Posts tagged ‘sovereign’

A Social Contract

A Social Contract

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
May 18, 1994

The Founding Fathers relied upon, and developed much of the concept of the Constitution (a social contract) from the works of authors, thinkers and philosophers of the time. One of those was Rousseau, who wrote “The Social Contract”, who recognized the true relationship between government and people when the presumption was made that all just power derives from the people. Rousseau wrote:

“The moment the people is lawfully assembled as a sovereign body, all jurisdiction of the ‑government ceases the executive power is suspended, and the person of the hum blest citizen is as sacred and inviolable as that of the highest magistrate, because there can be no representatives in the presence of those they represent. . . The consuls were then only the people’s chairmen, the tribunes were only speakers, and the Senate was nothing at all.

“The government always dreads these intervals of suspension, when it recognizes, or should recognize, a present superior and such assemblies of the people, which am the shield of the body politic and the brake on the government, have always been the terror of the magistrates, who therefore spare no pains in raising objections, making difficulties, and giving promises to discourage the citizens from assembling. When the citizens am avaricious, lethargic, cowardly, or fonder of tranquility than of freedom, they do not hold out long against the redoubled a its of the government. It is thus that, as the opposing force constantly  increases, the sovereign authority finally  vanishes and most republics fail and perish before their time.

So, what stands between the sovereign authority (the people) and arbitrary government (that which Rousseau identifies as the “opposing force”)? The social contract which, in our case, is the supreme law of the land, the Constitution for the United States of America. It is easy to conclude the purpose for the Constitution, yet is it so easy to understand the peril that threatens it today?

We are told, from early school education through college, on television, radio, newspapers and nearly every from of social communication, that the changes in technology warrant a greater necessity for “law enforcement” and regulation. We are told that the reason for the second amendment was the need to hunt meat or to defend against outlaws and Indians. We are told that the need no longer exists, and that the passage of laws restricting firearms ownership are because of the rampant crime existent in America today. Do they tell us that the crime that we see today is not crime as envisioned by our forefathers? These “crime control acts” that they are constantly passing, if you think about it just a moment, are really “crime creation acts”, for they create crimes as a result of rule violations rather than damage or injury to victims. These “manifestations” of crime then lead to real crime as a result of putting people into a circumstance of being on the other side of the “law.” Then comes the “outrage” expressed by the politicians which results in reactive passage of even more restrictive laws, which results in further increase in “crime”, which results in passage of more laws ‑‑ And we see the results of Rousseau’s theory come to fruition.

Is there, however, and alternative to this slow but sure demise of our Constitutional Republic? Perhaps the Founding Fathers gave us a means to achieve these goals. In most republics of past history, and there were many, the cycle of their histories lasted about two hundred years. The Founding Fathers, understanding this reality, provided us a document written in simple terms so as to not be to difficult to be understood, yet provided us, also, with many supportive documents whereby we could learn of their inspiration and, perhaps, resurrect the Great Experiment. The tools were given us by the AntiFederalists when they insisted on the Bill of Rights. This “heart of the Constitution” assures us both the intent and the means of the salvation of this great nation. It is not an easy task, nor is it to be accomplished without effort by those who understand and desire to achieve this goal. More significantly it must be recognized that now is just short of to late to begin this process.

Factions — The Chains of Oppression – Part III

Factions — The Chains of Oppression – Part III

The Greatest Obstacle to Restoration of Constitutional Government

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
August 25, 2011
This is Part IIII of IV Parts

Factions in conflict with the Principle Faction

Illegal immigrants:  It is often said that the first impression is the most important impression that you will make upon others.  Suppose that the first impression that you make is an unwillingness to abide by the rules/laws of the host, when you are a guest; suppose someone came, invited, or not, into your home and started telling you that the wall colors were wrong, that they didn’t like the pictures you had hung, that they didn’t like carpeted floors, or that you should prepares them a meal and a bed.  It would not be surprising if you caused them to exit your home, and assured them that they would never, again, have entry into your home.  That impression that they gave was not what is expected of the guest, and any reaction you had to that belligerence is justified, even if force is necessary to remove them.

We are the collective owners of the country (our collective home), and, as such, have established rules/laws for entry into that home. They were enacted in accordance with the Constitution and are, as such, the law of the land.  Those who enter with their first step being a violation of those rules/laws have, as the unwanted guest in your house, established an impression that is lasting, and totally unacceptable.

Those who wipe their muddy feet on your clean carpet are not a part of any acceptable class of people, visitors, or those here by right.  They have, by their actions, spit in the face of what this country stands for.  It is not a melting pot for the entire world, nor was it intended to be destroyed from within, by a cancer that grows at astronomical rates, and, quite often, at the expense of our own depleted treasury.  Each person that enters illegally, or overstays their permitted visit, is a greater threat to the future of our country than any military threat, from any other country, without comparison.  The military threat, we have proven, cannot prevail against us.  This insidious intrusion, however, eats away at our country’s soul with every day that they remain.

Illegal immigration advocates:  Those who would advocate forbearance in dealing with these intruders are not adherents to the Principle Faction, nor are they adherents to the laws, concepts, traditions, manners, customs, nor anything else, that we hold dear — and must continue to hold dear, if we are to survive as the United States, our birthright.

These people, though they may otherwise not be in conflict with the Principle Faction, and may even be of the class of “We the People”, or “citizen of the United States”, are, by their support of violation of the law of the land, in conflict with the Principle Faction.  They have denied the concept of assimilation, and have thereby provided a means of destruction of the entire purpose of the Founders and Framers, for the creation of this great nation.

Anti- religious groups, Atheists, Agnostics:  When we understand our heritage, we recognize that the Founders and Framers were religious, though perhaps not pious, men.  Both Washington and Jefferson had problems with organized religion, as many of us do today.  Regardless, they had beliefs founded on both Old and New Testaments, and adhered to the Christian moral values, without question.  Never did they challenge the concept that was, eventually, embodied in the First Amendment.

The Supreme Court Building (built 1932-35) in Washington, D.C., contains over a dozen depictions of Moses and/or the Ten Commandment, sculpted in stone, and permanent not only in that building, but in the hearts and heritage of this country.  Congress begins each daily session with prayer, and has done so from their first gathering.  President’s have called for days of prayer and thanksgiving, in official proclamations, throughout our history.

However, there are those advocates who have challenged the right of a state, a county, school, or even a small town, to begin with prayer; display the same representation found in the Supreme Court building, or erection of seasonal displays of Christian holidays on public land.

And, in a somewhat surprising response, they have found proponents of their advocacy in those very halls of government mentioned above.  All under the guise that such actions and displays are “unconstitutional”.

How can that be unconstitutional which was practiced by the very authors of that document, and those who ratified it?  Their practices and beliefs were not in question then, and there is the more serious question as to whether even an amendment to the Constitution would be Constitutional if it abrogated the First Amendment.

Surely, we cannot even begin to consider that we may remain as even a vestige of the United States if we allow the denigration of those practices considered by most to be fundamental to the establishment of the country — by those very people who caused to be carved in stone the underpinnings of the moral compass by which we found our course.

So long as they adhere to the Principle Faction, and otherwise meet the requirements of class, and distance themselves from those who advocate to the contrary, they may be considered to be of the Principle Faction.

Those who continue to advocate legal sanctions, removal of displays, or any other means of undermining that which has stood so long, are in conflict with the Principle Faction, and have no place in this country, since they choose not to assimilate, rather to change that which is our heritage.

Homosexual rights groups:  Some will argue that homosexuality is a disease, others that it is a lifestyle choice.  Each is a diversion from the crux of the matter.  It is considered by the Christian moral values adopted by this country, 220 years ago, to be immoral.  Though with the exception of some local jurisdictions, and some states, it has not been considered criminal — just immoral.

Even when criminal, it was seldom prosecuted, since it was conducted between consenting parties, in private circumstances.  To intrude on that privacy was as much a crime as the behavior itself, at least under the principles of the Constitution.  However, if we look at a few of the steps taken to endeavor to assign legitimacy and morality to the practice, we will find an excellent example of the destructiveness of factions.  The common terminology used to describe homosexuals was often “queer” (which is rather what their behavior was considered to be), or the more objectionable “fag” or “faggot” (a derogatory term).

As late as the fifties and sixties, homosexual, or, queer, bars and clubs were not uncommon.  Their public behavior was normal, and their private behavior, in such facilities, was, to use the expression of the time, “done in the closet”.  And, very few had objection to such behavior, so long as it did not “spill onto the streets”.

There was an effort in California, back in that period, to establish a homosexual community in the village of Alpine, in the High Sierra.  Even then, there was no general outrage, since the village would be their own ‘closet’.

Next came a change in terminology.  A word that was frequently used to indicate jovial, happy, light, was adopted by the homosexuals.  Back then, people would go to a “gay party” meaning that it was going to be sitting around in a light and humorous atmosphere, perhaps telling jokes and stories.  However the theft, yes, I mean theft, of that word, which had only positive connotations, was a move to give an air of legitimacy and acceptance to a behavior that was, heretofore, considered immoral.  A major coup by this faction managed to change the image of the homosexual, and to remove from usage a word that was commonly used, even then.

