given considerable power in the Constitution.

You can't ignore the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments when you think about the role of the federal government and the States. Each of those Amendments grants new powers to Congress and restrains State governments.
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Old 10-28-2015, 12:04 PM
 
9,130 posts, read 3,741,259 times
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Quote:
The Constitution does limit the powers of the federal government,
I always felt that the constitution gave power to the federal government overall. Sure, it might limit "aspects" of it, but because the constitution is in existence, the populace is willing to even have a federal government.
Who would have agreed to a federal government if the constitution isn't around? It would be military power that kept power centralized" otherwise.

yes, I don't agree with the 2nd amendment in that there should be more limitations on it, but how it is written, I can't say that the pro-gun people aren't right. I'd support passing an amendment to it, but not just to reinterpret the 2nd though. That's how laws work, even the GOP can't just "ignore" the ACA (not that they didn't try), they have to actually get around to "repealing" it first, they can't just invalidate the law because they don't like it. And the left can't go around ignoring the 2nd just because they don't like it either. It is what it is, change it, repeal it, amend it, whatever, the constitution provides a way to change laws, go through the process to do it. And if there isn't enough support for it, then that's how the cards fall, try again or let it go
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Old 10-28-2015, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Asia
2,761 posts, read 988,027 times
Reputation: 2979
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCityTheBridge View Post
Of course it was a contest.
No. It was not.

These men had just fought, together, a dangerous war for independence. If they did not actually fight in that war, they exposed themselves to great risk and often suffered financial ruin.

They all agreed on the principles stated in the Declaration of Independence, and that document instructs us how to read the Constitution.

The only way to imagine that the Constitution was not drafted and ratified in order to LIMIT and RESTRICT the power of the new general (federal) government is to blindly ignore all of the history that led up to ratification of the Constitution.

I am accused often of cherry-picking quotes that support my position in this regard. But, there are so many quotes to select from, doing so can hardly be deemed cherry-picking.

I challenge you to go back and read the Declaration of Independence, which is placed above even the Constitution in US Statutes as the first of our Organic Laws, and after reading the same to come back and argue that the purpose of the Constitution was/is to grant power to the federal government.

History is clear. The States were wary of centralised power. They signed the peace treaty with Great Britain as independent States. They created the first general government, the Articles of Confederation, to maintain and retain their independent and sovereign States powers. Only when it became clear that those Articles did not give the general government sufficient power did they come together again to draft, debate, and finally ratify the new Constitution.

Of course the new Constitution granted more (relative to the Articles of Confederation) power to the general government. Yet, still, the entire debate was about how much power should be granted to the new general government. That very discussion is proof, along with a reading of the Declaration of Independence, that the Founding Fathers, though wanting to form a more perfect union of States, still desired and intended to LIMIT and RESTRICT the power the States were willing to delegate to the federal government.

In their minds, government existed only for the purpose of securing the natural rights of The People. We refer as the war against Great Britain as a revolution. But, it was hardly a revolution. It was a very conservative war, as the colonists were simply fighting for what they regarded as their rights as Englishmen... that is, the right to govern themselves. Each of the colonies demanded that right, which as Englishmen they believed they were entitled to have.

So yes, the States finally agreed to delegate some power to the federal government. But, they argued about how much power, and they warned that too much power should not be delegated, and they only agreed once the Federalists gave adequate assurances that the power of the new general government would be LIMITED and RESTRICTED.

I understand that many people believe that Government is the answer to many social ills and problems. That's not a position with which I agree, but, I can respect it. However, I wish those people would stop perverting the clear intent of the Founding Fathers' and Framers of the Constitution and just come out and admit that they disagree with the Founding Fathers and the Framers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCityTheBridge View Post
The Constitution does limit the powers of the federal government...
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCityTheBridge View Post
...but those limits are quite large.
All things are relative. Relative to the powers granted in the Articles, the powers delegated in the Constitution are "large".

But, in the context of the debate and relative to other governments of the day, the powers were limited and meant not to be enlarged further.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCityTheBridge View Post
The intent of the Framers was to constitute a federal government. That federal government was given considerable power in the Constitution.
Again, I am not arguing that the FF did not create a federal government or that they did not delegate certain powers to that new government.

However, you simply cannot deny or brush-off as cherry-picking that the FF and Framers intended to limit those powers to those enumerated. The FF stated clearly that the powers delegated to the federal government were few and limited and those reserved to the States were numerous.

There is no way to spin that to mean other than whet it clearly means!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCityTheBridge View Post
You can't ignore the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments when you think about the role of the federal government and the States. Each of those Amendments grants new powers to Congress and restrains State governments.
Once again, I am not ignoring those amendments. I am instead addressing the intent of the FOUNDING Fathers and the Framers of the Constitution.
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Old 10-28-2015, 07:42 PM
 
3,490 posts, read 1,705,546 times
Reputation: 2219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Salmonburgher View Post
No. It was not.

