Dictators and Gun Control
“A free people ought to be armed.”
– George Washington
Dictators promote gun control to ENSLAVE their people.
Without guns, you are no more than a SLAVE!
These dictators promoted GUN CONTROL.
“The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let’s not have any native militia or native police. German troops alone will bear the sole responsibility for the maintenance of law and order throughout the occupied Russian territories, and a system of military strong-points must be evolved to cover the entire occupied country.”
– Adolf Hitler, dinner talk on April 11, 1942
Nazi Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
“If the opposition disarms, well and good. If it refuses to disarm, we shall disarm it ourselves.”
– Joseph Stalin
In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. By 1987 that figure had risen to 61,911,000.
“The measures adopted to restore public order are: First of all, the elimination of the so-called subversive elements. … They were elements of disorder and subversion. On the morrow of each conflict I gave the categorical order to confiscate the largest possible number of weapons of every sort and kind. This confiscation, which continues with the utmost energy, has given satisfactory results.”
– Benito Mussolini, address to the Italian Senate, 1931
“All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.”
– Mao Tze Tung, Nov 6 1938
China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952 10,076,000 political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated in Kuomintang China, and by 1987 another 35,236,000 exterminations were carried out under the Communists.
“I did not join the resistance movement to kill people, to kill the nation. Look at me now. Am I a savage person? My conscience is clear.”
– Pol Pot
Cambodia established gun control in 1956. Between 1975 and 19793, 2,035,000 “educated” people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
During the short four years of its rule in Cambodia, Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge government murdered over 31 percent of the entire Cambodian population.
“Armas para que? (“Guns, for what?”)”
A response to Cuban citizens who said the people might need to keep their guns, after Castro announced strict gun control in Cuba.
– Fidel Castro
Beware of any politician that agrees with dictators!
“US Senator, If I could have banned them all – ‘Mr. and Mrs. America turn in your guns’ – I would have!”
– Diane Feinstein, Statement on TV program 60 Minutes, Feb 5 1995
Who do you agree with?
Americans promote gun rights to ensure FREEDOM.
Lovers of freedom promote GUN RIGHTS.
“A free people ought to be armed.”
– George Washington
“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government”
– Thomas Jefferson, 1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334
“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”
– Patrick Henry
“Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion in private self defense.”
– John Adams
“To disarm the people is the most effectual way to enslave them.”
– George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380
“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms.”
– James Madison, Federalist Paper #46
“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”
– William Pitt, Nov. 18, 1783
“The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.”
– Noah Webster, 1787
“That rifle on the wall of the labourer’s cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.”
– George Orwell
“If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
– The Dalai Lama, May 15, 2001, The Seattle Times
“Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest. If we want the Arms Act to be repealed, if we want to learn the use of arms, here is a golden opportunity. If the middle classes render voluntary help to Government in the hour of its trial, distrust will disappear, and the ban on possessing arms will be withdrawn.”
– Mohandas K. Gandhi
Here is what Richard Henry Lee,
the initiator of the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE said about guns:
“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”
– Richard Henry Lee, Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress, Initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights
Top 10 Anti-Gun Senators
To be anti-gun is to be a TRAITOR to American freedom.
“A free people ought to be armed.”
– George Washington
“Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
Even Gandhi was pro-gun!
These US senators agree with dictators like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tze Tung and Pol Pot. They want to destroy your freedom.
Help get these TRAITORS out of office by donating to their political opponents.
10. Mike DeWine (R.-Ohio)
Consistently the only Republican to speak in favor of anti-2nd Amendment legislation on the Senate floor.
9. Jack Reed (D.-R.I.)
The most vocal opponent on the Senate floor of congressional legislation to prevent lawsuits against firearms manufacturers based on the actions of criminals.
8. John Kerry (D.-Mass.)
Accepted a shotgun as a campaign gift from union officials, even though it would have been banned under a bill he cosponsored.
7. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D.-N.Y.)
Though just in her first term as an elected official, she campaigned for gun control while First Lady, advocating gun owner licensing, handgun registration and the retention by the federal government of records on lawful purchasers of firearms.
6. Frank Lautenberg (D.-N.J.)
Despite government studies showing that fewer than 1% of criminals get their guns from gun shows, Lautenberg sponsored legislation to run gun shows out of business.
5. Dianne Feinstein (D.-Calif.)
Sponsor of the much-vaunted assault-weapon ban of 1994-2004. Despite the ban’s having been found to have been misdirected and irrelevant to crime, Feinstein said she wished for a stronger law, one that would say, “Mr. and Mrs. America, turn [your firearms] all in.” Feinstein carried a handgun for her own protection in California.
4. Ted Kennedy (D.-Mass.)
A generation ago, this liberal lion sponsored legislation to ban and otherwise restrict handguns. He hasn’t let up a bit since.
3. Barbara Boxer (D.-Calif.)
Sponsor of bills to ban compact handguns, such as those commonly carried for protection, by making the legality of their manufacture in the U.S. contingent upon the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (BATFE) regulation permitting the same type of firearm to be imported. BATFE uses regulatory authority over firearms importation arbitrarily and, some say, illegally. Boxer hoped the BATFE would do the same with U.S.-made firearms.
2. Dick Durbin (D.-Ill.)
Minority whip is top anti-gun activist in his party’s Senate leadership and a reliable activist for anti-gun legislation in his own right.