Since that time, this once frowned upon group has managed to use the courts and legislative process to provide special protection and special privileges from what was, through most of our history, a subject unworthy of discussion.  They have taken a word, “marriage”, with millennia of understanding of the definition, and still recognized in US Code as between a man and woman, and have managed to steal that word for their own uses and economic gain.

They have successfully lobbied for legislation that forces the government schools to encourage such behavior, contrary to the wishes of the parents who are clearly among the Principle Faction, and are advocating a moral degeneration of our society.

Those advocates of homosexuality are in conflict with the Principle Faction, and have no place, with the exception of the closet, in our country.

Black  rights advocates:  As explained in the “We the People” series (linked above), a second class of citizen was established by the Fourteenth Amendment, and confirmed by a subsequent amendment and decisions of the United States Supreme Court. However, through a subtle process of indoctrination, beginning in the late fifties and early sixties, the intent of that Amendment has been converted to an application that has generated havoc, loss of property, and even loss of life.

The “civil rights” movement of that period moved us from a society that recognized the Principle Faction (basically, a fundamentally white culture) to one that has legislated, encouraged, and enforced against, that society, undermining it,  in favor of granting privileges to those citizens of the United States, as well as other without such standing, under the guise of equality, greater even than that afforded to “We the People”.

Society, itself, had moved in that direction, at the rate that was warranted by the people, not the government. Whether Jackie Robinson, Nat King Cole, or Fats Domino; acceptance of negros as a part of our culture, was in the works.  Society, itself, was approaching a degree of equality, voluntarily.

Instead, it turned to demonstrations (not the preferred form of legislative influence), by both sides.  And, since those early days of civil rights demonstrations, they often turned to violence, instigated by both sides. America has been in a near constant state of turmoil, since the time that the government stepped in and tried to privilege the second class even above the first class.  And some of that violence, today, perpetrated by those who believe that “change has not come fast enough”, is nothing more than rioting and thievery, perpetrated under the guise of equality, couched in phrases about social and economic ‘justice’.

These, groups, relying upon judicial intimidation and violence, have proven that their methods and goals are in conflict with the Principle Faction, the Constitution and its principles, and our way of life.

Woman’s right advocates:  Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, is probably the best known advocate of women’s rights.  However, as much as she discussed the subject in correspondence with her husband, he never did advocate such a change in the legal relationship of women within that society.

Over the years, the nation evolved, not turning against the Founding principles, rather, in a social or societal form, with Wyoming being the first to enact women’s suffrage laws.  Rights of ownership of land and/or inheritance were becoming common, and barriers were falling, as well as advancing women in the society, without intervention by the federal government.

Finally, in 1920, with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, the federal government intervened in an area that was reserved by the Constitution to the states.  As with the Fifteenth Amendment (race suffrage), the right of the states to determine who could vote in elections, both state and national, as protected by the Constitution, was now being assumed by the  federal government.

Not that it was a bad move, rather, that it was the abrogation of the right of the states to make such a decision, that was so appalling.  It was just seven years earlier that the right of the states to be represented, by senators chosen by their respective legislatures, in Congress, was removed by the Seventeenth Amendment.  This was, effectively, the end of states’ rights.

As contrary to the original construction of the Constitution as this was, it also opened a means of the presumption of federal authority in manipulating the society to the will of the powers in Washington, D.C., and those who influence such social change.

Over time, unconstitutional legislation has resulted the reduction of the male to a subordinate position in our society, where lawsuits and intimidation work in only one direction, to the detriment, and at the expense of, one half of the society.

Our society, which was based upon rewards for performance, was converted to one where rewards are mandated by quotas, with little regard to ability and performance.  This denies to society the making of the choices that were assured and protected by the Constitution.

The advocacy of federal intervention, as opposed to the normal evolution of these norms in our culture, is in conflict with the Constitution and its principles, and is inconsistent with the Principle Faction.

Christian militia:  Militia, the right to collective self-defense, is embodied in the Second Amendment, and has been a part of our heritage and culture since the Magna Carta.  Since 1215, that right has existed, and, since that time, the Militia have always been subordinate to civil authority and have been geographic in their composition.  From the Shires of England, to the counties, townships, villages and plantations of the seventeen hundreds, participation in the militia was a right and was a duty. The only exceptions were exclusions for certain people because of vocation, and those that were “inimical to the cause of American Liberty” (Tories).  To exclude people who do not claim to be of the Christian faith is contrary to the Constitution and the principles upon which it was founded.

Christian militia are inconsistent the Principle Faction

Islamic groups:  Islam is not just a religion.  Islam, in its current manifestation, is a social and political system, as well.  It is a social system that includes a number of practices that are considered abhorrent, by our culture. Its social/judicial system manifests extreme punishments for what our culture might perceive to be a minor transgression or no crime at all.

Though two hundred years ago, “Mohametmen” simply practiced as a religion, and were accepted as a religion by the Framers, their character has changed to be anything but just a religion.

We can look to Europe and see the consequences of the intrusion of Islam into a society.  Eventually, the demand for change or legal reform to comply with their social/political system takes many forms, including physical abuse against people that oppose them; and the obstruction of roadways so that they can hold collective prayer absent a facility for such service; exercising their form of justice, including capital punishment, contrary to the host country’s laws, and often exempt from prosecution for crimes that would otherwise result in incarceration, or worse.

Much like the illegal immigrants, members of the Islamic faith come here with a total disregard for our laws, our culture, and our society.  They come with the intention of forcing change, by intimidation, by their numbers, or any means that suits them.  Their presence in the country, under their present manifestation, is contrary to the Constitution and its principles, and contrary to the Principle Faction.

The Congress:  Congress, especially after their vote for the Debt Ceiling Increase, has demonstrated that they are a faction unto themselves, without regard for the Constitution or the will of the people.

The Congress acts in conflict with the Principle Faction of this country.

The Executive Branch:  The Executive Branch, tasked with enforcing the laws of the land, has continued to ignore existing laws regarding immigration, and when forced into enforcing such laws, does so with a leniency that is more encouraging to the violation of the immigration laws than deterring them.

The Executive Branch has declared that Tea Party members; Constitutionalists; Gun Rights (Second Amendment) advocates, combat veterans, and others, who fall well within the Principle Faction as “terrorist”.

The executive Branch of the government is in conflict with the Principle Faction of this country

The US government:  The government “erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance”,  to lie, steal and even murder, members of the Principle Faction, and has done so with immunity from prosecution.

The Administrative Branches of government are in conflict with the Constitution and its principles, and the Principle Faction.

State governments:  State governments, with rare exception, do not defy federal intrusions against the Principle Faction, and often participate in the enforcement of unconstitutional polices and laws, receiving compensation from the federal government for the submission to its assumed and unconstitutional authority.

The state governments are acting in conflict with the Constitution and its principles, and the Principle Faction.

Of course, within each of these factions are members who are adherents to the Principle Faction and the Constitution, though they may be facilitating that faction in opposition to the Principle Faction.  Rather than suffering guilt by association, they would be well advised to understand that adherence to the Principle Faction and assimilation is imperative.

 

Factions — The Chains of Oppression – Part II

Factions — The Chains of Oppression – Part II

The Greatest Obstacle to Restoration of Constitutional Government

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
August 25, 2011
This is Part II of IV Parts

Factions not in conflict with the Principle Faction

Let’s look at some factions that are examples of those consistent with the Principle Faction:

Christians:  Our nation was founded, without doubt, upon Christian moral values.  Some of those values, however, have been disputed between various sects of Christianity since before the Founding of this great nation.  In fact, the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”, was adopted to assure that the ability to practice one’s religion, as one might chose to practice it, was a fundamental (God given) right.  Even “Mohametmen” were allowed to practice their religion, though the principles established by the Constitution retain the moral values of Christianity.  It was never implied that laws could be passed based upon Islam — only those based upon Christian moral values, and those, only locally, in order to provide a comfortable community for those who chose to live therein.  The idea that a law would be passed allowing the wearing of a Burka, contrary to norms for the community and country, was inconceivable.  It was the need for assimilation, in order to maintain that which was created by the Revolutionary War, that is necessary to maintain the greatness of the country.

Outlawing prostitution, gambling, alcohol, done at the local community level (often county level), was paramount in the concepts adopted by the Founders.  To assume that a state could enact and enforce such laws was not even under consideration during those formative years, and efforts to establish moral laws on a state-wide level were inconceivable.

Many Christians have beliefs that are not consistent with the beliefs of others, though there is a tendency to suppress expressing them outside of one’s own circle, in recognition of the rights of others to believe as they wish.  However, if we look back in history, we find that these ideals were expressed in newspaper articles, on soap boxes, and by legislators in assemblies, without fear of repercussion or arrest.  Absent the ability to express such feelings, we are denied the right to pursue legislation that we believe to be for the good of the country, the state, the county, or the town, in which we live — not to impose upon others, but rather to refrain from leaving those moral values behind.

So long as Christians adhere to the Principle Faction, and subordinate their beliefs, except as addressed above, to that Principle Faction, they are adherents to, and a product of, the United States.  They are what America stands for.

