One usually thinks of the early immigrants to North America as being those who came to this country as fortune hunters but that phase of the immigration to this country came after it had proven to be the land of the free and home of the brave. Even then the immigrants were sorrowful to be leaving their native country and families in order to find opportunity and freedom.
In the very beginning of the European immigration to North America the people were coming to escape persecution in politics and religion. The extreme conflict and sorrow that drives men to separate themselves from home and country was a very real experience for these pilgrims. Many died on their way here or lost loved ones who were coming with them. And once here, it was very hard to survive and establish one’s self in a somewhat comfortable manner. Some of the first pilgrim colonies did not survive as all of the pilgrims died.
It was not a matter of coming here and getting a job. There were no employers. In a practical sense every man had to establish his own survival which meant being self-sustaining and then self-employed by trading one’s abilities for the goods which one could not reasonably produce for himself. The industry of those times has been called ‘cottage industry’ where the person, from in his own home, could do tasks such as spin wool in exchange for the wool and other items they needed to survive, ex: powder and lead to make shot to provide meat. It was a rather simple life but complex in that there was no exchange (currency) to simplify things and no protection such as a police force or military to protect one against the unlawful inhabitants (either red or white skinned.) Winters were very harsh and one’s fellow man was depended upon to help out not only in shortages but also when someone got ‘out of hand.’
During the long winter nights the early settlers read or gathered with neighbors to visit and discuss religion and politics. They studied on how they should be governed and had long debates with their neighbors, some of which were rather formal and lasted, sometimes, for days.
One very common thread among these people was that they had, out of the depths of sorrow, escaped an oppressive government that had dictated how they were to live, believe and pay duties, either as shares of their crops or as taxes. They were now free and had payed a very high price for that freedom and they were not interested in establishing a government which would again enslave them with taxes and rules. Yet they knew from experience that they had to have some form of governance that would provide safety. The books which were in demand at that time were those of religion, political history and theory so they could understand what forms of government worked long-term and produced safe-guards of freedom. Safe-guards of Freedom. There was the key. If the governance did not safe-guard freedoms then why tolerate it, let alone promote it.
Once it came to writing up documents that would determine the future and that of the coming generations, a great deal of care was taken to see to it that the right men with the right understanding were representing them and would safe-guard their rights and their freedoms.
So we see documents that were produced (The Bill of Rights) which stated that man had inalienable rights given to him by God and that no one was to infringe on those rights.
When it came to the governing document (The Constitution) it was drawn up in such a way as to restrict the changing of those documents so as to safe-guard the freedoms held so dearly. The informed electorate voted for the representatives who would make up the governing bodies which constituted a system of checks and balances (Executive Branch, Legislative Branch, and the Judicial Branch) so as to prevent radical change. One of the more important branches of government is the Judicial Branch which is made up primarily of the Supreme Court whose job it is to decide whether or not a ruling or law is in accordance with the law (The Constitution) and if it is found not to be, it is to be cast out. Other rules also provided more protection such as dividing the Legislative Branch into two houses so as to split the power with completely different rules of election. The House of Representatives, which is elected according to population, is to rule on finance and law. The second house was the Senate, which was initially set up with each State appointing two representatives for each State for the purpose of confirming appointments and treaties, as a means to control the Executive Branch (President) and to be a balance to the House of Representatives. It was set up so that every bill of law had to be approved by the The House of Representatives and the Senate and then in order to become law it would have to be approved by the Executive Branch (President). Further if that law was taken as a legal issue to the Supreme Court and was found by the Court as being unconstitutional it would be struck down. What an ingenious system of checks and balances to safe-guard the rights and freedoms of the people. It was known by the framers of the Constitution that once lost the freedoms might never be regained and the boot of oppression could set in force a depth of sorrows.
Another safe-guard which was put into place was the Electoral College which does not make any sense to those who believe this to be a Democracy. It is a direct safe-guard to protect the Republic from becoming victim of a Demagoguery, meaning a time where the population is stampeded by events into accepting persons and ideals detrimental to the Republic.
Originally the seats of the Representatives of the Senate were to be filled by the State’s legislature and not by popular vote. This gave the safe-guard of keeping the Senator a representative of the State and also not a whim of the majority thereby keeping the Federal Government from becoming too powerful and taking the freedoms of the people through excessive taxation and rule. It also kept the Senate a true instrument of maintaining the Republic. The changing of the process to a popular vote in the state to fill the Senate positions was changed at the same time as the establishment of an Income Tax and the Federal Reserve – 1913, which was needed to fund an excessive Federal Government. With such changes in place votes could be bought with government funding of welfare programs. Couple these changes with massive propaganda promoting the idea that this country is a Democracy and the stage is set for the buying of votes by establishing a welfare state. These were times in our history when our Republic and our freedoms where minimized. Four years later Communism took control of Russia. Indeed a dark time in history.