1. Charles Schumer (D.-N.Y.)
Sponsor of legislation to ban firearms as “assault weapons,” to ban hunting, recreational, practice and defensive ammunition as “armor piercing,” and to impose a waiting period on handgun sales. The member of Congress who most seeks publicity for himself on gun-control issues.
0. Barack Hussein Obama – President
Obama is the most anti-gun president in US history. This places him in the same club as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tze Tung, Pol Pot, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, and all the other brutal dictators in history.
“To disarm the people… was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”
– George Mason, speech of June 14, 1788
Here is the list again:
0. Barack Hussein Obama – President
1. Charles Schumer (D.-N.Y.)
2. Dick Durbin (D.-Ill.)
3. Barbara Boxer (D.-Calif.)
4. Ted Kennedy (D.-Mass.) – Yaaay! The bastard is dead!
5. Dianne Feinstein (D.-Calif.)
6. Frank Lautenberg (D.-N.J.)
7. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D.-N.Y.)
8. John Kerry (D.-Mass.)
9. Jack Reed (D.-R.I.)
10. Mike DeWine (R.-Ohio)
Republics and Democracies
By Robert Welch
“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”
– Benjamin Franklin
“We are a Republican Government. Real liberty is never found in despotism or in the extremes of Democracy.”
– Alexander Hamilton
The Origin of the Idea of a Republic
The first scene in this drama, on which the curtain clearly lifts, is Greece of the Sixth Century B.C. The city of Athens was having so much strife and turmoil, primarily as between its various classes, that the wisest citizens felt something of a more permanent nature, rather than just a temporary remedy, had to be developed — to make possible that stability, internal peace, and prosperity which they had already come to expect of life in a civilized society. And through one of those fortunate accidents of history, which surprise us on one side by their rarity and on the other side by ever having happened at all, these citizens of Athens chose an already distinguished fellow citizen, named Solon, to resolve the problem for both their present and their future. They saw that Solon was given full power over every aspect of government and of economic life in Athens. And Solon, applying himself to the specific job, time, and circumstances, and perhaps without any surmise that he might be laboring for lands and centuries other than his own, proceeded to establish in “the laws of Solon” what amounted to, so far as we know, the first written regulations whereby men ever proposed to govern themselves. Undoubtedly even Solon’s decisions and his laws were but projections and syntheses of theories and practices which had already been in existence for a long time. And yet his election as Archon of Athens, in 594 B.C., can justly be considered as the date of a whole new approach to man’s eternal problem of government.
There is no question but that the laws and principles which Solon laid down both foreshadowed and prepared the way for all republics of later ages, including our own. He introduced, into the visible record of man’s efforts and progress, the very principle of “government by written and permanent law” instead of “government by incalculable and changeable decrees” (Will Durant). And he himself set forth one of the soundest axioms of all times, that it was a well-governed state “when the people obey the rulers and the rulers obey the laws.” This concept, that there were laws which even kings and dictators must observe, was not only new; I think it can be correctly described as “Western”.
Here was a sharp and important cleavage at the very beginning of our Western civilization, from the basic concept that always had prevailed in Asia, which concept still prevailed in Solon’s day, and which in fact remained unquestioned in the Asiatic mind and empires until long after the fall of the Roman Empire of the East, when Solon had been dead two thousand years.
The Tyrants of Democracy
Unfortunately, while Solon’s laws remained in effect in Athens in varying degrees of theory and practice for five centuries, neither Athens nor any of the Greek city-states ever achieved the form of a republic, primarily for two reasons. First, Solon introduced the permanent legal basis for a republican government, but not the framework for its establishment and continuation. The execution, observance, and perpetuation of Solon’s laws fell naturally and almost automatically into the hands of tyrants, who ruled Athens for long but uncertain periods of time, through changing forms and administrative procedures for their respective governments. And second, the Greek temperament was too volatile, the whole principle of self-government was too exciting — even through a dictator who might have to be overthrown by force — for the Athenians ever to finish the job Solon had begun, and bind themselves as well as their rulers down to the chains of an unchanging constitution. Even the authority of Solon’s laws had to be enforced and thus established by successive tyrants like Pisistratus and Cleisthenes, or they might never have amounted to anything more than a passing dream. The ideal was there, of rule according to written laws; that those laws were at times and to some extent honored or observed constituted one huge step towards — and fulfilled one prerequisite of — a true republic.
But the second great step, of a government framework as fixed and permanent as the basic laws were supposed to be, remained for the Romans and other heirs of Greece to achieve. As a consequence Athens — and the other Greek city-states which emulated it — remained politically as democracies, and eventually learned from their own experiences that it was probably the worst of all forms of government.
But out of the democracies of Greece, as tempered somewhat by the laws of Solon, there came as a direct spiritual descendant the first true republic the world has ever known. This was Rome in its earlier centuries, after the monarchy had been replaced. The period is usually given as from 509 B.C. to 49 B.C., Rome having got rid of its kings by the first of those dates, and having turned to the Caesars by the second. But the really important early date is 454 B.C., when the Roman Senate sent a commission to Greece to study and report on the legislation of Solon. The commission, consisting of three men, did its work well. On its return the Roman Assembly chose ten men — and hence called the Decemviri — to rule with supreme power while formulating a new code of laws for Rome. And in 454 B.C. they proposed, and the Assembly adopted, what were called The Twelve Tables. This code, based on Solon’s laws, became the written constitution of the Roman Republic.