Boy Scouts of America:  Why would we even consider discussing a private organization such as the Boy Scouts of America under the heading of factions?  Well, they are a faction — one that has been around for over a hundred years.  Their principles are based upon the Christian religion, and the Constitution and principles of this great country.  Recently, however, the courts in this country have endeavored to impose upon the Boy Scouts rules of admission and acceptance that are absolutely contrary to the foundation of that organization.  They, like Christians, are able to practice as they choose, and allow only those who conform to their beliefs to become members of that organization.

Instead, the courts have ruled that the Boy Scouts cannot prohibit membership to those who don’t espouse the objectives of the Boy Scouts.  They are forcing change upon an organization that exists totally within the concept of adherence to the Principle Faction, and have every right, under the Constitution, to allow membership only to those who adhere to the principles of that organization.

The Boy Scouts of America adhere to the Principle Faction, and subordinate their beliefs, except as addressed above, to that Principle Faction, they are adherents to, and a product of, the United States.  They are what America stands for.

Jews: Jews don’t believe, with few exceptions, that Christ existed, or, that if he did, he was not the Messiah.  Well, this is definitely not consistent with Christianity, though it is not inconsistent with Christian moral values.  In fact, for many years, many Christians despised the Jews and held them in contempt. Often crimes were committed against them, in the name of Christianity.  In those instances, the Christians stepped outside of their adherence to the Principle Faction, though such instances are few and far between.

The Jews have established their own communities where they adhere to the precepts of their religion, and do not endeavor to impose their beliefs into the law, or upon others.  They adhere to the Principle Faction, and subordinate their beliefs, except as addressed above, to that Principle Faction, they are adherents to, and a product of, the United States.  They are what America stands for.

National Socialist Movement (in certain of its various forms):  Much like the Jews, the beliefs of many National Socialists are inconsistent with the general tenor of the country, and though outspoken in their beliefs, they have, for the most part, adhered to the Principle Faction.

Some participants in this faction have stepped outside of the law and impose injury, unjustly, on others.  These few, however, do not speak for the whole; the majority adhere to the laws, and their expression of their beliefs is consistent with the Constitution, though, perhaps, not politically correct.

Though they have chosen symbols (swastika and other Nazi representations) that are considered evil by most, what they hold to is not much different than the government’s support of Japan and Germany, since the end of World War II.  It was the whole of the people of each of those countries that stood firmly behind their governments — responsible for death and devastation, around the world.

So long as National Socialists do not break the law and adhere to the Principle Faction, and subordinate their beliefs, except as addressed above, to that Principle Faction, they are adherents to, and a product of, the United States.  They are what America stands for.

Anarchists (in certain of their various forms): The Founders enacted very few laws that acted directly on the people. For the most part, the laws enacted in the first few decades of the United States were laws to define, enhance, or protect the government.  The exceptions were the moral laws, also known as Blue Laws, which generally existed within the confines of a town’s ordinance, or, perhaps, even county ordinances, in an effort to establish a moral foundation that was comfortable to the majority of those residing there.  Otherwise, a degree of anarchy, at least by one definition, was a part of life of the times.

There is an old adage that Liberty is existent so long as your fist stops before it reaches my nose.  Our individual constraint on our own actions, so that we do no harm to others, is, perhaps, the best definition of that which should be.

The modern anarchist, even those who might espouse absence of government, altogether, are not inconsistent with much of what the Founders believed.  A minimum of government is, perhaps, best, and, is without a doubt, consistent with the Constitution and most state constitutions, at least as originally ratified.

So long as Anarchists adhere to the Principle Faction, and subordinate their beliefs to that Principle Faction, they are adherents to, and a product of, the United States.  They are what America stands for.

The Patriot Community:  This is the most loose-knit community within the factions adhering to the Constitution.  It is comprised of people who have, generally, taken one issue or aspect of the Constitution, to be their cause.  Some of those aspects are taxation, the monetary system, the judicial system, the immigration policies (laws) that are not enforced, the First Amendment, the Second Amendment (either, or both, right to bear arms and militia), and, other lesser and greater causes.  They are as diverse, and, perhaps more so, than the Founders, at the beginning of the Revolutionary War, yet they are probably the most vociferous of factions that comprise the adherents to the Principle Faction. They do, without a doubt, adhere to the Principle Faction, and subordinate their beliefs to that Principle Faction.  They are adherents to, and a product of, the United States.  They are what America stands for.

Factions — The Chains of Oppression – Part I

Factions — The Chains of Oppression – Part I

The Greatest Obstacle to Restoration of Constitutional Government

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
August 25, 2011
This is Part I of IV Parts

Factions

Factions are rather interesting, though often ignored by most, in the world we live in.  Factions are “somebody else”, and we, individually, have no part in them, except those that we are a part of — though we don’t really see them as factions, only truth.  We know what we believe; we know our moral values; we know what right and wrong are; we know what we want to know; everybody else is, if they don’t agree with us, simply wrong.

So, let’s begin by understanding what a faction is.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:

A party, in political society, combined or acting in union, in opposition to the prince, government or state; usually applied to a minority, but it may be applied to a majority. sometimes a state is divided into factions nearly equal.

… whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.

 

Or, the more simplistic:

A group of persons forming a cohesive, usually contentious minority within a larger group.

Factions are, however, a way of life.  We are all in factions and in many different areas.

For the most part, people perceive, with very few exceptions, that there are two political factions in this country; Democrats/Liberals, and, Republicans/Conservatives.  What the political philosophies of the two “factions” are is inconsequential, at least at this point, to the discussion.  The point to be made here is that we have perceived that there are only two factions, and anything else is hardly worthy of our consideration.

With regard to other aspects of our lives and our society, there are minor factions that we see, all of the time.  For example, the queer community is recognized as a faction, though most fail to recognize that there is a large faction, which is opposed to the smaller, recognized, faction.  That larger faction is those of us who, whether Christian, or not, understand the necessity for moral values and standards within a country.

However, legislation, political correctness, and/or influence through the press tend to either render illegal, or, at least minimally subject those who are a part of that larger faction, to ridicule for expressing themselves, in dispute with the faction’s principles.

The net effect is to render that larger faction as inconsequential, or illegitimate, providing a strong platform for the assertion of the values of the lesser faction, even to the point of additional legislation on their behalf.

Factions in history

We can look at history, and around the world, today, and see the affect of factions.

Let’s start by looking at revolutions.  After all, there have been many revolutions throughout history, though there has only been one that provided a rather smooth transition of government.  And all of them have been lead by factions — sometimes one, sometimes multiple, and, sometimes, begun by one faction where another faction became dominant before the job was done.

The French Revolution began in 1789, the same year that our Constitution became the framework of our own government.  That revolution lasted for a number of years, and during the entire course of it, the control of government passed from hand to hand, each hand being the one that, at any given time, had the most influence and power.  Often, those in power for the moment would require the execution (guillotine) of someone that was a partner in power, just months before.  The groundwork was laid, as the Revolution needed, to restore monarchy and the emperor, Bonaparte (twice).  So much for a smooth transition.

The Russian Revolution began in 1917.  The Mensheviks began the turmoil, and, eventually, the Bolsheviks gained control.  Then, the Bolsheviks became factionalized, Red verse White, leading, eventually, to Lenin obtaining power.  Again, not a very smooth transition.

Revolutions, at least those of the ordinary sort, tend to have factions that vie for power, even while the revolution is going on.  The resultant government is, generally, unstable and retains its authority by force.

Today, we see the beginnings of revolution in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Libya, and Yemen.  These “street” revolutions are lead by factions.  Most often those factions have a religious foundation, though often, there are factions within a religious group, of an ethnic nature.  There can be little doubt that the stronger faction will take control, though the conflict will not cease — until the opposition is exiled, imprisoned, or killed.

Factions in the United States

So that we can put in perspective the factions and the roles that they play in the maintenance of a country, or its destruction, we must first understand just what factions exist, what their role is, and whether they are acceptable, in terms of maintaining the United States of America, as intended.

In a recent series of articles (“We the People’, but, who are We?” – five Parts, linked to Part I), a review of the Founding documents, subsequent amendments, and, Supreme Court Decisions, provides us an understanding of just who “We the People” are, and, as Justice Taney described in one Decision, that this country is only for these “We the People”, but for no one else”.

Now, right there, with that last statement, I would expect that many would cringe and began to react in accordance with the decades of conditioning that we have been subjected to.  After all, haven’t we been raised to believe that this country was made for anybody who wants to come here, for any reason, even if their purpose is to change the nature and purpose of what the Founders willingly gave their lives for?  But, is it in the best interest of this country, our future, and our progeny, to accept that what was created just over 200 years ago should fall prey to changes which will destroy that which is our birthright?

So, let’s begin by understanding that though there may be smaller factions, with their own respective interest and objectives, that there is, and should be, a Principle Faction — upon which all else is subordinate.

Principle Faction

As explained in the “We the People” series, there are two classes of people that comprise the Principle Faction.  These are those who are described as the cause and purpose of the existence of the United States and its Constitution; and, those who were made citizens, though not fully empowered with the rights inherent within the Constitution, through the enactment of the Fourteenth Amendment, and are, or should be, of the Principle Faction.