These men had just fought, together, a dangerous war for independence. If they did not actually fight in that war, they exposed themselves to great risk and often suffered financial ruin.

They all agreed on the principles stated in the Declaration of Independence, and that document instructs us how to read the Constitution.

The only way to imagine that the Constitution was not drafted and ratified in order to LIMIT and RESTRICT the power of the new general (federal) government is to blindly ignore all of the history that led up to ratification of the Constitution.

I am accused often of cherry-picking quotes that support my position in this regard. But, there are so many quotes to select from, doing so can hardly be deemed cherry-picking.
The Constitution was drafted and ratified to create the federal government. It delegates powers, including the Commerce and Necessary and Proper powers. It sets up structure (bicameral legislature with particular methods for choosing members, one President, and a Supreme Court and inferior courts). It explains a few principles, including Constitutional, federal, and treaty supremacy, and it identifies specific rights (the "Bill of Rights").

Additional powers conferred to the federal government are the taxing and spending powers (i.e., the power to destroy and the power to create)--not to mention foreign affairs and military powers, among others.

When you want to understand American government--and American liberty--the place to start is the Constitution itself.

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

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salmonburgher View Post
I challenge you to go back and read the Declaration of Independence, which is placed above even the Constitution in US Statutes as the first of our Organic Laws, and after reading the same to come back and argue that the purpose of the Constitution was/is to grant power to the federal government.
The Constitution drafted by the Framers and ratified by the States quite clearly states that the Constitution is the "supreme Law of the Land." Not only the Constitution, but laws passed by Congress and treaties are the "supreme Law of the Land" and binding on State courts--no matter what State law says. You can't "place" the Declaration of Independence "above" the Constitution. The Constitution itself says it is the highest law--and it was drafted and ratified after the Declaration existed. The Constitution could have said that the Declaration of Independence is the "supreme Law of the Land," but the Framers chose not to say so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salmonburgher View Post
History is clear. The States were wary of centralised power. They signed the peace treaty with Great Britain as independent States. They created the first general government, the Articles of Confederation, to maintain and retain their independent and sovereign States powers. Only when it became clear that those Articles did not give the general government sufficient power did they come together again to draft, debate, and finally ratify the new Constitution.

Of course the new Constitution granted more (relative to the Articles of Confederation) power to the general government. Yet, still, the entire debate was about how much power should be granted to the new general government. That very discussion is proof, along with a reading of the Declaration of Independence, that the Founding Fathers, though wanting to form a more perfect union of States, still desired and intended to LIMIT and RESTRICT the power the States were willing to delegate to the federal government.
The States agreed to more centralized power with the Constitution. Then they agreed to still more centralized power after the Civil War.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salmonburgher View Post
In their minds, government existed only for the purpose of securing the natural rights of The People. We refer as the war against Great Britain as a revolution. But, it was hardly a revolution. It was a very conservative war, as the colonists were simply fighting for what they regarded as their rights as Englishmen... that is, the right to govern themselves. Each of the colonies demanded that right, which as Englishmen they believed they were entitled to have.
The Framers explained very clearly that the purpose of the federal government was "in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." That's much broader than "securing the natural rights of the People," which is actually just one of the six purposes of the government explicitly identified in the Constitution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salmonburgher View Post
So yes, the States finally agreed to delegate some power to the federal government. But, they argued about how much power, and they warned that too much power should not be delegated, and they only agreed once the Federalists gave adequate assurances that the power of the new general government would be LIMITED and RESTRICTED.
The Federalists agreed to a "Bill of Rights" that articulated certain rights the government was obligated to respect. But representation, the bicameral legislature, the veto power, Constitutional Supremacy, and judicial review were also important limits on the power of government.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salmonburgher View Post
I understand that many people believe that Government is the answer to many social ills and problems. That's not a position with which I agree, but, I can respect it. However, I wish those people would stop perverting the clear intent of the Founding Fathers' and Framers of the Constitution and just come out and admit that they disagree with the Founding Fathers and the Framers.
The Framers created a government to "establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty . . .." They gave that government power to regulate commerce. They gave it taxing and spending powers. They gave it all powers "Necessary and Proper" to carry out its other powers. Government response to social ills and problems fits very easily under "general Welfare," "establish Justice," "insure domestic Tranquility," and "secure the Blessings of Liberty," at least. The federal government is clearly permitted to use its powers for those goals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salmonburgher View Post
Thank you!

All things are relative. Relative to the powers granted in the Articles, the powers delegated in the Constitution are "large".
So what does the government do today that is not within its powers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salmonburgher View Post
But, in the context of the debate and relative to other governments of the day, the powers were limited and meant not to be enlarged further.
They were enlarged further via Constitutional Amendment. And the Necessary and Proper Power is not textually limited.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salmonburgher View Post
Again, I am not arguing that the FF did not create a federal government or that they did not delegate certain powers to that new government.