The Twelve Tables, “amended and supplemented again and again — by legislation, praetorial edicts, senatus consulta, and imperial decrees — remained for nine hundred years the basic law of Rome” (Durant). At least in theory, and always to some extent in practice, even after Julius Caesar had founded the empire which was recognized as an empire from the time of Augustus. What was equally important, even before the adoption of The Twelve Tables, Rome had already established the framework, with firm periodicity for its public servants, of a republic in which those laws could be, and for a while would be, impartially and faithfully administered.
For, as a Roman named Gaius (and otherwise unknown) was to write in about 160 A.D., “all law pertains to persons, to property, and to procedure”. And for a satisfactory government you need as much concern about the implementation of those laws, the governmental agencies through which they are to be administered, and the whole political framework within which those laws form the basis of order and of justice, as with the laws themselves which constitute the original statute books. And the Romans contrived and — subject to the exceptions and changes inflicted on the pattern by the ambitions and cantankerous restlessness of human nature — maintained such a framework in actual practice for nearly five hundred years.
The Romans themselves referred to their government as having a “mixed constitution”. By this they meant that it had some of the elements of a democracy, some of the elements of an oligarchy, and some of those of an autocracy; but they also meant that the interest of all the various classes of Roman society were taken into consideration by the Roman constitutional government, rather than just the interests of some one class. Already the Romans were familiar with governments which had been founded by, and were responsible to, one class alone: especially “democracies,” as of Athens, which at times considered the rights of the proletariat as supreme; and oligarchies, as of Sparta, which were equally biased in favor of the aristocrats. Here again the Roman instinct and experience had led them to one of the fundamental requisites of a true republic.
Checks and Balances
In summary, the Romans were opposed to tyranny in any form; and the feature of government to which they gave the most thought was an elaborate system of checks and balances. In the early centuries of their republic, whenever they added to the total offices and officeholders, as often as not they were merely increasing the diffusion of power and trying to forestall the potential tyranny of one set of governmental agents by the guardianship or watchdog powers of another group. When the Tribunes were set up, for instance, around 350 B.C., their express purpose and duty was to protect the people of Rome against their own government. This was very much as our Bill of Rights was designed by our Founding Fathers for exactly the same purpose. And other changes in the Roman government had similar aims. The result was a civilization and a government which, by the time Carthage was destroyed, had become the wonder of the world, and which remained so in memory until the Nineteenth Century — when its glories began receding in the minds of men, because it was surpassed by those of the rising American Republic.
Now it should bring more than smiles, in fact it should bring some very serious reflections, to Americans, to realize what the most informed and penetrating Romans, of all eras, thought of their early republic.
It is both interesting, and significantly revealing, to find exactly the same arguments going on during the first centuries B.C. and A.D. about the sources of Roman greatness, that swirl around us today with regard to the United States. Cicero spoke of their “mixed constitution” as “the best form of government.” Polybius, in the second century, B.C., had spoken of it in exactly the same terms; and, going further, had ascribed Rome’s greatness and triumphs to its form of government. Livy, however, during the days of Augustus, wrote of the virtues that had made Rome great, before the Romans had reached the evils of his time, when, as he put it, “we can bear neither our diseases nor their remedies.” And those virtues were, he said, “the unity and holiness of family life, the pietas (or reverential attitude) of children, the sacred relation of men with the gods at every step, the sanctity of the solemnly pledged word, the stoic self-control and gravitas (or serious sense of responsibility).” Doesn’t that sound familiar?
But while many Romans gave full credit to both the Roman character and their early environment, exactly as we do with regard to American greatness today, the nature and excellence of their early government, and its contribution to the building of Roman greatness, were widely discussed and thoroughly recognized. And the ablest among them knew exactly what they were talking about.
“Democracy,” wrote Seneca, “is more cruel than wars or tyrants.”
“Without checks and balances,” Dr. Will Durant summarizes one statement of Cicero, “a monarchy becomes despotism, aristocracy becomes oligarchy, democracy becomes mob rule, chaos, and dictatorship.” And he quotes Cicero verbatim about the man usually chosen as leader by an ungoverned populace, as “someone bold and unscrupulous … who curries favor with the people by giving them other men’s property.”
If that is not an exact description of the leaders of the New Deal, the Fair Deal, and the New Frontier, I don’t know where you will find one. What Cicero was bemoaning was the same breakdown of the republic, and of its protection against such demagoguery and increasing “democracy”, as we have been experiencing. This breakdown was under exactly the same kind of pressures that have been converting the American Republic into a democracy, the only difference being that in Rome those pressures were not so conspiratorially well organized as they are in America today. Virgil, and many great Romans like him were, as Will Durant says, well aware that “class war, not Caesar, killed the Roman Republic.” In about 50 B.C., for instance, Sallust had been charging the Roman Senate with placing property rights above human rights. And we are certain that if Franklin D. Roosevelt had ever heard of Sallust or read one of Sallust’s speeches, he would have told somebody to go out and hire this man Sallust for one of his ghost writers at once.
About thirty years ago a man named Harry Atwood, who was one of the first to see clearly what was being done by the demagogues to our form of government, and the tragic significance of the change, wrote a book entitled Back to the Republic. It was an excellent book, except for one shortcoming. Mr. Atwood insisted emphatically, over and over, that ours was the first republic in history; that American greatness was due to our Founding Fathers having given us something entirely new in history, the first republic — which Mr. Atwood described as the “standard government”, or “the golden mean”, towards which all other governments to the right or the left should gravitate in the future.