However, within both of these classes, there may be many who, though of the nature and class of “We the People” or citizens of the United States, for other reasons, reject the principles upon which the country was founded.  These, though they may have rights, privileges and immunities, as described in that series, that do not adhere to the principles are no more a part of the Principle Faction as one who joins an organization to change its nature.

Absent adherence to the Constitution and the principles upon which it was founded, makes one a citizen by birth, though a traitor by attitude — as much as any spy who endeavors to subvert the country by his actions.

Subordinate, or lesser, factions

Factions are created when a significant number of people, having similar ideologies or purposes, realize that they are sufficient in number to create a “body politic” to champion their purpose.

That purpose can take two forms; First, to achieve a recognition, though in so doing, not to affect the Constitution, the laws, or obtain any favor other than those enjoyed by all of the people; Second, to achieve recognition for the purpose of political gain, changing of laws, and obtaining favor that is not enjoyed by others.

The former has existed in this country throughout its history, and is comprised of people who were born into or have assimilated into the American culture — without intentions of changing that culture.

The latter, on the other hand, is inclined to adapt the culture to his beliefs, to effect change that is inconsistent with that which the Founders gave us, and, will often employ the pretense of Constitutional right, though the result will be the diminishment of the rights of others, in favor of their object, whether financial, legal, or both.  They choose not to assimilate, rather, to force change upon the Principle Faction and force that Faction to subordinate to their will.

Now, as we begin to look at lesser factions (any subordinate to the Principle Faction), they will come under two categories.  First will be those who are not in serious conflict with the Principle Faction.  Second, those who are in conflict with the Principle Faction.

“We the People”, but, Who are We? – Part V

“We the People”, but, Who are We? – Part V

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
August 3, 2011

 

In Part I, we established what the Supreme Court determined to be “We the People”, or, “citizens of the United States”, prior to the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment.

In Part II, we saw that the Fourteenth Amendment conferred to those not of “We the People”, regardless of prior status, a new class of people who are granted “privileges and immunities”, though not the rights inherent with “We the People”.

In Part III, we see that within a few years of ratification of the 14th Amendment, the Supreme Court confirms that “rights” were not conveyed by that Amendment.

In Part IV, we found that the Supreme Court did recognize that there was a difference between a citizen of a state and a citizen of the United States, and that the latter was protected (jurisdiction existed) by the Fourteenth Amendment and to the former, it did not (no jurisdiction).

Now, we will move forward, 56 years, to 1964, to a case that reaffirms the classes of citizen, though begins to erode the protections previously provided to citizens of the United States.

The case is Malloy v. Hogan, 378 U.S. 1, and involves a discussion by the Court of just which Amendments (Bill of Rights) are extended to those who seek protection under the Fourteenth Amendment, when it says:

It was on the authority of that decision that the Court said in 1908 in Twining v.  New Jersey, supra, that “it is possible that some of the personal rights safeguarded by the first eight Amendments against National action may also be safeguarded against state action, because a denial of them would be a denial of due process of law.”

So, the question that arose in this case is, to what extent does the Fourteenth Amendment apply to the protection of rights, and, which rights are protected.  It redefines what was said in Twining, and requires that any right being protected “be a denial of the due process of law“.  This is a simple paraphrase of “the equal protection of the laws”, from the Fourteenth Amendment.  So, it simply expands that singular authority to include speech, press, and other rights within the first eight amendments, so long as “due process” can be brought into the equation.

It did not, however, even begin to address anything that would remove, or affect, the nature of the two classes of citizen.  They remain unimpaired and intact.

Since the Courts will use a stepping stone process in “revising” laws to a more modern “interpretation”, Malloy afforded the Court the opportunity to undermine the distinction between the two classes.  However, they chose not to walk upon that sacred ground.  Their absence of comment on the two classes leaves that distinction intact.

So, we can see that from Dred Scott (Part I), in 1854, the Court established a foundation of this country as being built upon, by, and for, a certain class of people.  This is probably best defined by the wording of Justice Taney, in that decision, to wit:

It is true, every person, and every class and description of persons, who were at the time of the adoption of the Constitution recognised as citizens in the several States, became also citizens of this new political body; but none other; it was formed by them, and for them and their posterity, but for no one else and privileges guaranteed to citizens of this new sovereignty were intended to embrace those only who were then members of the several State communities, or who should afterwards by birthright or otherwise become members, according to the provisions of the Constitution and the principles on which it was founded.  It was the union of those who were at that time members of distinct and separate political communities into one political family, whose power, for certain specified purposes, was to extend over the whole territory of the United States.  And it gave to each citizen rights and privileges outside of his State which he did not before possess, and placed him in every other State upon a perfect equality with its own citizens as to rights of person and rights of property; it made him a citizen of the United States.

For the sake of discussion, this sacred class (within the United States) shall be referred to as “We the People”.  But, perhaps, we should endeavor, with a bit more precision, to define just what/who those “We the People” were/are, in light of what Justice Taney said.

After much thought, I can only come up with three possibilities that might shed light on Taney’s description of that class known as “We the People”.

  1. That it would include only those who are defined by the rather common acronym, “WASP”, meaning “White Anglo-Saxon Protestant”.  When we consider that in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, Jews were not allowed to reside in some of the colonies; that loathing of Catholics (Popists) was common through most of the colonies, during that period, more effectually demonstrated by the objection to the Quebec Act of 1774, allowing Catholics to vote and hold office in Canada, are indicative of the sympathies of the times;
  2. Caucasians of European descent, which would include perhaps 99% of those who had immigrated to the colonies to begin life, anew; or,
  3. Those of Indo-European language groups (first defined in 1647 and including English, Dutch, Greek, Latin, Persian, German, Slavic, Celtic and Baltic languages), thus having a common heritage and culture, at least in the distant past.

There is no way that we can interpret, from what Justice Taney said, just who “We the People” were, though it is clear by the context of his description that it would include those above described peoples, or combinations thereof, “but for no one else.

Then, the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified and granted citizenship to people who were not of this class, “We the People”.  Further, it granted then only privileges and immunities.  It did not grant them rights.

This position (distinction between classes) is further supported by the ratification of the 15th Amendment (granting the right of suffrage (voting), regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude”.

Then, in 1874, the Court, in Happersett (Part III), made clear that the Fourteenth Amendment did not convey rights.  However, the Constitution makes clear that there are rights retained by the people (We the People), so since there cannot be conflict between the Constitution and an AMENDMENT (unless expressly resolved in the amendment), the distinction is further enhanced.

So, for all intents and purposes, there are four classes of people in this country, today:

  • “We the People”, those descended from the Framers, or otherwise within the principles of the original Constitution, who have retained their rights;
  • Those made citizens by the Fourteenth Amendment, with the privileges and immunities granted therein, and any rights specifically bestowed, by subsequent amendments;
  • Those who are here, lawfully and in accordance with all laws, as visitors, and who have not violated any conditions of the permission granted to visit; and,
  • Those who are here unlawfully, that have entered in violation of our laws or have violated the conditions of their permissive visitation.

The foundation of this country, then, rests upon an understanding that the purpose of the Constitution, and the country, is to provide a home for those of the class, “We the People”.  That others who choose to assimilate into the American Culture do so with that understanding, and the understanding that they are the beneficiaries of all privileges and immunities, though only those rights specifically granted.

It can also be concluded that any who have designs contrary to the support and continuation of the United States, as intended by the Framers, and described herein, are inconsistent with the purpose of the country, and, as such, are against the Constitution and should be deemed unacceptable and unwanted visitors.

If the United States is to return to its former stature as the beacon to the world of freed enterprise by a free people, we must return, also, to the concept that allowed such concepts of freedom to prosper, and grow, in a rather short history, to what it had become by the end of the Nineteenth Century.

It can return to that stature only if we do return to those principles that made this nation great.  Absent a dedication to that purpose, we are destined to be nothing more than a footnote in history.  And, that will be our rightful place, if we fail to act to secure that which we hold so dear.

Thus concludes this series.

* * * * *

Part I can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? – Part I

Part II can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? – Part II

Part III can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? — Part III

Part IV can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? — Part IV

 

“We the People”, but, Who are We? – Part IV

“We the People”, but, Who are We? – Part IV

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
July 21, 2011

 

In Part I, we established what the Supreme Court determined to be “We the People”, or, “citizens of the United States”, prior to the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment.

In Part II, we saw that the Fourteenth Amendment conferred to those not of “We the People”, regardless of prior status, a new class of people who are granted “privileges and immunities”, though not the rights inherent with “We the People”.

In Part III, we see that within a few years of ratification of the 14th Amendment, the Supreme Court confirms that “rights” were not conveyed by the Amendment.

This must lead us to question whether there is any substance to these very significant acts and decision. Is there any long-lasting affect, as a result of them?  If so, has anything changed them? If there have been no changes, are there still two distinct classes of people in this country?

