Friday, July 3, 2009

The united States of America

The little u in the title is not a mistake. Nor was it a mistake when it was written with a little u in the Declaration of Independence. The beginning of the Declaration is what most people remember, but the end really shows where we planned to go.

"We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."

It wasn't that we were a fee and independent nation, but the colonies were free and independent states. If you have any question at all over the issue of the rights of the states vs the rights of the federal government, this paragraph from the Declaration of Independence should tell you what you need to know. The federal government was established to make interstate commerce easier, and to ensure the same basic principles for each, but the states were still Free and Independent. At least that was the plan.

Think the EU (European Union) and you have what the federal government was supposed to be. It was the federal government because it was a federation of the states. And what is a federation? One definition I found was this; the act of constituting a political unity out of a number of separate states or colonies or provinces so that each member retains the management of its internal affairs This is basically what the EU is also supposed to be. The European Union was created to help the European nations work together and improve commerce. They have developed a single market through a standardised system of laws which apply in all member states, ensuring the freedom of movement of people, goods and capital. This defined from their treaty. So the EU actually mirrors what our federal government was supposed to be.

The EU is also strongly suggesting that North America follow in it's footsteps and create a similar union of our nations. And we're resisting, because we know that these federations or unions will eventually usurp the power of the independent member states in the union. Gee, why would we think that? Maybe because we have seen our federal government take more and more power from it's own member states, and we're watching the EU attempt to do the same thing.

The Constitution protected the right of the states in the Bill of Rights with the 10th amendment. That amendment is very straightforward in saying that anything not specified in the Constitution reverted to the power of the states. It preserved the states Independence and power over their own internal workings. But somehow, the 4,000 words of our Constitution manages to include everything that ever was or ever could be. At least that's how it's interpreted, because fewer and fewer issues are believed to be the right of the state to decide.

I don't believe that we should be 50 nations instead of 1, but I do believe that the rights of the individual states should be protected, and that we need to know what we were supposed to be and compare it to what we've become.

As we celebrate our nations Independence, more important the the fireworks, friends and food, is the memory and the understanding of our own history as a nation. Perhaps the reading of the Declaration of Independence should be as much a part of the celebration as the hotdogs and the fireworks.

God Bless America!


  1. People forget what the original documents were meant to express. Take the preamble to the Constitution for example.

    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.

    This is why the Constitution was institued. The preamble has no strength as law, yet it is sometimes used as an interpretation as to what the framers of the Constitution intended. Sometimes that interpretation is a strech as it gives the Federal Government powers never meant.
    It's the "promote the general welfare" that seems to be the problem. What's general welfare? Whatever the government chooses!!!

  2. The federal government does use that "promote the general welfare" as a catch all. They end up paying more attention to that than the more important, "provide for the common defense", not to mention the "ensure the blessing of liberty".