Now the truth is that, by merely substituting the name “Rome” for the name “United States”, and making similar changes in nomenclature, Mr. Atwood’s book could have been written by Virgil or by Seneca, with regard to the conversion of the Roman Republic into a democracy. It is only to the extent we are willing to learn from history that we are able to avoid repeating its horrible mistakes. And while Mr. Atwood did not sufficiently realize this fact, fortunately our Founding Fathers did. For they were men who knew history well and were determined to profit by that knowledge.
Antonyms, Not Synonyms
Also, by the time of the American Revolution and Constitution, the meanings of the words “republic” and “democracy” had been well established and were readily understood. And most of this accepted meaning derived from the Roman and Greek experiences. The two words are not, as most of today’s Liberals would have you believe — and as most of them probably believe themselves — parallels in etymology, or history, or meaning. The word “democracy” (in a political rather than a social sense, of course) had always referred to a type of government, as distinguished from monarchy, or autocracy, or oligarchy, or principate. The word “republic”, before 1789, had designated the quality and nature of a government, rather than its structure. When Tacitus complained that “it is easier for a republican form of government to be applauded than realized”, he was living in an empire under the Caesars and knew it. But he was bemoaning the loss of that adherence to the laws and to the protections of the constitution which made the nation no longer a republic; and not to the fact that it was headed by an emperor.
The word democracy comes from the Greek and means, literally, government by the people. The word “republic” comes from the Latin, res publica, and means literally “the public affairs”. The word “commonwealth”, as once widely used, and as still used in the official title of my state, “the Commonwealth of Massachusetts”, is almost an exact translation and continuation of the original meaning of res publica. And it was only in this sense that the Greeks, such as Plato, used the term that has been translated as “republic.” Plato was writing about an imaginary “commonwealth”; and while he certainly had strong ideas about the kind of government this Utopia should have, those ideas were not conveyed nor foreshadowed by his title.
The historical development of the meaning of the word “republic” might be summarized as follows. The Greeks learned that, as Dr. Durant puts it, “man became free when he recognized that he was subject to law.” The Romans applied the formerly general term “republic” specifically to that system of government in which both the people and their rulers were subject to law. That meaning was recognized throughout all later history, as when the term was applied, however inappropriately in fact and optimistically in self-deception, to the “Republic of Venice” or to the “Dutch Republic”. The meaning was thoroughly understood by our Founding Fathers. As early as 1775 John Adams had pointed out that Aristotle (representing Greek thought), Livy (whom he chose to represent Roman thought), and Harington (a British statesman), all “define a republic to be — a government of laws and not of men.” And it was with this full understanding that our constitution-makers proceeded to establish a government which, by its very structure, would require that both the people and their rulers obey certain basic laws — laws which could not be changed without laborious and deliberate changes in the very structure of that government. When our Founding Fathers established a “republic”, in the hope, as Benjamin Franklin said, that we could keep it, and when they guaranteed to every state within that “republic” a “republican form” of government, they well knew the significance of the terms they were using. And were doing all in their power to make the feature of government signified by those terms as permanent as possible. They also knew very well indeed the meaning of the word “democracy”, and the history of democracies; and they were deliberately doing everything in their power to avoid for their own times, and to prevent for the future, the evils of a democracy.
The Founders Knew the Difference
Let’s look at some of the things they said to support and clarify this purpose. On May 31, 1787, Edmund Randolph told his fellow members of the newly-assembled Constitutional Convention that the object for which the delegates had met was “to provide a cure for the evils under which the United States labored; that in tracing these evils to their origin every man had found it in the turbulence and trials of democracy …”
The delegates to the Convention were clearly in accord with this statement. At about the same time another delegate, Elbridge Gerry, said: “The evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy. The people do not want (that is, do not lack) virtue; but are the dupes of pretended patriots.” And on June 21,1788, Alexander Hamilton made a speech in which he stated:
It had been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity.
Another time Hamilton said: “We are a Republican Government. Real liberty is never found in despotism or in the extremes of Democracy.” Samuel Adams warned: “Remember, Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself! There never was a democracy that ‘did not commit suicide’.” James Madison, one of the members of the Convention who was charged with drawing up our Constitution, wrote as follows:
… democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever 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.
Madison and Hamilton and Jay and their compatriots of the Convention prepared and adopted a Constitution in which they nowhere even mentioned the word “democracy”, not because they were not familiar with such a form of government, but because they were. The word “democracy” had not occurred in the Declaration of Independence, and does not appear in the constitution of a single one of our fifty states — which constitutions are derived mainly from the thinking of the Founding Fathers of the Republic — for the same reason. They knew all about democracies, and if they had wanted one for themselves and their posterity, they would have founded one. Look at all the elaborate system of checks and balances which they established; at the carefully worked-out protective clauses of the Constitution itself, and especially of the first ten amendments known as the Bill of Rights; at the effort, as Jefferson put it, to “bind men down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution”, and thus to solidify the rule not of men but of laws. All of these steps were taken, deliberately, to avoid and to prevent a democracy, or any of the worst features of a democracy, in the United States.
And so our Republic was started on its way. And for well over a hundred years our politicians, statesmen, and people remembered that this was a republic, not a democracy, and knew what they meant when they made that distinction. Again, let’s look briefly at some of the evidence.