Do answer these questions, we need only jump forward another 34 years, to 1908.  This Supreme Court decision will clearly lay out that there are, indeed, two classes of people, and that one is subject to federal jurisdiction and protection, while the other is not.

The case is Twining v. State of New Jersey – 211 U.S. 78 (1908). It has two elements, at least pertinent to this discussion.  First was whether there was jurisdiction, under the Fourteenth Amendment, to a state citizen; and, what did the Fourteenth Amendment extend to a “citizen of the United States”.

Albert C. Twining and David C. Cornell were indicted by a Grand Jury, and, convicted of providing “false papers” to a state banking examiner.  They were sentenced to prison terms, and Twining appealed the action of the New Jersey Court.  He held that the requirement to turn over papers to the examiner, absent a court order, denied him “due process” under the Fourteenth Amendment.  He lost that case and pursued a remedy in the Supreme Court.

Justice Moody provided the decision of the Supreme Court.  In summing up the case, he posed the following:

“. . .  whether such a law [state law] violates the 14th Amendment, either by abridging the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, or by depriving persons of their life, liberty, or property without due process of law.  In order to bring themselves within the protection of the Constitution it is incumbent on the defendants to prove two propositions: First, that the exemption from compulsory self- incrimination is guaranteed by the Federal Constitution against impairment by the states; and, second, if it be so guaranteed, that the exemption was in fact impaired in the case at bar.  The first proposition naturally presents itself for earlier consideration.  If the right here asserted is not a Federal right, that is the end of the case.  We have no authority to go further and determine whether the state court has erred in the interpretation and enforcement of its own laws.

Well, that last point, “If the right here asserted is not a Federal right, that is the end of the case.”, will lead to the final decision of the Court, though we must first look at why they denied Twining the protection, under the Fourteenth Amendment, that he sought.

The Court brought out that two states, Iowa and New Jersey, had provisions that did not allow compulsory testimony against one’s self, and, that those two did have limits on compulsory testimony, though not as broad as the other states.  This was felt to satisfy the intent, since it was a state decision based upon their view of the intention of the Fifth Amendment (“No person . . . shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself”), that established the right of the state to enact a law requiring the turning over of the papers to the examiner.

So, the question resolved itself to whether the federal interpretation of the Fifth Amendment was superior to the state law, and, if so, under what circumstances.

Since Twining and Cornel were both citizens of New Jersey, and the case was not between parties of different states, or any other qualifiers for federal intervention, they retained their status as state citizens, dealing with the laws of that state, without “Federal right[s]” being conferred to them.

Let’s separate the points of significance in this case:

  1. Is there a difference between state citizens and “citizens of the United States”, as established by the Fourteenth Amendment?
  2. If so, to what extent does the Fourteenth Amendment confer rights to those who are protected thereby?

The Court goes on to give us some insight into the second point.

“It is obvious . . . that it has been supposed by the states that, so far as the state courts are concerned, the privilege had its origin in the Constitutions and laws of the states, and that persons appealing to it must look to the state for their protection.  Indeed, since, by the unvarying decisions of this court, the first ten Amendments of the Federal Constitution are restrictive only of national action, there was nowhere else to look up to the time of the adoption of the 14th Amendment, and the state, at least until then, might give, modify, or withhold the privilege at its will.”

So, the states were within their rights, as they existed prior to the Fourteenth Amendment, and that those rights did not, until the Fourteenth was ratified, include the restrictive first ten amendments.  Prior to the Fourteenth Amendment, the Court recognized that the Constitution did not apply to the states, so long as they were not in conflict with the Constitution.  Essentially, they are conferring all privileges of those first ten amendments, to those who so qualify, for the protections afforded by the Fourteenth.

The Court continues:

The 14th Amendment withdrew from the states powers theretofore enjoyed by them to an extent not yet fully ascertained, or rather, to speak more accurately, limited those powers and restrained their exercise.  There is no doubt of the duty of this court to enforce the limitations and restraints whenever they exist, and there has been no hesitation in the performance of the duty.  But, whenever a new limitation or restriction is declared, it is a matter of grave import, since, to that extent, it diminishes the authority of the state, so necessary to the perpetuity of our dual form of government, and changes its relation to its people and to the Union.”

So, the Court recognizes an obligation to “enforce the limitations and restraints whenever they exist”.  This implies that they are addressing both points, mentioned above.  First, to determine the extent of the authority (jurisdiction of the state) imposed by the Fourteenth; and, Second, to determine to what extent the first ten amendments convey obligations to the state.

The Court continues:

“The defendants contend, in the first place, that the exemption from self incrimination is one of the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States which the 14th Amendment forbids the states to abridge.  It is not argued that the defendants are protected by that part of the 5th Amendment which provides that ‘no person . . . shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,’ for it is recognized by counsel that, by a long line of decisions, the first ten Amendments are not operative on the states.”

Twining has asserted that he is of the nature of a “citizen of the United States”, and, therefore, the state may not abridge those “privileges and immunities”.  He has declared a status as a “citizen of the United States”.

The Court then, referring to a previous case (subsequent to the Fourteenth Amendment), In Re Slaughter-House Cases, 83 U.S. 36 (1872), and citing with the decision of that case, given by Justice Miller, in affirming that there were two classes of citizen.

“The 14th Amendment, it is observed by Mr. Justice Miller, delivering the opinion of the court, removed the doubt whether there could be a citizenship of the United States independent of citizenship of the state, by recognizing or creating and defining the former. ‘  It is quite clear, then,’ he proceeds to say, ‘that there is a citizenship of the United States and a citizenship of a state, which are distinct from each other and which depend upon different characteristics or circumstances in the individual.

So, this Court is affirming what the Court decided 34 years prior, in that there are distinct differences between the “citizenship of the United States and a citizenship of a State”.  One case, shortly after the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, and another, three decades later, that affirm the conclusion of just who are “We the People”.  Can there be any doubt as to the existence of a distinction between the two classes?

The Court, after a lengthy discussion of “due process”, concludes:

The decisions of this court, though they are silent on the precise question before us [due process], ought to be searched to discover if they present any analogies which are helpful in its decision.  The essential elements of due process of law, already established by them, are singularly few, though of wide application and deep significance.  We are not here concerned with the effect of due process in restraining substantive laws, as, for example, that which forbids the taking of private property for public use without compensation.  We need notice now only those cases which deal with the principles which must be observed in the trial of criminal and civil causes.  Due process requires that the court which assumes to determine the rights of parties shall have jurisdiction.

And, they conclude that the court that has jurisdiction over the parties will prevail in a conflict of interpretation.  Since they leave the interpretation to the state court, there must be an absence of federal jurisdiction in the current case.  The Court sees Twining and Cornell to be state citizens, therefore, not afforded the” privileges and immunities”, meaning that federal jurisdiction fails to include them — an absence of federal jurisdiction.

In affirming that view, the Court said:

“Much might be said in favor of the view that the privilege was guaranteed against state impairment as a privilege and immunity of national citizenship, but, as has been shown, the decisions of this court have foreclosed that view.”

They tighten up on that conclusion, to wit:

We do not pass upon the conflict, because, for the reasons given, we think that the exemption from compulsory self-incrimination in the courts of the states is not secured by any part of the Federal Constitution.

Now, this would not be true if the case involved a party of one state against a party from another state, nor would it be true in the extension of “privileges and immunities” conferred by the Fourteenth Amendment, to “citizens of the United States”.

So, we can conclude that the “citizen of the United States” is a separate and distinct entity than the citizen of a state.  That the jurisdiction of the United States Supreme Court extends only to those who have been brought into jurisdiction by the Constitution (parties of different states, etc.) or by virtue of they being the subjects brought into that jurisdiction by the Fourteenth Amendment.

Now, some will say that this case is over one hundred years old, and things have changed, since then.  But, have they?  And, if so, how have they been changed?  I can find no amendment that changes what is presented here, and must suppose that nothing has been changed.

So, in the next Part, we will see if this decision, from 1908, still has merit over half a century later.

* * * * *

Part I can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? – Part I

Part II can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? – Part II

Part III can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? — Part III

Part V can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? — Part V 


“We the People”, but, Who are We? – Part III

“We the People”, but, Who are We? – Part III

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
July 20, 2011

So, we have established that “rights” were not conveyed by the Fourteenth Amendment, only “privileges and immunities”.  Or, have we?  Of course, to this point, it is only words and omission of words that can lead us to that conclusion.

Understand, however, that the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and early legislation was written so that all could understand what was being required.  After all, as James Madison said (Federalist Papers #62), “Law is defined to be a rule of action”.  If it is a rule of action, then it must be written so that anybody can understand it.

Let’s see if we can determine whether the premise that rights were not conveyed is properly construed, as presented.  To do so, we must, once again, return to the past — to those who lived the times and understood what the intention of the 14th Amendment really was.

Our answer can be found in another Supreme Court decision, decided just 7 years after the ratification of the 14th Amendment.  The case is Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1874).

At issue was whether the Fourteenth Amendment conveyed the right to vote to a woman, since she was made “a citizen of the United States” by that Amendment.  Understand that many states did not recognize woman as being full citizens and they were denied the right to vote, own land, sue in court, inherit property, or hold office; or portions of some of these restrictions, depending on the state.

