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Covenants, Contracts, and Constitutions

Covenants, Part 1

The Party of the First Part

    In America the Constitution of the United States is considered by many to be a sacred document. Some even proclaim it as divinely inspired. With great pride and pomp it is hailed as the source of the United States' success as a nation and the fountainhead of its freedoms and fortunes.

    The Party of the First Part

    Prior to the fourteenth amendment, "No private person has a right to complain, by suit in court, on the ground of a breach of Constitution. The constitution it is true, is a compact, but he is not a party to it. The states are party to it." 1

    If the individual freeman was not a party to the Constitution, then the constitution was not "a government of the people" or "by the people", at least as "private persons" but only those people who signed the compact and those state governments in their limited and legal capacity. If the Constitution is a compact or contract then there is no contract or contracting away of rights of the people in general at its signing or ratification. Those who signed did not have the rights of the people in their possession at the time. The States could invest no rights in the Federal government that were not theirs to begin with and if they did so they would have to do it according to the contract that granted their existence. In any case the people were not a party to the Constitution.

    Did the people want the constitution?

    The Quiet Revolution

    The Declaration of Independence was not a declaration of the people's revolt against lawful government but it was a clarification of the revolt and usurpation of the crown against the People.

    America was already a republic composed of free men before the declaration of independence. In colonial America, "The ordinary citizen, living on his farm, owned in fee simple, untroubled by any relics of Feudalism, untaxed save by himself, saying his say to all the world in townmeetings, had gained a new self-reliance. Wrestling with his soul and plow on week days, and the innumerable points of the minister's sermon on Sundays and meeting days, he was becoming a tough nut for any imperial system to crack."2

    "An absolute or fee-simple estate is one in which the owner is entitled to the entire property, with unconditional power of disposition during his life, and descending to his heirs and legal representatives upon his death intestate."3

    They possessed not only the title to the land but the "beneficial interest" and therefore could not be taxed. It was this freehold title that men came to this country to find not land for free but a free land. Men paid dearly to obtain such "true and actual title".

    "The first farmer was the first man, and all historic nobility rests on possession and use of Land." 4 From the earliest times it was understood that the right of dominion over land was essential to liberty. Even the word, "Freeman" means "the possessors of allodial lands."5 "For as labor cannot produce without the use of land, the denial of the equal right to the "use" of land is necessarily the denial of the right of labor to its own produce."6

    In Lansing vs Smith 21 D. 89 it is written, "People of a state are entitled to all rights which formerly belonged to the king by his prerogative." Freedom in America was not due to the collective Declaration of Independence but rather the result of tens of thousands of individual independent declarations in words and deeds. Those declarations began a century before and at the success of that conflict the freeman was truly king of his castle under God alone.

    Samuel Adams stated, on August 1, 1776 within one month of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, "Our Union is complete; our constitution composed, established, and approved. You are now the guardians of your own liberties. We may justly address you, as the decemviri did the Romans, and say: 'Nothing that we propose can pass into law without your consent.' Be yourself, O Americans, the authors of those laws on which your happiness depends."

    Why would we need another constitution? All the power of governing yourself was in the hands of the individual freeman. Who did want the Constitution of the United States? Who could impose it on the freeman? Where does it get its power and lawful authority? To understand this process of governmental power, authority and growth is to understand rights and the loss of rights.

    Today, many consider the constitution as sacred --- but not those who had won a great freedom through a century of sacrifice and hardship. They feared and opposed it. And that generation who had secured their free dominion against an unwarranted usurpation and tyranny opposed those "great words" and its compact. They did not war against it because it was not a compact with them nor did it have much influence over them or their lives.

    "Just as the revolutionary Adams opposed the Constitution in Massachusetts, so did Patrick Henry in Virginia, and the contest in that most important State of all was prolonged and bitter. He who in Stamp Act days had proclaimed that there should be no Virginians or New Yorkers, but only Americans, now declaimed as violently against the preamble of the Constitution because it began, 'We the people of the United States' instead of 'We, the State.' Like many, he feared a 'consolidated' government, and the loss of states rights. Not only Henry but much abler men, such as Mason, Benjamin Harrison, Munroe, R.H. Lee, were also opposed and Debated... others in what was the most acute discussion carried on anywhere..."

    "Owing to the way in which the conventions were held, the great opposition manifested everywhere, and the management required to secure the barest majorities for ratification, it seems impossible to avoid the conclusion that the greater part of the people were opposed to the Constitution."

    "It was not submitted to the people directly, and in those days of generally limited suffrage, even those who vote for delegates to the State conventions were mostly of a propertied class, although the amount of property called for may been slight."9

    Limited suffrage dependent upon the ownership of property was not an arbitrary concept but an essential quality of a free state or nation. This has been true since the most ancient of times and is still true to this day. It was originally part of the constitution, yet deleted before a form of ratification. Its removal then --- and absence now --- is an important point to consider and understand but must be dealt with elsewhere.

    When the Constitution was ready to be submitted to the Governors of the states for ratification in 1787, Patrick Henry lectured against it in the Virginia State House for three weeks, criticizing the Constitution, warning that it had been written "as if good men will take office!" He asked "what they would do when evil men took office?" "When evil men take office, the whole gang will be in collusion," he declared, "and they will keep the people in utter ignorance and steal their liberty by ambuscade!" He further warned that the new federal government had too much money and too much power and it would consolidate power unto itself, converting us "into one solid empire." And the President with the treaty power would "lead in the treason."

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Footnotes:

1 Supreme Court of Georgia, Padelford, Fay ∓mp; Co. vs Mayor and Alderman, City of Savannah, 14 Ga. 438,520 (1854)

2 History of the U.S. Vol.1 James Truslow Adams, p. 176.

3 Black's 3rd Ed. p. 761.

4 Emerson.

5 liberi. In Saxon Law - Blacks 3rd. Also Oxford Dictionary

6 Henry George - Progress and Poverty. Bk. VII. Ch. I.

7 Cecil B. DeMille in "The Ten Commandments."

8 James Madison.

9 History of the United States by J.T. Adams V.I 258-259.

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