Search Blog Posts

Monday, October 14, 2013

Before Ye Judge: The Anti-Federalist Papers - Errors and Omissions of Our Constitution

Rightfully so, most Americans  in school learned of the Federalist Papers. These are the Antifederalist Papers which essentially were opposed to ratification of the Constitution in its present form at the time. You will be amazed at the wisdom and foresight of our Founders.

Now that we've got it clear that America's never had a "civil" war, but only wars of secession, we can move on. If you can't get around this pothole there's no sense in continuing, and ask you to please turn back.

Don't we just lament today that our leaders are not only corrupt, but lack such dignified knowledge! I'm certain there are other Ron Pauls out there that are honorable and faithful. We must find them, encourage them, and support them. I found one such individual over 30 years ago in Schenectady, NY who would have been my candidate. But, in our morally crippled, uninformed electorate climate, the likelihood of his election would have been tenuous. Furthermore, he was frightful he may be corrupted and foresake his oath, losing faith in his redeemer.  Precisely the character and reverence to God our country is screaming for!

Here's a glimpse at just one. The Index is listed afterwards. Carefully selected reading is the best method of self-education. Begin now.

Federalist Power Will Ultimately Subvert State Authority

"...The judicial power of the United States is to be vested in a supreme court, and in such inferior courts as Congress may, from time to time, ordain and establish. The powers of these courts are very extensive; their jurisdiction comprehends all civil causes, except such as arise between citizens of the same State; and it extends to all cases in law and equity arising under the Constitution. One inferior court must be established, I presume, in each State, at least, with the necessary executive officers appendant thereto. It is easy to see, that in the common course of things, these courts will eclipse the dignity, and take away from the respectability, of the State courts. These courts will be, in themselves, totally independent of the States, deriving their authority from the United States, and receiving from them fixed salaries; and in the course of human events it is to be expected that they will swallow up all the powers of the courts in the respective States...." [end snippet]
 Charles Holt

Charles Holt, editor of the Democratic-Republican journal New London Bee, was indicted in October 1799 as “a wicked, malicious, seditious and ill-disposed person … greatly disaffected to the government of the United States” and charged with sedition after writing an article in the Bee critical of Alexander Hamilton and the standing army he commanded.

The Bee had the misfortune of being the most active Democratic-Republican journal in Connecticut, the most Federalist of all the states. Holt’s two main sources of advertising revenue, merchants and the government, were predominantly Federalists who refused to subsidize the Bee’s strong anti-Federalist views. They also both worked to restrict the size of Holt’s subscription base and readership, declaring to New London’s tradesmen and laborers that they would “employ no man that takes the Bee.”

In the months between his arrest and trial, Holt’s journal became even more partisan. He began to publish a regular roster of Sedition Act defendants all over the country, pointedly appending it to a list of British journalists victimized by repression in their country. This commitment continued after Holt’s release and changed the course of his life. He became an active participant in the electoral process by tracking and lauding Republican electoral successes and by printing a biography of Thomas Jefferson in an effort to alleviate fears about Jefferson’s alleged atheism and libertinism. These and other publications made Holt’s Bee the most influential and effective Democratic-Republican journal in the nation.

During Holt’s trial in April 1800, the crowds gathered to witness the hearings became so large that it was necessary to adjourn to a meetinghouse to accommodate spectators. Holt pleaded not guilty, resting his defense upon the unconstitutionality of the Sedition Act and his innocence of any evil intent in publishing the alleged libel. He had published, he said, only “moral arguments against the vices and abuses of military establishments, and an army confessedly useless, and subsequently abolished.” The judge in the case, however, disagreed. Justice Bushrod Washington upheld the constitutionality of the Sedition Act and pronounced Holt’s publication as seditious libel. Holt was sentenced to six months in jail and fined $200. The Bee suspended publication for a few weeks following Holt’s sentence, but with the aid of new capital Holt resumed his editorial duties from his prison cell.