Understand that this case was heard just seven years after the ratification of the 14th Amendment, and all parties were fully aware of the Amendment, its interpretation and ramifications.  They lived the times, unlike those of us who have to search back to find the intent of laws and amendments.

The case introduces the problem with the following statement of facts:

The fourteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States, in its first section, thus ordains:

‘All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States, and of the State wherein they reside.  No State shall make or enforce any law, which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.  Nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction, the equal protection of the laws.’

And the constitution of the State of Missouri thus ordains:

‘Every male citizen of the United States shall be entitled to vote.’

 

Minor, as described by the Court, set forth the following arguments:

1st. As a citizen of the United States, the plaintiff was entitled to any and all the ‘privileges and immunities’ that belong to such position however defined; and as are held, exercised, and enjoyed by other citizens of the United States.

2d. The elective franchise is a ‘privilege’ of citizenship, in the highest sense of the word.  It is the privilege preservative of all rights and privileges; and especially of the right of the citizen to participate in his or her government.

3d. The denial or abridgment of this privilege, if it exist at all, must be sought only in the fundamental charter of government,-the Constitution of the United States.  If not found there, no inferior power or jurisdiction can legally claim the right to exercise it.

4th. But the Constitution of the United States, so far from recognizing or permitting any denial or abridgment of the privileges of its citizens, expressly declares that ‘no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.’

5th. It follows that the provisions of the Missouri constitution and registry law before recited, are in conflict with and must yield to the paramount authority of the Constitution of the United States.

The Court (in the decision) then posed the question:

The question is presented in this case, whether, since the adoption of the fourteenth amendment, a woman, who is a citizen of the United States and of the State of Missouri, is a voter in that State, notwithstanding the provision of the constitution and laws of the State, which confine the right of suffrage to men alone.

In providing an answer to the question, we find:

Looking at the Constitution itself we find that it was ordained and established by ‘the people of the United States [Preamble to the Constitution],’ and then going further back, we find that these were the people of the several States that had before dissolved the political bonds which connected them with Great Britain, and assumed a separate and equal station among the powers of the earth [Declaration of Independence], and that had by Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, in which they took the name of ‘the United States of America,’ entered into a firm league of friendship with each other for their common defence, the security of their liberties and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other against all force offered to or attack made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretence whatever [Articles of Confederation].

Whoever, then, was one of the people of either of these States when the Constitution of the United States was adopted, became ipso facto a citizen-a member of the nation created by its adoption.  He was one of the persons associating together to form the nation, and was, consequently, one of its original citizens.  As to this there has never been a doubt.  Disputes have arisen as to whether or not certain persons or certain classes of persons were part of the people at the time, but never as to their citizenship if they were.

* * *

Other proof of like character might be found, but certainly more cannot be necessary to establish the fact that sex has never been made one of the elements of citizenship in the United States.  In this respect men have never had an advantage over women.  The same laws precisely apply to both.  The fourteenth amendment did not affect the citizenship of women any more than it did of men.  In this particular, therefore, the rights of Mrs. Minor do not depend upon the amendment.  She has always been a citizen from her birth, and entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizenship.  The amendment prohibited the State, of which she is a citizen, from abridging any of her privileges and immunities as a citizen of the United States; but it did not confer citizenship on her, that she had before its adoption.

* * *

It is clear, therefore, we think, that the Constitution has not added the right of suffrage to the privileges and immunities of citizenship as they existed at the time it was adopted.  This makes it proper to inquire whether suffrage was coextensive with the citizenship of the States at the time of its adoption.  If it was, then it may with force be argued that suffrage was one of the rights which belonged to citizenship, and in the enjoyment of which every citizen must be protected.  But if it was not, the contrary may with propriety be assumed.

When the Federal Constitution was adopted, all the States, with the exception of Rhode Island and Connecticut, had constitutions of their own.  These two continued to act under their charters from the Crown.  Upon an examination of those constitutions we find that in no State were all citizens permitted to vote.  Each State determined for itself who should have that power.  Thus, in New Hampshire, ‘every male inhabitant of each town and parish with town privileges, and places unincorporated in the State, of twenty-one years of age and upwards, excepting paupers and persons excused from paying taxes at their own request,’ were its voters; in Massachusetts ‘every male inhabitant of twenty-one years of age and upwards, having a freehold estate within the commonwealth of the annual income of three pounds, or any estate of the value of sixty pounds;’ in Rhode Island ‘such as are admitted free of the company and society’ of the colony; in Connecticut such persons as had ‘maturity in years, quiet and peaceable behavior, a civil conversation, and forty shillings freehold or forty pounds personal estate,’ if so certified by the selectmen; in New York ‘every male inhabitant of full age who shall have personally resided within one of the counties of the State for six months immediately preceding the day of election . . . if during the time aforesaid he shall have been a freeholder, possessing a freehold of the value of twenty pounds within the county, or have rented a tenement therein of the yearly value of forty shillings, and been rated and actually paid taxes to the State;’ in New Jersey ‘all inhabitants . . . of full age who are worth fifty pounds, proclamation-money, clear estate in the same, and have resided in the county in which they claim a vote for twelve months immediately preceding the election;’ in Pennsylvania ‘every freeman of the age of twenty-one years, having resided in the State two years next before the election, and within that time paid a State or county tax which shall have been assessed at least six months before the election;’ in Delaware and Virginia ‘as exercised by law at present;’ in Maryland ‘all freemen above twenty-one years of age having a freehold of fifty acres of land in the county in which they offer to vote and residing therein, and all freemen having property in the State above the value of thirty pounds current money, and having resided in the county in which they offer to vote one whole year next preceding the election;’ in North Carolina, for senators, ‘all freemen of the age of twenty-one years who have been inhabitants of any one county within the State twelve months immediately preceding the day of election, and possessed of a freehold within the same county of fifty acres of land for six months next before and at the day of election,’ and for members of the house of commons ‘all freemen of the age of twenty-one years who have been inhabitants in any one county within the State twelve months immediately preceding the day of any election, and shall have paid public taxes;’ in South Carolina ‘every free white man of the age of twenty-one years, being a citizen of the State and having resided therein two years previous to the day of election, and who hath a freehold of fifty acres of land, or a town lot of which he hath been legally seized and possessed at least six months before such election, or ( not having such freehold or town lot), hath been a resident within the election district in which he offers to give his vote six months before said election, and hath paid a tax the preceding year of three shillings sterling towards the support of the government;’ and in Georgia such ‘citizens and inhabitants of the State as shall have attained to the age of twenty-one years, and shall have paid tax for the year next preceding the election, and shall have resided six months within the county.’

[Note: you may want to review the list of voter qualifications, above, and consider that we were strong and building our country into the greatest nation in the world, when the voters had to be above debt to vote -- rather than able to vote themselves "a chicken in every pot".]

* * *

And still again, after the adoption of the fourteenth amendment, it was deemed necessary to adopt a fifteenth, as follows: ‘The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States, or by any State, on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.’  The fourteenth amendment had already provided that no State should make or enforce any law which should abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.  If suffrage was one of these privileges or immunities, why amend the Constitution to prevent its being denied on account of race, &c.?  Nothing is more evident than that the greater must include the less, and if all were already protected why go through with the form of amending the Constitution to protect a part?

* * *

… Women were excluded from suffrage in nearly all the States by the express provision of their constitutions and laws. If that had been equivalent to a bill of attainder, certainly its abrogation would not have been left to implication. Nothing less than express language would have been employed to effect so radical a change. So also of the amendment which declares that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, adopted as it was as early as 1791. If suffrage was intended to be included within its obligations, language better adapted to express that intent would most certainly have been employed. The right of suffrage, when granted, will be protected. He who has it can only be deprived of it by due process of law, but in order to claim protection he must first show that he has the right.

So, clearly, from this decision, rendered shortly after the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, we see that there is a distinction between “rights” and “privileges and immunities”, and that any grant of right would require a constitutional amendment to confer it on any other than “We the People”.

This does beg the question of whether the Fifteenth Amendment confers more than the right to vote.  Does it also confer the right to hold office, when the requisite for that office is “Citizen of the United State” [Art. I. Section 2, clause 2, and, Art. I, Section 3, clause 3, Constitution], and, “a natural born Citizen of the United States” [Art. II, Section 1, clause 5, Constitution], unless such “right” is specifically conferred?

 

Part I can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? – Part I

Part II can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? – Part II

Part IV can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? — Part IV

Part V can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? — Part V 

“We the People”, but, Who are We? – Part II

“We the People”, but, Who are We? – Part II

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
July 19, 2011

In the first part, Justice Taney [Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who delivered the Decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1856)], speaking from the past, explained who was, and, who was not of that class of people known as “We the People.  Recapping that post:

We think they [descendents of slaves, whether free, or not] are not, and that they are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word ‘citizens’ in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States.  On the contrary, they were at that time considered as a subordinate and inferior class of beings, who had been subjugated by the dominant race, and, whether emancipated or not, yet remained subject to their authority, and had no rights or privileges but such as those who held the power and the Government might choose to grant them.