Washington, in his first inaugural address, dedicated himself to “the preservation … of the republican model of government.” Thomas Jefferson, our third president, was the founder of the Democratic Party; but in his first inaugural address, although he referred several times to the Republic or the republican form of government he did not use the word “democracy” a single time. And John Marshall, who was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1801 to 1835, said: “Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.”
Throughout the Nineteenth Century and the early part of the Twentieth, while America as a republic was growing great and becoming the envy of the whole world, there were plenty of wise men, both in our country and outside of it, who pointed to the advantages of a republic, which we were enjoying, and warned against the horrors of a democracy, into which we might fall. Around the middle of that century, Herbert Spencer, the great English philosopher, wrote, in an article on The Americans: “The Republican form of government is the highest form of government; but because of this it requires the highest type of human nature — a type nowhere at present existing.” And in truth we have not been a high enough type to preserve the republic we then had, which is exactly what he was prophesying.
Thomas Babington Macaulay said: “I have long been convinced that institutions purely democratic must, sooner or later, destroy liberty or civilization, or both.” And we certainly seem to be in a fair way today to fulfill his dire prophecy. Nor was Macaulay’s contention a mere personal opinion without intellectual roots and substance in the thought of his times. Nearly two centuries before, Dryden had already lamented that “no government had ever been, or ever can be, wherein timeservers and blockheads will not be uppermost.” And as a result, he had spoken of nations being “drawn to the dregs of a democracy.” While in 1795 Immanuel Kant had written: “Democracy is necessarily despotism.”
In 1850 Benjamin Disraeli, worried as was Herbert Spencer at what was already being foreshadowed in England, made a speech to the British House of Commons in which he said: “If you establish a democracy, you must in due time reap the fruits of a democracy. You will in due season have great impatience of public burdens, combined in due season with great increase of public expenditure. You will in due season have wars entered into from passion and not from reason; and you will in due season submit to peace ignominiously sought and ignominiously obtained, which will diminish your authority and perhaps endanger your independence. You will in due season find your property is less valuable, and your freedom less complete.” Disraeli could have made that speech with even more appropriateness before a joint session of the United States Congress in 1935. In 1870 he had already come up with an epigram which is strikingly true for the United States today. “The world is weary”, he said, “of statesmen whom democracy has degraded into politicians.”
But even in Disraeli’s day there were similarly prophetic voices on this side of the Atlantic. In our own country James Russell Lowell showed that he recognized the danger of unlimited majority rule by writing: “Democracy gives every man the right to be his own oppressor.”
W. H. Seward pointed out that “Democracies are prone to war, and war consumes them.” This is an observation certainly borne out during the past fifty years exactly to the extent that we have been becoming a democracy and fighting wars, with each trend as both a cause and an effect of the other one. And Ralph Waldo Emerson issued a most prophetic warning when he said: “Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors.” If Emerson could have looked ahead to the time when so many of the editors would themselves be a part of, or sympathetic to, the gang of bullies, as they are today, he would have been even more disturbed. And in the 1880’s Governor Seymour of New York said that the merit of our Constitution was, not that it promotes democracy, but checks it.
Across the Atlantic again, a little later, Oscar Wilde once contributed this epigram to the discussion: “Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people, by the people, for the people.” While on this side, and after the First World War had made the degenerative trend in our government so visible to any penetrating observer, H. L. Mencken wrote: “The most popular man under a democracy is not the most democratic man, but the most despotic man. The common folk delight in the exactions of such a man. They like him to boss them. Their natural gait is the goosestep.” While Ludwig Lewisohn observed: “Democracy, which began by liberating men politically, has developed a dangerous tendency to enslave him through the tyranny of majorities and the deadly power of their opinion.”
The Prerequisite for Revolution
But it was a great Englishman, G. K. Chesterton, who put his finger on the basic reasoning behind all the continued and determined efforts of the Communists to convert our republic into a democracy. “You can never have a revolution”, he said, “in order to establish a democracy. You must have a democracy in order to have a revolution.”
And in 1931 the Duke of Northumberland, in his booklet, The History of World Revolution, stated: “The adoption of Democracy as a form of Government by all European nations is fatal to good Government, to liberty, to law and order, to respect for authority, and to religion, and must eventually produce a state of chaos from which a new world tyranny will arise.” While an even more recent analyst, Archibald E. Stevenson, summarized the situation as follows:
De Tocqueville once warned us that: ‘If ever the free institutions of America are destroyed, that event will arise from the unlimited tyranny of the majority.’ But a majority will never be permitted to exercise such ‘unlimited tryanny’ so long as we cling to the American ideals of republican liberty and turn a deaf ear to the siren voices now calling us to democracy. This is not a question relating to the form of government. That can always be changed by constitutional amendment. It is one affecting the underlying philosophy of our system — a philosophy which brought new dignity to the individual, more safety for minorities and greater justice in the administration of government. We are in grave danger of dissipating this splendid heritage through mistaking it for democracy.
And there have been plenty of other voices to warn us.
So — how did it happen that we have been allowing this gradual destruction of our inheritance to take place? And when did it start? The two questions are closely related.