However, you simply cannot deny or brush-off as cherry-picking that the FF and Framers intended to limit those powers to those enumerated. The FF stated clearly that the powers delegated to the federal government were few and limited and those reserved to the States were numerous.

There is no way to spin that to mean other than whet it clearly means!
But the enumerated powers are substantial. The Constitution takes no position on whether the powers reserved to the States are "numerous." It simply says that "[t]he powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salmonburgher View Post
Once again, I am not ignoring those amendments. I am instead addressing the intent of the FOUNDING Fathers and the Framers of the Constitution.
Do you acknowledge that they give additional powers to the federal government and restrain the States?
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Old 10-30-2015, 10:43 AM
 
1,589 posts, read 882,715 times
Reputation: 1084
The Declaration of Independence was not written as some high-minded philosophical statement of colonial principles and purposes. It was written as a somewhat desperate and explicitly political document carefully crafted to appeal to the sensibilities of those on the continent whose aid and support the colonists would soon need to rely upon if their unpopular and traitorous little scheme of rebellion were to have any chance at all of ultimate success. And it was not the Stamp Act or tea taxes that had led them to this rebellion. The founders had seen enough of this land to understand and believe that the continent would bloom into an abundance of riches over the coming decades, and they wanted all of the profit in that flowing to themselves and other Americans and their heirs. They did not want a single penny of it shared with any capricious and self-aggrandizing foreign crown.

The powers of the federal government are meanwhile limited in the sense that they are not unlimited. They were otherwise written into the Constitution in terms broad and general enough to create the sort of fluid and flexible framework that could suit the known and current conditions of the authors themselves as well as the unknown and future conditions of some number of generations to come. This elasticity was put into the Constitution deliberately. It was part of original intent. As the result, there are powers lying dormant within the Constitution today simply because the conditions necessary to make them evident have not arisen yet.

The founders had learned painful lessons from their mistakes in the Articles and from the further failure of the Annapolis Convention. They were keen by the time of Philadelphia to make modifications that would result in a new, more dynamic, and far stronger form of central government, one possessing the actual powers needed to govern the nation effectively in times of calm and agreement and also in what had become the more common case of tempest, strife, and discord. They had already tried the model of "limited powers" and it had failed them very badly. They were about the process of renovating that old structure to create a new and very different one.

The Convention itself most definitely was a contest, and one set out along a variety of lines. Small states versus large states. Rural farmers versus urban manufacturers. Slave-holders versus the idea of abolition. Religious fundamentalists versus religious liberals. Visionaries with new ideas versus fuddy-duddies wedded to dead and dying ideas. An urgent necessity of reaching some form of agreement that might be capable of saving the nation hung over the deliberations from the start and led to many kick-the-can and other sorts of compromises designed to bridge these various gulfs. But at the end of it all, it was the liberal Federalists who had carried the day. There were several on the anti-Federalist side who simply refused to sign the completed document as the result.

Ratification of the changes proposed in the Constitution by the required nine states was no sure thing at all. The Federalist Papers were written not as some scholarly and independent historical assessment, but rather as an entirely partisan effort by leading lights in the Federalist camp to set forth arguments in favor of ratifying the document they had just created. These papers were obviously dismissive of the case that had been attempted by the fearful minority of the anti-Federalists.

The Bill of Rights was then a notion agreed to and promised early on. The issue involved a firm belief on the part of the Federalists that they had created no power in the new Constitution that would be capable of touching any actual right of the people. Thus, they saw a Bill of Rights not as unwise, but as unnecessary and superfluous. The anti-Federalists for the most part agreed, but still worried that charlatans and demagogues might one day be able o twist and turn words around in order to do harm to rights. The Federalists worried that no list of the rights of the people could ever be complete, and that any rights not enumerated would be disparaged and compromised as the result of their exclusion. That's where the 9th Amendment (and in parallel, the 10th Amendment) came from.

As had been promised, James Madison had set about drafting a Bill of Rights very early in the sessions of the First Congress. He and others came up with a list of 12 proposed amendments, 10 of which had been ratified by December 1791 and became the Bill of Rights. By the way, that 10th Amendment itself is entirely residual. It conveys no actual power at all. It merely clarifies where powers not either enumerated or implied in the main text of the Constitution are to be found.
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Old 10-30-2015, 08:55 PM
 
6,461 posts, read 6,117,458 times
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I didn't read the thread, but wanted to add that just last week my ten year old had to learn the Bill of Rights. She attends a public elementary school in Houston ISD.

They had to learn about the additional amendments and what it takes to pass a new amendment. It's continuing for another week at the least.

She just did a project on John Adams and had to discuss why he is a founding father and some of the controversy surrounding him. It's interesting to hear a ten year old discuss the effects of the Boston Massacre and why John Adams was a patriot for defending the soldiers.

Kids today are learning about History. Some retain it and some ignore it.
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