There are a number of fallacies about our country from what our constitution is, to how the states fit into it, to what the founders even intended our country to be. This section will deal with these topics and attempt to help sort them out with historical facts and evidence. You will find that what you have been taught in school is very different from actual history.
Part 1 – Nation Or Sovereign States – Which Came First?
The question of whether the States were independent sovereignties before the adoption of the Constitution has long been a subject of controversy. The issue is fundamental to States’ Rights claims and therefore deserves close attention. This video briefly examines the status of the 13 Colonies before the ratification of the Constitution in the words of the ratifiers and representatives of the people to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.
Part 2 – National Supremacy Or Dual Sovereignty
Many people think the Federal Government is supreme in all things with the states being little more than irrelevant boundaries on a map. But, is this what the Constitution established? Is this what the Founders envisioned when constructing it? Despite what the talking heads on television will tell you today, THIS IS NOT TRUE! The following video outlines, in the founders own words, how the powers were to be distributed between the Federal and the State Governments under the Constitution. The State Governments retained sovereignty and powers that could not be encroached upon by the Federal Government.
Dual Federalism – The Relationship Between The States and the Federal Government
Was our governmental system designed to allow for 546 elite few to rule? Or have one law fit every person or situation in a nation of 314 million? We all remember learning the balance of powers relating to the government. And learning that diagram showing the delineation of power between the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches of government keeping each other in check.
But, did you know there is another diagram of the separation of power between the Federal and the State governments? One that was devised under the Constitution and our founding fathers as well? This video focuses on the separation between federal and state powers and where are the lines separating them.
America: The Nationalist Vs. The Compact View
One of the biggest clashes that many people have is not left vs. right or Democrat vs. Republican. It is the Nationalist vs. The Compact View of the Union. Thought many may not be familiar with the terms, many have already planted their flag in one of these camps when viewing America.
The Nationalist’s say that the Federal Government is supreme and the States have very little say in the American Political Arena. The Compact Theorists argue that not only do the states have a say, they are entitled to their sovereignty when dealing with issues concerning things within their domain and concerning their citizens. This fight has been raging since before the ink was even dry on the Constitution. So, what does history say? The following video gives analysis of the Nationalist vs. the Compact view of our Nation in an historical context.
The Primary Constitutional Clauses Used To Encroach On The States
As the previous video above explained, there were clear lines between the States and the Federal Government. Each was to stay on their side so as to allow the people the fullest enjoyment of their Liberties. However, as most everyone today will realize, our Federal Government is no longer one of limited size and power. So, how did this happen. Well, any time the Federal Government ends up in court, it is usually because it has taken actions that are not authorized by the Constitution. The Federal Government must then demonstrate to the court where in the Constitution it was authorized to act in whatever manner has landed it in court. The people of the States were guaranteed in the Bill of Rights that the Federal Government would only exercise power in its enumerated areas. This guarantee was spelled out clearly in the Ninth Amendment:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
and the Tenth Amendment:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
However, the Federal Government routinely points to 3 clauses in the Constitution as justification for its Un-Constitutional actions. These clauses are:
- the “General Welfare” clause
- the “Necessary and Proper” clause, and
- the “Commerce Clause”.
Many “scholars”, who believe in expanded Federal power, have referred to these clauses as “implied powers”, “elastic clauses” or “loopholes” in the Constitution that allow the Federal Government an additional grant of power. And, as time has gone on, this has become the majority opinion in our nation primarily because it is all that is taught (Nationalist vs. Compact View). This is what Below are 3 videos that deal with these clauses as they were understood and ratified by the founding generation as well as how the Federal Government tries to justify these usurpation’s via a tortured meaning of these clauses.
The 14th Amendment
The 14th Amendment to the United States is sometimes pointed to as the point where the states became subservient to the federal government. We are told that this amendment gives sweeping power to the federal government to control the states like their private pawns and no longer as sovereign individual entities. But, did the 14th amendment actually do this or has it been twisted by activist Supreme Court Justices to insure power of the federal government continues to grow? Thomas Woods, Jr. gives the history of the 14th amendment and shows where in history the federal government began to severely overstep its bounds with this amendment and how the amendment was originally understood when it was initially passed. Available for download as Mp3.
The States Rights Tradition Nobody Knows
States’ Rights has been a term used by many. However, it is a misnomer because states don’t actually have rights in our political system, only individuals have rights. But, the term has been used to express the individuals within their states exercising their sovereignty through their instrument; their state. But, if the people are sovereign in their own capacity and the state is their instrument to exercise this sovereignty, what happens when the federal government encroaches on a state? Aren’t they also encroaching on those individuals? Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr. explains how this exercise of state sovereignty has been used in the past to push back the encroachment of the federal government on the individual states. Available for download as Mp3.
Thomas Jefferson And The Principles of 98 (The History of State Nullification)
The Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, which says the Constitution and laws in pursuance thereof shall be the supreme law of the land. This means that the Constitution and constitutional laws shall be the supreme law of the land. But, what if the federal government reaches for powers OUTSIDE of the constitution? Powers that the framers NEVER intended for them to have? What is to be the nation’s response? Well, Thomas Jefferson had this exact scenario happen while he was vice president of the United States; a mere 11 years after the Constitution was officially signed. Thomas Woods, Jr. tells the history of this event and how it laid the framework for how a government that doesn’t recognize the limits placed on it by it’s own law (the Constitution) is to be kept in check. Available for download as Mp3.
The audio above is from lectures given by award winning author Thomas E. Woods, Jr. Dr. Woods holds his master’s, M.Phil., and Ph.D. in history from Columbia University and bachelor’s from Harvard. he’s written numerous books, including The Church Confronts Modernity (Columbia University Press) and two New York Times bestsellers — Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse, and The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. His two latest books are Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse and Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century. His full biography can be found at http://www.tomwoods.com/about
Nullification: The Rightful Remedy
What do we do when the federal government steps outside of its Constitutional boundaries? Do we “vote the bums out” and hope that the new bums limit their own power? Do we ask federal judges in black robes to limit the federal government’s power? Thomas Jefferson and James Madison did not think so. The rightful remedy to federal tyranny rests in the hands of the people and the States that created the federal government in the first place. It is called Nullification, and it is an idea whose time has come. This documentary explores the history of state nullification, and how it is being used today to push back against the encroachment of federal power.