For not only every democracy, but certainly every republic, bears within itself the seeds of its own destruction. The difference is that for a soundly conceived and solidly endowed republic it takes a great deal longer for those seeds to germinate and the plants to grow. The American Republic was bound — is still bound — to follow in the centuries to come the same course to destruction as did Rome. But our real ground of complaint is that we have been pushed down the demagogic road to disaster by conspiratorial hands, far sooner and far faster than would have been the results of natural political evolution.
These conspiratorial hands first got seriously to work in this country in the earliest years of the Twentieth Century. The Fabian philosophy and strategy was imported to America from England, as it had been earlier to England from Germany. Some of the members of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society, founded in 1905, and some of the members of the League for Industrial Democracy into which it grew, were already a part of, or affiliated with, an international Communist conspiracy, planning to make the United States a portion of a one-world Communist state. Others saw it as possible and desirable merely to make the United States a separate socialist Utopia. But they all knew and agreed that to do either they would have to destroy both the constitutional safeguards and the underlying philosophy which made it a republic. So, from the very beginning the whole drive to convert our republic into a democracy was in two parts. One part was to make our people come to believe that we had, and were supposed to have, a democracy. The second part was actually and insidiously to change the republic into a democracy.
The first appreciable and effective progress in both directions began with the election of Woodrow Wilson. Of Wilson it could accurately have been said, as Tacitus had said of some Roman counterpart: “By common consent, he would have been deemed capable of governing had he never governed.” Since he did become President of the United States for two terms, however, it is hard to tell how much of the tragic disaster of those years was due to the conscious support by Wilson himself of Communist purposes, and how much to his being merely a dupe and a tool of Colonel Edward Mandell House. But at any rate it is under Wilson that, for the first time, we see the power of the American presidency being used to support Communist schemers and Communist schemes in other countries — as especially, for instance, in Mexico, and throughout Latin America.
It was under Wilson, of course, that the first huge parts of the Marxist program, such as the progressive income tax, were incorporated into the American system. It was under Wilson that the first huge legislative steps to break down what the Romans would have called “our mixed constitution” of a republic, and convert it into the homogenous jelly of a democracy, got under way with such measures as the direct election of Senators. And it was under Wilson that the first great propaganda slogan was coined and emblazoned everywhere, to make Americans start thinking favorably of democracies and forget that we had a republic. This was, of course, the slogan of the first World War: “To make the world safe for democracy.” If enough Americans had, by those years, remembered enough of their own history, they would have been worrying about how to make the world safe from democracy. But the great deception and the great conspiracy were already well under way.
New Deal or Double Dealing?
The conspirators had to proceed slowly and patiently, nevertheless, and to have their allies and dupes do the same. For in the first place the American people could not have been swept too fast and too far in this movement without enough alarms being sounded to be heard and heeded. And in the second place, after the excitement of World War I had sunk into the past, and America was returning to what Harding called “normalcy”, there was a strong revulsion against the whole binge of demagoguery and crackpot idealism which had been created under Woodrow Wilson, and which had been used to give us this initial push on the road towards ultimate disaster. And during this period from 1920 until the so-called Great Depression could be deliberately accentuated, extended, and increased to suit the purposes of the Fabian conspirators, there was simply a germination period for the seeds of destruction which the conspirators had planted. Not until Franklin D. Roosevelt came to power in 1933 did the whole Communist-propelled and Communist-managed drive again begin to take visible and tangible and positive steps in their program to make the United States ultimately succumb to a one-world Communist tyranny. Most conservative Americans are today well aware of many of those steps and of their significance; but there are still not enough who realize how important to Communist plans was the two-pronged drive to convert the American republic into a democracy and to make the American people accept the change without even knowing there had been one. From 1933 on, however, that drive and that change moved into high gear, and have been kept there ever since.
Let’s look briefly at just two important and specific pieces of tangible evidence of this drive, and of its success in even those early years.
In 1928 the U.S. Army Training Manual, used for all of our men in army uniform, gave them the following quite accurate definition of a democracy:
A government of the masses. Authority — derived through mass meeting or any form of ‘direct’ expression. Results in mobocracy. Attitude toward property is communistic — negating property rights. Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it be based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences. Results in demagogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy.
That was in 1928. Just when that true explanation was dropped, and through what intermediate changes the definition went, I have not had sufficient time and opportunity to learn.
But compare that 1928 statement with what was said in the same place for the same use by 1952. In The Soldiers Guide, Department of the Army Field Manual, issued in June of 1952, we find the following:
Meaning of democracy. Because the United States is a democracy, the majority of the people decide how our government will be organized and run — and that includes the Army, Navy, and Air Force. The people do this by electing representatives, and these men and women then carry out the wishes of the people.
Now obviously this change from basic truth to superficial demagoguery, in the one medium for mass indoctrination of our youth which has been available to the Federal Government until such time as it achieves control over public education, did not just happen by accident. It was part of an overall design, which became both extensive in its reach and rapid in its execution from 1933 on. Let’s look at another, less important but equally striking, illustration.
Former Governor Lehman of New York, in his first inaugural message in 1933, did not once use the word “democracy”. The poison had not yet reached into the reservoirs from which flowed his political thoughts. In his inaugural message of 1935 he used the word “democracy” twice. The poison was beginning to work. In his similar message of 1939 he used the word “democracy”, or a derivative thereof, twenty-five times. And less than a year later, on January 3, 1940, in his annual message to the New York legislature, he used it thirty-three times. The poison was now permeating every stream of his political philosophy.