Antifederalist Papers Index*

Anti-federalist No. 1: General Introduction: A Dangerous Plan of Benefit Only to The "Aristocratick Combination."
Anti-federalist No. 2: We Have Been Told of Phantoms.
Anti-federalist No. 3: New Constitution Creates a National Government; Will Not Abate Foreign Influence;
Dangers of Civil War And Despotism.
Anti-federalist No. 4: Foreign Wars, Civil Wars, and Indian Wars -- Three Bugbears.
Anti-federalist No. 5: Scotland and England -- A Case in Point.
Anti-federalist No. 6: The Hobgoblins of Anarchy And Dissensions Among The States.
Anti-federalist No. 7: Adoption of The Constitution Will Lead to Civil War.
Anti-federalist No. 8: The Power Vested in Congress of Sending Troops For Suppressing Insurrections
Will Always Enable Them to Stifle The First Struggles of Freedom.
Anti-federalist No. 9: A Consolidated Government Is a Tyranny.
Anti-federalist No. 10: On The Preservation of Parties, Public Liberty Depends.
Anti-federalist No. 11: Unrestricted Power Over Commerce Should Not Be Given The National Government.
Anti-federalist No. 12: How Will The New Government Raise Money?
Anti-federalist No. 13: The Expense of The New Government.
Anti-federalist No. 14: Extent of Territory Under Consolidated Government Too Large
to Preserve Liberty or Protect Property.
Anti-federalist No. 15: Rhode Island Is Right!
Anti-federalist No. 16: Europeans Admire And Federalists Decry The Present System.
Anti-federalist No. 17: Federalist Power Will Ultimately Subvert State Authority.
Anti-federalist No. 18-20: What Does History Teach? (Part I)
What Does History Teach? (Part II)
Anti-federalist No. 21: Why The Articles Failed.
Anti-federalist No. 22: Articles of Confederation Simply Requires Amendments,
Particularly For Commercial Power And Judicial Power; Constitution Goes Too Far.
Anti-federalist No. 23: Certain Powers Necessary For The Common Defense, Can And Should Be Limited.
Anti-federalist No. 24: Objections to a Standing Army. (Part I)
Anti-federalist No. 25: Objections to a Standing Army. (Part II)
Anti-federalist No. 26: The Use of Coercion by The New Government. (Part 1)
Anti-federalist No. 27: The Use of Coercion by The New Government. (Part 2)
Anti-federalist No. 28: The Use of Coercion by The New Government. (Part 3)
Anti-federalist No. 29: Objections to National Control of the Militia.
Anti-federalist No. 30-31: A Virginia Anti-federalist on the Issue of Taxation.
Anti-federalist No. 32: Federal Taxation and the Doctrine of Implied Powers. (Part I)
Anti-federalist No. 33: Federal Taxation and the Doctrine of Implied Powers. (Part II)
Anti-federalist No. 34: The Problem of Concurrent Taxation.
Anti-federalist No. 35: Federal Taxing Power must Be Restrained.
Anti-federalist No. 36: Representation and Internal Taxation.
Anti-federalist No. 37: Factions and the Constitution.
Anti-federalist No. 38: Some Reactions to Federalist Arguments.
Anti-federalist No. 39: Appearance and Reality-- the Form Is Federal; the Effect Is National.
Anti-federalist No. 40: On the Motivations and Authority of the Founding Fathers.
Anti-federalist No. 41-43: The Quantity of Power The Union Must Possess Is One Thing;
The Mode of Exercising The Powers Given Is Quite a Different Consideration. (Part I)
Anti-federalist No. 41-43: The Quantity of Power the Union must Possess Is One Thing;
the Mode of Exercising the Powers Given Is Quite a Different Consideration. (Part II)
Anti-federalist No. 44: What Congress Can Do; What a State Can Not.
Anti-federalist No. 45: Powers of National Government Dangerous to State Governments;
New York as an Example.
Anti-federalist No. 46: Where Then Is the Restraint?
Anti-federalist No. 47: "Balance" of Departments Not Achieved under New Constitution.
