A reason for the constitution.


Well-Known Member
Jul 11, 2007
Horse Country
Here is part of an article discssing a major reason that the Constitution was written to begin with.

What, then, is the Constitution? It is an effort to have a federal government while limiting the power of that government so that states can remain truly sovereign. States, not the federal government, gave us our liberties. Federal power is fractured into a bicameral legislature, a presidency, and a federal court system. The powers of the federal government are spelled out in plain language, and the Tenth Amendment declares that powers not given to the federal government in the Constitution are kept by the states. The first amendment adopted after the Bill of Rights, the Eleventh Amendment, was specifically to limit the power of federal courts over state governments.

Why were Americans so concerned with states' rights? States made the American Republic a marketplace of governments. If states are preeminent in the governance of the nation, then when one state slides towards tyranny, people can leave and move to another state. When groups want to find a place to live in peace, like Mormons in Utah or Jews in New York, strong states ensure that they can do so.

It is a grim fact of history that strong central governments have gone hand in hand with horror. Nazis, very quickly, essentially ended the system of strong state governments in Germany. The Soviet Union was also ruled with an iron hand from Moscow, and the destruction of whole peoples followed its central policies. The closer people are to the elected officials governing them, the more freedom flourishes. The more remote the government, the less citizens feel like equals and the more they seem like cattle. That is why the Founding Fathers considered states' rights as absolutely indispensable to the purposes of our nation.

The Founders also grasped that simple declarations of state sovereignty were empty without political mechanisms to ensure that states remained strong. They provided that state legislatures would choose United States senators, that state legislatures would choose how presidential electors were picked, and that state legislatures adopted proposed amendments to the Constitution.

United States senators are chosen today by the "people," which means they are unaccountable to state governments. Presidential electors are also chosen by the "people," although this is merely by state law. In practice, the Constitution is no longer amended by the provisions of Article V. The Supreme Court, instead, amends the Constitution through its auguries of the entrails of the Constitution revealed in precedents.

The disintegration of states is the gravest problem we face. The omnipresent federal government means that Americans can no longer run from tyranny by leaving one state and moving to another. The transfer of power from state government to some nebulous "people" means that we have democracy, a very unhappy form of government.