Spreading the Big Lie
By today that same poison has been diffused, in an effective dosage, through almost the whole body of American thought about government. Newspapers write ringing editorials declaring that this is and always was a democracy. In pamphlets and books and speeches, in classrooms and pulpits and over the air, we are besieged with the shouts of the Liberals and their political henchmen, all pointing with pride to our being a democracy. Many of them even believe it. Here we have a clear-cut sample of the Big Lie which has been repeated so often and so long that it is increasingly accepted as truth. And never was a Big Lie spread more deliberately for more subversive purposes. What is even worse, because of their unceasing efforts to destroy the safeguards, traditions, and policies which made us a republic, and partly because of this very propaganda of deception, what they have been shouting so long is gradually becoming truth. Despite Mr. Warren and his Supreme Court and all of their allies, dupes, and bosses, we are not yet a democracy. But the fingers in the dike are rapidly becoming fewer and less effective. And a great many of the pillars of our republic have already been washed away.
Since 1912 we have seen the imposition of a graduated income tax, as already mentioned. Also, the direct election of Senators. We have seen the Federal Reserve System established and then become the means of giving our central government absolute power over credit, interest rates, and the quantity and value of our money; and we have seen the Federal Government increasingly use this means and this power to take money from the pockets of the thrifty and put it in the hands of the thriftless, to expand bureaucracy, increase its huge debts and deficits, and to promote socialistic purposes of every kind.
We have seen the Federal Government increase its holdings of land by tens of millions of acres, and go into business, as a substitute for and in competition with private industry, to the extent that in many fields it is now the largest — and in every case the most inefficient — producer of goods and services in the nation. And we have seen it carry the socialistic control of agriculture to such extremes that the once vaunted independence of our farmers is now a vanished dream. We have seen a central government taking more and more control over public education, over communications, over transportation, over every detail of our daily lives.
We have seen a central government promote the power of labor-union bosses, and in turn be supported by that power, until it has become entirely too much a government of and for one class, which is exactly what our Founding Fathers wanted most to prevent.
We have seen the firm periodicity of the tenure of public office terrifically weakened by the four terms as President of Franklin D. Roosevelt, something which would justly have horrified and terrified the founders of our republic. It was the fact that, in Greece, the chief executive officers stayed in power for long periods, which did much to prevent the Greeks from ever achieving a republic. In Rome it was the rise of the same tendency, under Marius and Sulla and Pompey, and as finally carried to its logical state of life-rule under Julius Caesar, which at last destroyed the republic even though its forms were left. And that is precisely one reason why the Communists and so many of their Liberal dupes wanted third and fourth terms for FDR. They knew they were thus helping to destroy the American Republic.
We have seen both the Executive Department and the Supreme Court override and break down the clearly established rights of the states and state governments, of municipal governments, and of so many of those diffusers of power so carefully protected by the Constitution. Imagine, for instance, what James Madison would have thought of the Federal Government telling the city of Newburgh, New York, that it had no control over the abuse by the shiftless of its welfare handouts.
We have seen an utterly unbelievable increase in government by appointive officials and bureaucratic agencies — a development entirely contrary to the very concept of government expounded and materialized by our Constitution. And we have seen the effective checking and balancing of one department of our government by another department almost completely disappear.
Destroying Our Republic
James Madison, in trying to give us a republic instead of a democracy, wrote that “the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judicial, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be denounced as the very definition of tyranny.” The whole problem for the Liberal Establishment that runs our government today, and has been running it for many years regardless of the labels worn by successive administrations, has not been any divergence of beliefs or of purposes between the controlling elements of our executive, legislative or judicial branches. For twenty years, despite the heroic efforts of men like Taft to stop the trend, these branches have been acting increasingly in complete accord, and obviously according to designs laid down for them by the schemers and plotters behind the scenes. And their only question has been as to how fast the whole tribe dared to go in advancing the grand design. We do not yet have a democracy simply because it takes a lot of time and infinite pressures to sweep the American people all of the way into so disastrous an abandonment of their governmental heritage.
In the Constitution of the American Republic there was a deliberate and very extensive and emphatic division of governmental power for the very purpose of preventing unbridled majority rule. In our Constitution governmental power is divided among three separate branches of the national government, three separate branches of State governments, and the peoples of the several States. And the governmental power, which is so divided, is sometimes exclusive, sometimes concurrent, sometimes limited, at all times specific, and sometimes reserved. Ours was truly, and purposely, a “mixed constitution.”
In a democracy there is a centralization of governmental power in a simple majority. And that, visibly, is the system of government which the enemies of our republic are seeking to impose on us today. Nor are we “drifting” into that system, as Harry Atwood said in 1933, and as many would still have us believe. We are being insidiously, conspiratorially, and treasonously led by deception, by bribery, by coercion, and by fear, to destroy a republic that was the envy and model for all of the civilized world.
Finally, let’s look briefly at two or three important characteristics of our republic, and of our lives under the republic, which were unique in all history up to the present time.
First, our republic has offered the greatest opportunity and encouragement to social democracy the world has ever known. Just as the Greeks found that obedience to law made them free, so Americans found that social democracy flourished best in the absence of political democracy. And for sound reasons. For the safeguards to person and property afforded by a republic, the stable framework which it supplied for life and labor at all levels, and the resulting constant flux of individuals from one class into another, made caste impossible and snobbery a joke.
