History’s Lessons

With almost 2000 years of recorded history, our forefathers had a great deal to learn from history. Plus they had a pretty clean slate to start with and as a result they could do whatever they needed to establish this new country.

The people had made it clear that they were free and that is the way they intended to stay. The job was to frame a government which would serve the people and not anyone else. Not only in the present but future peoples and organizations were to be held in check so that the people would remain free. Free to do as they wished as long as they did not infringe on someone else.

It was obvious from history that there would always be people and organizations with ambitions and that those people would work to take control of and run the government to their own benefit and to the demise of those who stood against them. The main character in the movie about the Revolutionary War ‘The Patriot,’ put it something like this: “Why would you trade one tyrant a thousand miles away (King George) for 10,000 tyrants close at hand.” With their recent history those patriots knew what to expect of King George but they knew little of what to expect from their own neighbors.

The background of these Colonials was very diverse not only in religion but in financial and ethnic backgrounds. By the time the duty came of framing the Constitution this nation had all sorts of individuals and businesses shaping up to serve this country. The problems in-time and expense with shipping, made it imperative that this new country supply itself with whatever products it needed.

These States had a good deal to look forward to but they were very spread out and as was said, they were very diverse. If there were to be a number of different countries there would be shortages and division. It was very important that they all stick together so that they could quickly become a formidable, strong and vibrant nation. The pressure was on to make sure that the rights were protected in order to get all the States to bind together.

These men knew that governments naturally deteriorate and give way to other forms of government. The longest lasting and strongest form of government was that of a monarchy but how could these men establish a monarchy? Being so diverse there was not the opportunity to establish a bond to a monarch.

Democracy was the best known form of government and had a very bad historical reputation. Democracies had always given way to other forms of governments and did so very violently since the struggle for control gave way to the most violent of times. The framers of The Constitution knew that in establishing a Democracy with a constitution they were merely giving a little more time of survival to that government since a majority could change The Constitution and then do as it wished.

Our forefathers knew these things. That is why James Madison said, “….democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property, and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.” And Samuel Adams said; “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself.”

The framers of our Constitution were very aware of the Roman Republic which lasted a long while and accomplished great things but in the end gave way to mobs wanting welfare and bureaucrats buying votes. In reality it gave way to Democracy which quickly gave way to a form of dictatorship. Our forefathers knew all of this and were interested in establishing safe-guards which would keep the state a rule-of-law.

The forefathers had their work cut out for them. They obviously had to create a Constitutional Republic which would have the safeguards to protect it from becoming a Democracy.

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