We’ve all been taught in school that the Founders of the United States of America fought a revolution that freed the colony from British rule. That much is true. They even drew up a list of complaints to explain why that revolution was necessary, which was published as The Declaration of Independence. In it they clearly enumerated the instances of tyranny that the colonists would no longer passively endure, but also laid out the principles of democracy they wished to establish:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
The lie we were taught to believe is that the Constitution of the United States of America established such a government and was the legitimate result and continuation of the revolution. It was not. It was a counterrevolutionary document and it totally betrayed the revolution.
It was not at all self-evident to the Framers that all men are created equal. In the Constitution they counted some men as equal but others as only three fifths persons. This was done to placate the slave-holding states into ratifying the Constitution.1
The Framers not only didn’t secure the unalienable rights of Blacks to liberty, but denied those rights by allowing slavery, which is the opposite of liberty, to continue.
Although the Founders stated clearly that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, the new Constitution didn’t bother to ask for the consent of the majority of the governed. Blacks, Native Americans, indentured servants, women, and landless workers were certainly to be governed under the new Constitution, but they were not granted the right to vote. White male landowners were allowed to vote, but to ensure that the United States would be a plutocracy where those who owned the country ruled it, even their votes were not granted the decisive role they would have in a democracy. They were prohibited from voting for Senators or for President and Vice-President, and the Constitution made Congress, not citizens, the sole “Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members….” There was no guarantee that the popular vote even had to be counted, no less taken into account, and it could be overridden by the Electoral College, Congress, or the Supreme Court.
The revolution, fought to establish equality and democracy, had been betrayed by a Constitution that condoned inequality and established a plutocracy.
But the Framers didn’t stop there. In their counterrevolutionary zeal, and against the wishes of Thomas Jefferson and other delegates, they gave an unelected body, the Supreme Court, the power to made decisions that could not be appealed. Such totalitarian power in the hands of unelected people is contrary to the most basic principles of democracy. This was exactly the sort of power that King George had and that the colonists revolted against. They were able to, and frequently did, petition the king for redress of grievances, but they had no vote in his decisions and his edicts could not be appealed. In establishing the Supreme Court, the Framers once again betrayed the revolution and established an undemocratic distribution of power that the Founders had shed blood to rid us of.
There are many more examples, some of which I’ve mentioned in my other writings, but these should suffice to demonstrate that the Constitution of the United States of America was a counterrevolutionary document and a betrayal of the democratic principles set out in the Declaration of Independence.
1. Slavery’s Constitution: From Revolution to Ratification, by David Waldstreicher
There were three who refused to sign.
Submitted by folkie on 14 May 2011 – 2:43pm.
They were George Mason, Edmund Randolph, and Elbridge Gerry. Most sources say that they preferred States’ Rights to centralized government, but Wiki has this to say:
George Mason: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Mason
“Like anti-federalist Patrick Henry, Mason was a leader of those who pressed for the addition of explicit States rights and individual rights to the U.S. Constitution as a balance to the increased federal powers, and did not sign the document in part because it lacked such a statement. His efforts eventually succeeded in convincing the Federalists to add the first ten amendments of the Constitution. These amendments, collectively known as the Bill of Rights, were based on the earlier Virginia Declaration of Rights, which Mason had drafted in 1776.
On the nagging issue of slavery, Mason walked a fine line. Although a slaveholder himself, he found slavery repugnant for a variety of reasons. He wanted to ban further importation of slaves from Africa and prevent slavery from spreading to more states. However, he did not want the new federal government to be able to ban slavery where it already existed, because he anticipated that such an act would be difficult and controversial.”
Edmund Randoph: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Randolph
“….as a delegate from Virginia to the Constitutional Convention, Randolph introduced the Virginia Plan as an outline for a new national government. He argued against importation of slaves and in favor of a strong central government, advocating a plan for three chief executives from various parts of the country. The Virginia Plan also proposed two houses, where in both of them delegates were chosen based on state population. Randolph additionally proposed, and was supported by unanimous approval by the Convention’s delegates, “that a Nationally Judiciary be established” (Article III of the constitution established the federal court system). The Articles of Confederation lacked a national court system for the United States.
Randolph was also a member of the “Committee of Detail” which was tasked with converting the Virginia Plan’s 15 resolutions into a first draft of the Constitution. Randolph refused to sign the final document, however, believing it had insufficient checks and balances, and published an account of his objections in October 1787. He nevertheless reversed his position at the Virginia Ratifying Convention in 1788 and voted for ratification of the Constitution because eight other states had already done so, and he did not want to see Virginia left out of the new national government.”
Elbridge Gerry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elbridge_Gerry
Although Gerry voted against the Constitution, he became a Federalist and a strong supporter of the new government soon afterward, according to Wiki. But he is better known for something else:
“In 1812 the word “gerrymander” was coined when the Massachusetts legislature redrew the boundaries of state legislative districts to favor Governor Gerry’s party. The Governor’s strategy was to encompass most of the state’s Federalists, allowing them to win in that district while his party, the Democratic-Republicans, took control of all the other districts in the state. The term eventually became part of world political vocabulary, and the practice is still in use today.”
But those three weren’t the only ones who didn’t approve of the new Constitution. Some refused to attend the Convention, while others left early in protest:
That site is copyrighted, so I’m just going to post a brief quote. You’ll have to go to the link and scroll down to the 5th Section, headed “Signatories” to see the list.
Only thirty-nine people signed the finished product of the Constitutional Convention. In all, seventy-four people were selected to attend the Convention, but only fifty-five actually attended. Some of these left before the Convention was complete, some for personal reasons, some to protest the Constitution. Others remained at the Convention until the end, but then refused to sign. The following is a list of those delegates who attended the Convention but who did not sign the Constitution, and the reason they did not sign:
So not only wasn’t the Constitution of the United States written by “We the People,” it was written and signed by only about half of the plutocrats who were selected to attend the Constitutional Convention. Perhaps it should have started out, “We, half the representatives of the oligarchs of the United States of America…..”
I too began to understand what happened in the United States as a result of watching what was happening in Egypt, rossi. Although they threw Mubarak and a few other figureheads under the bus, the Mubarak regime is still in power and is now calling itself the revolutionary government despite the fact that not a single revolutionary is part of that government, and they have continued the policies of the old regime with regard to arresting and torturing protesters and maintaining the state of emergency. The regime appointed a committee to write a new Constitution and the people of Egypt will, at best, have only a vote as to whether they approve or disapprove of the new Constitution, without having had any direct input into what it contains. And even with the formation of divisive political parties and new elections, Egyptians will not be able to elect the head of the army or other people who will continue to have more power than any elected President. It is almost exactly what the Framers of the US Constitution did, and watching it happen in Egypt helped me see how it also happened here.
More about the sleazy way it was pushed through and how corrupt it was always intended to be.
The Constitution: The God that Failed (to Liberate us From Big Government). by Bill Buppert
No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority by Lysander Spooner.