In the best days of our republic Americans were fiercely proud of the fact that rich and poor met on such equal terms in so many ways, and without the slightest trace of hostility. The whole thought expressed by Burns in his famous line, “a man’s a man for a’ that”, has never been accepted more unquestioningly, nor lived up to more truly, than in America in those wonderful decades before the intellectual snobs and power-drunk bureaucrats of our recent years set out to make everybody theoretically equal (except to themselves) by legislation and coercion. And I can tell you this. When you begin to find that Jew and Gentile, White and Colored, rich and poor, scholar and laborer, are genuinely and almost universally friendly to one another again — instead of going through all the silly motions of a phony equality forced upon them by increasing political democracy — you can be sure that we have already made great strides in the restoration of our once glorious republic.
And for a very last thought, let me point out what seems to me to be something about the underlying principles of the American Republic which really was new in the whole philosophy of government. In man’s earlier history, and especially in the Asiatic civilizations, all authority rested in the king or the conqueror by virtue of sheer military power. The subjects of the king had absolutely no rights except those given them by the king. And such laws or constitutional provisions as did grow up were concessions wrested from the king or given by him out of his own supposedly ultimate authority. In more modern European states, where the complete military subjugation of one nation by another was not so normal, that ultimate authority of the ruler came to rest on the theory of the divine right of kings, or in some instances and to some extent on power specifically bestowed on rulers by a pope as the representative of divinity.
In the meantime the truly western current of thought, which had begun in Greece, was recurrently, intermittently, and haltingly gaining strength. It was that the people of any nation owed their rights to the government which they themselves had established and which owed its power ultimately to their consent. Just what rights any individual citizen had was properly determined by the government which all of the citizens had established, and those rights were subject to a great deal of variations in different times and places under different regimes. In other words, the rights of individuals were still changeable rights, derived from government, even though the power and authority and rights of the government were themselves derived from the total body of the people.
The Key Word is “Inalienable”
Then both of these basic theories of government, the Eastern and the Western, were really amended for all time by certain principles enunciated in the American Declaration of Independence. Those principles became a part of the very foundation of our republic. And they said that man has certain inalienable rights which do not derive from government at all. Under this theory not only the Sovereign Conqueror, but the Sovereign People, are restricted in their power and authority by man’s natural rights, or by the divine rights of the individual man. And those certain inalienable and divine rights cannot be abrogated by the vote of a majority any more than they can by the decree of a conqueror. The idea that the vote of a people, no matter how nearly unanimous, makes or creates or determines what is right or just, becomes as absurd and unacceptable as the idea that right and justice are simply whatever a king says they are. Just as the early Greeks learned to try to have their rulers and themselves abide by the laws they had themselves established, so man has now been painfully learning that there are more permanent and lasting laws which cannot be changed by either sovereign kings or sovereign people, but which must be observed by both. And that government is merely a convenience, superimposed on Divine Commandments and on the natural laws that flow only from the Creator of man and man’s universe.
Now that principle seems to me to be the most important addition to the theory of government in all history. And it has, as I said, at least tacitly been recognized as a foundation stone and cardinal tenet of the American Republic. But of course any such idea that there are unchangeable limitations on the power of the people themselves is utterly foreign to the theory of a democracy, and even more impossible in the practices of one. And this principle may ultimately be by far the most significant of all the many differences between a republic and a democracy. For in time, under any government, without that principle slavery is inevitable, while with it slavery is impossible. And the American Republic has been the first great example of that principle at work.
The Constitution of the United States – Have you read it?
Here is the complete text of the U.S. Constitution. The original spelling and capitalization have been retained.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Section 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
Section 2. The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.
No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.
When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.
The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
Section 3. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.
Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.
No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.
The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.
The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.
The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.
Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of Honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.
Section 4. The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.
The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.
Section 5. Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.
Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.
Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.
Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.
Section 6. The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time: and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.
Section 7. All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.
Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.
Section 8. The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;–And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
Section 9. The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.
The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.
No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.
No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.
No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear or pay Duties in another.
No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.
Section 10. No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
Section 1. The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.
The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.
No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.
The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.
Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:–“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Section 2. The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.
Section 3. He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.
Section 4. The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Section 1. The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.
Section 2. The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;–to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;–to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;–to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;–to Controversies between two or more States;–between a State and Citizens of another State;–between Citizens of different States;–between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.
In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.
Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
Section 1. Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records, and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.
Section 2. The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.
A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.
No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.
Section 3. New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.
The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.
Section 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwith-standing.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.
Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth
In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,
George Washington–President and deputy from Virginia
New Hampshire: John Langdon, Nicholas Gilman
Massachusetts: Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King
Connecticut: William Samuel Johnson, Roger Sherman
New York: Alexander Hamilton
New Jersey: William Livingston, David Brearly, William Paterson, Jonathan Dayton
Pennsylvania: Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Mifflin, Robert Morris, George Clymer, Thomas FitzSimons, Jared Ingersoll, James Wilson, Gouverneur Morris
Delaware: George Read, Gunning Bedford, Jr., John Dickinson, Richard Bassett, Jacob Broom
Maryland: James McHenry, Daniel of Saint Thomas Jenifer, Daniel Carroll
Virginia: John Blair, James Madison, Jr.
North Carolina: William Blount, Richard Dobbs Spaight, Hugh Williamson
South Carolina: John Rutledge, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Charles Pinckney, Pierce Butler
Georgia: William Few, Abraham Baldwin
Source: The Pennsylvania Packet, September 19, 1787