* * *

It is true, every person, and every class and description of persons, who were at the time of the adoption of the Constitution recognised as citizens in the several States, became also citizens of this new political body; but none other; it was formed by them, and for them and their posterity, but for no one else.  And the personal rights and privileges guaranteed to citizens of this new sovereignty were intended to embrace those only who were then members of the several State communities, or who should afterwards by birthright or otherwise become members, according to the provisions of the Constitution and the principles on which it was founded.  It was the union of those who were at that time members of distinct and separate political communities into one political family, whose power, for certain specified purposes, was to extend over the whole territory of the United States.  And it gave to each citizen rights and privileges outside of his State which he did not before possess, and placed him in every other State upon a perfect equality with its own citizens as to rights of person and rights of property; it made him a citizen of the United States.

So, the rights and privileges were not conferred upon those who were not citizens at the time of adoption of the Constitution, and their descendents and others.  Those rights, too, are defined as inclusive, regardless of whether he is in his state or another state.

So, in 1867, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified.  However, it did not convey rights, only privileges and immunities, to wit [Fourteenth Amendment]:

Section 1–All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.  No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

However, this Amendment did not change or undo that which Taney had described as the “citizens of the United States”, though a new class was created by the 14th Amendment.

Now, I know a lot of people don’t see it that way.  They believe that the 14th Amendment merged the ex-slaves and their descendents into the same class of people that had previously held the title of “citizens of the United States”, or, “We the People”.  However, if you will note the wording of the 14th Amendment, you will see that “rights” were not conveyed, only “privileges and immunities”.  Now, this may seem small, or insignificant, though that is because we have been subjected to “political correctness” and mountains of legislation establishing “civil rights”.  However, the Framers never referred to the rights protected by the Constitution as civil, since civil implies granted by government — which is exactly what the legislature has done — enact laws granting civil rights.  These fundamental rights granted by God are not granted by government, and, they are not civil rights.  They were the object and goal of the colonists from April 19, 1775 to the ratification of the Constitution, 14 years later.

What is very important to understand is that when a law is enacted, or a constitution or amendment ratified, the intent at the time of enactment or ratification is, and must be, what was intended — at that time.  To think otherwise is to allow the legislation, or even the Constitution, to mean what was not intended by the sleight of redefining words, concepts, or even enforcement.  If that is how we are to operate, we are not a nation of laws rather, of man, and that man who sits in Washington; Member of Congress, President,. Justice or Administrative Agency head is free to promulgate what he wants the law to be and applies not what was intended to be, rather, what he desires it to be.

As James Madison said, in Federalist Papers #62:

It poisons the blessing of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?

So, as you contemplate what is said in this Part, understand that only the words of those who were alive at the time of these activities can tell is what they meant.  It is only their words, not what some ACLU lawyer might try to make them out to be, that we must be obedient to.  To be obedient to any other interpretation is, at best, disobedience to the Constitution.

We have seen the affect of the 14th Amendment on the right, privileges and immunities of those who were and were not of the class known as “We the People”.  Now the question arises as to whether the 14th Amendment changed who “We the People” are, and, if so, what proof do we have that only “privileges and immunities, not rights, were conveyed by that Amendment.  That will be the subject of the Part III.

 

Part I can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? – Part I

Part III can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? — Part III

Part IV can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? — Part IV

Part V can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? — Part V 

 

“We the People”, but, Who are We? — Part I

“We the People”, but, Who are We? – Part I

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
July 18, 2011

In some research for another article (The Fourteenth Article in Amendment to the Constitution), I ran across a rather enlightening revelation.  It was, just 60 years after the Constitution, a clear and concise definition of just (and only) who the “We the People”, in the Preamble to the Constitution, really are.

Now, most of us will assume that any citizen of the United States is one of, “We the People”.  I must admit that until recently, I, too, believed this to be the case.

Regardless of the (political) correctness of this assumption, we must understand that the law is what it was intended to be, not what we might want it to be.  There is only one means by which that can be changed, and that is the amendment process defined in Article V, of the Constitution.

So, here is what was revealed to us, by the Supreme Court of the United States, with regard to a definitive answer to the question.  The case is Dred Scott v. Sandford  –  60 U.S. 393 (1856)

As recently as ten years before the Fourteenth Amendment was submitted to the States by the Congress, an historical, and often referred to, case was heard by the Supreme Court.

Scott was born a slave, in Missouri.  As such, he was not a citizen.  His “owner” laid hands on Scott, his wife and 2 children.  Scott sued Sandford for assault.  Scott was awarded his freedom by a Saint Louis County, Missouri, Circuit Court.  The case was appealed to the State Supreme Court and reversed.  The Circuit Court then reheard the case.  Scott made exception to the instructions to the jury.  The jury then ruled against Scott.  Based upon the “Exception”.

The case eventually ended up in the Supreme Court.  In its decision (below), the Court pointed out that Scott had claimed to be a citizen of Missouri, which would give him standing to sue Sandford.  It found that though Scott was not a citizen of Missouri, or, of the United States, that standing for the Court to hear the case was based upon the Courts acting on the fact that the question of citizenship was not in the plea that brought the matter before the Court.

You will see that even though Scott had no standing, the Court decided to hear the case, anyway.  If you do not challenge jurisdiction (Sandford’s obligation), the Court may assume jurisdiction, the laws of the land notwithstanding..

Chief Justice Taney delivered the opinion of the Court.  Excerpts are from that decision.

“That plea denies the right of the plaintiff to sue in a court of the United States, for the reasons therein stated.  If the question raised by it is legally before us, and the court should be of opinion that the facts stated in it disqualify the plaintiff from becoming a citizen, in the sense in which that word is used in the Constitution of the United States, then the judgment of the Circuit Court is erroneous, and must be reversed.  It is suggested, however, that this plea is not before us; and that as the judgment in the court below on this plea was in favor of the plaintiff, he does not seek to reverse it, or bring it before the court for revision by his writ of error; and also that the defendant waived this defence by pleading over, and thereby admitted the jurisdiction of the court.

Since the matter of citizenship was not in the plea that brought the matter before the Court, the Court will not rule on Scott’s standing.

However, the Court now finds that it has a forum to define just what a citizen is — a point that had only been addressed in rather ambiguous terms in the Constitution, and not since addressed by the Congress, or the Court.

Taney goes on to ask this important question:

Can a negro, whose ancestors were imported into this country, and sold as slaves, become a member of the political community formed and brought into existence by the Constitution of the United States, and as such become entitled to all the rights, and privileges, and immunities, guaranteed by that instrument to the citizen?

Further defining the question, he says:

The only matter in issue before the court, therefore, is, whether the descendants of such slaves, when they shall be emancipated, or who are born of parents who had become free before their birth, are citizens of a State, in the sense in which the word citizen is used in the Constitution of the United States.

While the decision covers many aspects, and many ways, of addressing the question, I will provide only those that are concise and indicative of the sense of the Court and the decision held to.  Remember, as you read, that this decision predates the 14th Amendment.

The words ‘people of the United States’ and ‘citizens’ are synonymous terms, and mean the same thing.  They both describe the political body who, according to our republican institutions, form the sovereignty, and who hold the power and conduct the Government through their representatives.  They are what we familiarly call the ‘sovereign people,’ and every citizen is one of this people, and a constituent member of this sovereignty.  The question before us is, whether the class of persons described in the plea in abatement compose a portion of this people, and are constituent members of this sovereignty?  We think they are not, and that they are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word ‘citizens’ in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States.  On the contrary, they were at that time considered as a subordinate and inferior class of beings, who had been subjugated by the dominant race, and, whether emancipated or not, yet remained subject to their authority, and had no rights or privileges but such as those who held the power and the Government might choose to grant them.

Well, there is an interesting phrase, used in the discussion of the Fourteenth Amendment by the Senate, “remained subject to their authority”.

In discussing this question, we must not confound the rights of citizenship which a State may confer within its own limits, and the rights of citizenship as a member of the Union.  It does not by any means follow, because he has all the rights and privileges of a citizen of a State, that he must be a citizen of the United States.  He may have all of the rights and privileges of the citizen of a State, and yet not be entitled to the rights and privileges of a citizen in any other State.  For, previous to the adoption of the Constitution of the United States, every State had the undoubted right to confer on whomsoever it pleased the character of citizen, and to endow him with all its rights.  But this character of course was confined to the boundaries of the State, and gave him no rights or privileges in other States beyond those secured to him by the laws of nations and the comity of States.  Nor have the several States surrendered the power of conferring these rights and privileges by adopting the Constitution of the United States.  Each State may still confer them upon an alien, or any one it thinks proper, or upon any class or description of persons; yet he would not be a citizen in the sense in which that word is used in the Constitution of the United States, nor entitled to sue as such in one of its courts, nor to the privileges and immunities of a citizen in the other States.  The rights which he would acquire would be restricted to the State which gave them.  The Constitution has conferred on Congress the right to establish an uniform rule of naturalization, and this right is evidently exclusive, and has always been held by this court to be so.  Consequently, no State, since the adoption of the Constitution, can by naturalizing an alien invest him with the rights and privileges secured to a citizen of a State under the Federal Government, although, so far as the State alone was concerned, he would undoubtedly be entitled to the rights of a citizen, and clothed with all the rights and immunities which the Constitution and laws of the State attached to that character.