Anti-federalist No. 48: No Separation of Departments Results in No Responsibility.
Anti-federalist No. 49: On Constitutional Conventions. (Part I)
Anti-federalist No. 50: On Constitutional Conventions. (Part 2)
Anti-federalist No. 51: Do Checks and Balances Really Secure the Rights of the People?
Anti-federalist No. 52: On the Guarantee of Congressional Biennial Elections.
Anti-federalist No. 53: A Plea for the Right of Recall.
Anti-federalist No. 54: Apportionment And Slavery: Northern And Southern Views.
Anti-federalist No. 55: Will the House of Representatives Be Genuinely Representative? (Part 1)
Anti-federalist No. 56: Will the House of Representatives Be Genuinely Representative? (Part 2)
Anti-federalist No. 57: Will the House of Representatives Be Genuinely Representative? (Part 3)
Anti-federalist No. 58: Will the House of Representatives Be Genuinely Representative? (Part 4)
Anti-federalist No. 59: The Danger of Congressional Control of Elections.
Anti-federalist No. 60: Will the Constitution Promote the Interests of Favorite Classes?
Anti-federalist No. 61: Questions and Comments on the Constitutional Provisions
Regarding the Election of Congressmen.
Anti-federalist No. 62: On the Organization and Powers of the Senate. (Part 1)
Anti-federalist No. 63: On the Organization and Powers of the Senate. (Part 2)
Anti-federalist No. 64: On the Organization and Powers of the Senate. (Part 3)
Anti-federalist No. 65: On the Organization and Powers of the Senate. (Part 4)
Anti-federalist No. 66: On The Power of Impeachment
Anti-federalist No. 67: Various Fears Concerning the Executive Department.
Anti-federalist No. 68: On the Mode of Electing the President.
Anti-federalist No. 69: The Character of the Executive Office.
Anti-federalist No. 70: The Powers and Dangerous Potentials of His Elected Majesty.
Anti-federalist No. 71: The Presidential Term of Office.
Anti-federalist No. 72: On The Electoral College; on Re-eligibility of the President.
Anti-federalist No. 73: Does the Presidential Veto Power Infringe on the Separation of Departments?
Anti-federalist No. 74: The President as Military King.
Anti-federalist No. 75: A Note Protesting the Treaty-making Provisions of the Constitution.
Anti-federalist Nos. 76-77: An Anti-federalist View of the Appointing Power under the Constitution.
Anti-federalist Nos. 78-79: The Power of the Judiciary. (Part 1)
Anti-federalist No. 80: The Power of the Judiciary. (Part 2)
Anti-federalist No. 81: The Power of the Judiciary. (Part 3)
Anti-federalist No. 82: The Power of the Judiciary. (Part 4)
Anti-federalist No. 83: The Federal Judiciary and the Issue of Trial by Jury.
Anti-federalist No. 84: On the Lack of a Bill of Rights.
Anti-federalist No. 85: Concluding Remarks: Evils under Confederation Exaggerated;
Constitution must Be Drastically Revised Before Adoption.
*The Anti-Federalist Papers, Edited with an Introduction by Morton Borden, Michigan State University Press, 1965, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 65-17929.   I encourage you to obtain  the book by Borden and review the editorial comments and background information on these writings.   As it was with those in favor of the proposed constitution, there were a number of writers who were opposed to its ratification. Although not as organized as the proponents of the constitution, a number of these writers in disparate portions of the new states made several significant points which, though they did not carry the day in the constitutional ratification debates, did raise important issues for the new American republic. Some of the issues raised in these papers resulted in the adoption of the Bill of Rights, and have impacted some decisions of the United States Supreme Court on important constitutional questions. GWR.