It is very clear, therefore, that no State can, by any act or law of its own, passed since the adoption of the Constitution, introduce a new member into the political community created by the Constitution of the United States.  It cannot make him a member of this community by making him a member of its own.  And for the same reason it cannot introduce any person, or description of persons, who were not intended to be embraced in this new political family, which the Constitution brought into existence, but were intended to be excluded from it.

The question then arises, whether the provisions of the Constitution, in relation to the personal rights and privileges to which the citizen of a State should be entitled, embraced the negro African race, at that time in this country, or who might afterwards be imported, who had then or should afterwards be made free in any State; and to put it in the power of a single State to make him a citizen of the United States, and endow him with the full rights of citizenship in every other State without their consent? Does the Constitution of the United States act upon him whenever he shall be made free under the laws of a State, and raised there to the rank of a citizen, and immediately clothe him with all the privileges of a citizen in every other State, and in its own courts?

The court think the affirmative of these propositions cannot be maintained.  And if it cannot, the plaintiff in error could not be a citizen of the State of Missouri, within the meaning of the Constitution of the United States, and, consequently, was not entitled to sue in its courts.”

It is true, every person, and every class and description of persons, who were at the time of the adoption of the Constitution recognised as citizens in the several States, became also citizens of this new political body; but none other; it was formed by them, and for them and their posterity, but for no one else.  And the personal rights and privileges guaranteed to citizens of this new sovereignty were intended to embrace those only who were then members of the several State communities, or who should afterwards by birthright or otherwise become members, according to the provisions of the Constitution and the principles on which it was founded.  It was the union of those who were at that time members of distinct and separate political communities into one political family, whose power, for certain specified purposes, was to extend over the whole territory of the United States.  And it gave to each citizen rights and privileges outside of his State which he did not before possess, and placed him in every other State upon a perfect equality with its own citizens as to rights of person and rights of property; it made him a citizen of the United States.

Well, that makes pretty clear who could not be a “citizen of the United States”.  So, let us look, from the other side, at who was a “citizen of the United States”.

“It becomes necessary, therefore, to determine who were citizens of the several States when the Constitution was adopted.  And in order to do this, we must recur to the Governments and institutions of the thirteen colonies, when they separated from Great Britain and formed new sovereignties, and took their places in the family of independent nations.  We must inquire who, at that time, were recognised as the people or citizens of a State, whose rights and liberties had been outraged by the English Government; and who declared their independence, and assumed the powers of Government to defend their rights by force of arms.

In the opinion of the court, the legislation and histories of the times, and the language used in the Declaration of Independence, show, that neither the class of persons who had been imported as slaves, nor their descendants, whether they had become free or not, were then acknowledged as a part of the people, nor intended to be included in the general words used in that memorable instrument.

Now, clearly, it is those who initiated the fight for independence that are of the class recognized by the Constitution as “citizens of the United States”.  Many have pointed out that one of the first to “die for the cause” was a negro named Crispus Attucks, who was shot to death in the “Boston Massacre”, in 1770.  This, however, in the eyes of the Court, does not qualify him as one of the people — for which the country was intended.

Though the decision of the Court continues to give examples of just how the Court perceived this relationship, I would prefer to not include too many more of the over one-hundred and ten thousand words in the Decision.  There are some words, however, that warrant our attention in fully understanding what was intended by the founding of this nation, and so I will provide these few additional paragraphs:

“The language of the Declaration of Independence is equally conclusive:

It begins by declaring that, ‘when in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.’

It then proceeds to say: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among them is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

The general words above quoted would seem to embrace the whole human family, and if they were used in a similar instrument at this day would be so understood.  But it is too clear for dispute, that the enslaved African race were not intended to be included, and formed no part of the people who framed and adopted this declaration; for if the language, as understood in that day, would embrace them, the conduct of the distinguished men who framed the Declaration of Independence would have been utterly and flagrantly inconsistent with the principles they asserted; and instead of the sympathy of mankind, to which they so confidently appealed, they would have deserved and received universal rebuke and reprobation.

Yet the men who framed this declaration were great men-high in literary acquirements-high in their sense of honor, and incapable of asserting principles inconsistent with those on which they were acting.  They perfectly understood the meaning of the language they used, and how it would be understood by others; and they knew that it would not in any part of the civilized world be supposed to embrace the negro race, which, by common consent, had been excluded from civilized Governments and the family of nations, and doomed to slavery.  They spoke and acted according to the then established doctrines and principles, and in the ordinary language of the day, and no one misunderstood them.  The unhappy black race were separated from the white by indelible marks, and laws long before established, and were never thought of or spoken of except as property, and when the claims of the owner or the profit of the trader were supposed to need protection.

This state of public opinion had undergone no change when the Constitution was adopted, as is equally evident from its provisions and language.

The brief preamble sets forth by whom it was formed, for what purposes, and for whose benefit and protection.  It declares that it is formed by the people of the United States; that is to say, by those who were members of the different political communities in the several States; and its great object is declared to be to secure the blessings of liberty to themselves and their posterity.  It speaks in general terms of the people of the United States, and of citizens of the several States, when it is providing for the exercise of the powers granted or the privileges secured to the citizen.  It does not define what description of persons are intended to be included under these terms, or who shall be regarded as a citizen and one of the people.  It uses them as terms so well understood, that no further description or definition was necessary.

Therefore, an attempt to apply the standards upon which this nation was founded to the morality of today, or, even, of 1856, when this case was heard, would be to deny the intention of the founders.  This does not preclude the utilization of the Fifth Article (Amendment Process) of the Constitution to effect change, which was to be partially achieved eleven years later.  It simply explains what a “citizen of the United States” was, prior to the Fourteenth Amendment.

Now the question arises as to whether the 14th Amendment changed who “We the People” are, or not. That will be the subject of the Part II.

* * * * *

Part II can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? – Part II

Part III can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? — Part III

Part IV can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? — Part IV

Part V can be found at “We the People”, but, Who are We? — Part V

Committees of Safety and the General Association

Committees of Safety and the General Association

The Committees of safety were best described as an Executive Committee, perhaps equivalent to a mayor, county board, or governor.  In Agnes Hunt’s book, “The Provincial Committees of Safety of the American Revolution“, she explains the colony level Committee of Safety as an Executive Board that often shared that responsibility with the governor, if the governor had taken the colonist’s side of the dispute with Great Britain.

Though no “instruction manual” has been found, various writings about the Committees, and records left by them, provide a pattern that can be reestablished, at least to the extent that the Committees operated, in some locations.  It is probably safe to assume, also, that other locations operated in a similar fashion.

What has come to light is that a community had a General Association, to which each family who chose to subscribe was subscribed by the signature of the head of the family.  In some instances, if the head of the family was a Tory, or had questionable allegiance, another male in the family would subscribe to the General Association.  It also appears that the term, Committee of Safety, applied to both the General Association and the executive board known as the Committee of Safety.  Tories were excluded from participation, however, once hostilities broke out, they, along with everyone else in the community, was assumed to be under the jurisdiction of the Committee of Safety (a de fact subscriber).  This would subject them to judicial control of the Committee, which, in the case of Tories.  Might result in “house-arrest, taking of long arms, or even imprisonment, unless and until an oath was taken to the cause of the colony.

From the General Association, members were elected to serve on the Committee, as representatives of the entire Association.  In Albany, New York, where a count can be made, approximately 10% of the General Association (by family, not total census) served on the Committee of Safety, at any given time.

There was frequent turnover within the Committee.  Chairmen appeared to serve for six months, and names change, in the composition of the Committee, fairly often, though some members served the entire period from 1775 to 1781.

Prior to the outbreak of hostilities.  Most General Associations, and their respective Committees of Safety, existed only to fill in where the British government failed to provide necessary services.  Often the Association and Committee were described as the “town meeting”, which was an authority granted under the Royal Charter, converted to strictly General Associations and Committees of Safety, as the disagreement between colonists and British Rule devolved into conflict (See The End of the Revolution and the Beginning of Independence).

By April 12, 1775, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress requested that all communities within Massachusetts form Committees of Safety (See document at committee.org).  After the outbreak of hostilities, just a week later, every colony put out similar requests for the creation of Committees.

Much of the record of evidence demonstrates another aspect of Committees.  Committees were formed in communities.  Within a County, those communities would form a County Committee of Safety, and, though, much independence of action by the local Committees was retained, they subordinated to the County Committee of Safety, as a senior body.  Similarly, the Provincial Committees (as par Agnes Hunt, above) subordinated to the State Committee of Safety, though they, too, retained independence in many areas.  The ascending levels of authority appear to be only to the extent necessary to achieve cooperation and coordination of efforts.

The extent of the “legislative authority” of the Committees, at all levels, seems to be limited with enacting laws to deal with Tories (those inimical to the cause of American Liberty”) and establishing requirements for service in their respective militia units.

 

For more information about Committees of Safety, go to http://www.committee.org