On This Day in History: December 01, 

1660 – First Navigation Act passed by the British Parliament to regulate colonial commerce to suit English needs. 1955 – Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.

#4A – Where Is the Spirit of 1776?

It is the year of our Lord Twenty Twenty and of the United States of America the Two Hundred Forty-four. We the People have seemingly lost our way. Where is the fervor and zeal of our Founding Fathers and those of our ancestors who established our Constitutional Republic as a bastion of Liberty? We the People need to reflect upon the Words of James Madison, Founding Father, Father of the Constitution and Fourth President of the United States of America.

Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprize, every expanded prospect. (Letter to William Bradford, April 1, 1774)

It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. (Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, Circa June 20, 1785)

There is no maxim in my opinion which is more liable to be misapplied, and which therefore needs elucidation than the current one that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong…. In fact it is only reestablishing under another name and a more specious form, force as the measure of right…. (Letter to James Monroe, October 5, 1786)

We have seen the mere distinction of color made in the most enlightened period of time, a ground of the most oppressive dominion ever exercised by man over man. (Speech at the Constitutional Convention, June 6, 1787)

All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree. (Speech at the Constitutional Convention, July 11, 1787)

The Convention] thought it wrong to admit in the Constitution the idea that there could be property in men. (Records of the Convention, August 25, 1787)

Whilst the last members were signing it Doctr. Franklin looking towards the Presidents chair, at the back of which a rising sun happened to be painted, observed to a few members near him, that Painters had found it difficult to distinguish in their art a rising from a setting sun. (Farrand’s Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, September 17, 1787)

In forming the Senate, the great anchor of the Government, the questions as they came within the first object turned mostly on the mode of appointment, and the duration of it. (Letter to Thomas Jefferson, October 24, 1787)

The great desideratum in Government is, so to modify the sovereignty as that it may be sufficiently neutral between different parts of the Society to control one part from invading the rights of another, and at the same time sufficiently controlled itself, from setting up an interest adverse to that of the entire Society. (Letter to Thomas Jefferson, October 24, 1787)

There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. (Speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 16, 1788)

Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks-no form of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea, if there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them. (Speech at the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 20, 1788)

Refusing or not refusing to execute a law to stamp it with its final character…makes the Judiciary department paramount in fact to the Legislature, which was never intended and can never be proper. (Letter to John Brown, October, 1788)

Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression. (Letter to Thomas Jefferson, October 17, 1788)

The invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the Constituents. (Letter to Thomas Jefferson, October 17, 1788)

The civil rights of none, shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext infringed. (Proposed amendment to the Constitution, given in a speech in the House of Representatives, 1789)

I own myself the friend to a very free system of commerce, and hold it as a truth, that commercial shackles are generally unjust, oppressive and impolitic — it is also a truth, that if industry and labour are left to take their own course, they will generally be directed to those objects which are the most productive, and this in a more certain and direct manner than the wisdom of the most enlightened legislature could point out. (Speech to the Congress, April 9, 1789)

If individuals be not influenced by moral principles; it is in vain to look for public virtue; it is, therefore, the duty of legislators to enforce, both by precept and example, the utility, as well as the necessity of a strict adherence to the rules of distributive justice. (In response to Washington’s first Inaugural address, May 18, 1789)

I acknowledge, in the ordinary course of government, that the exposition of the laws and Constitution devolves upon the judicial. But I beg to know upon what principle it can be contended that any one department draws from the Constitution greater powers than another in marking out the limits of the powers of the several departments. (Speech in the Congress of the United States, June 17, 1789)

Nothing has yet been offered to invalidate the doctrine that the meaning of the Constitution may as well be ascertained by the Legislative as by the Judicial authority. (Speech in the Congress of the United States, June 18, 1789)

Nothing is so contagious as opinion, especially on questions which, being susceptible of very different glosses, beget in the mind a distrust of itself. (Letter to Benjamin Rush, March 7, 1790)

A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect and promises the cure for which we are seeking. (Letter to William Hunter, March 11, 1790)

There is not a more important and fundamental principle in legislation, than that the ways and means ought always to face the public engagements; that our appropriations should ever go hand in hand with our promises. To say that the United States should be answerable for twenty-five millions of dollars without knowing whether the ways and means can be provided, and without knowing whether those who are to succeed us will think with us on the subject, would be rash and unjustifiable. Sir, in my opinion, it would be hazarding the public faith in a manner contrary to every idea of prudence. (Speech in Congress, April 22, 1790)

Public opinion sets bounds to every government, and is the real sovereign in every free one. (Public Opinion, December 19, 1791)

In Europe, charters of liberty have been granted by power. America has set the example … of charters of power granted by liberty. This revolution in the practice of the world, may, with an honest praise, be pronounced the most triumphant epoch of its history, and the most consoling presage of its happiness. (National Gazette Essay, January 18, 1792)

If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions. (Letter to Edmund Pendleton, January 21, 1792)

A universal peace, it is to be feared, is in the catalogue of events, which will never exist but in the imaginations of visionary philosophers, or in the breasts of benevolent enthusiasts. (Essay in the National Gazette, February 2, 1792)

Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions. (Essay in the National Gazette, March 27, 1792)

As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights. Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions. (National Gazette Essay, March 27, 1792)

Conscience is the most sacred of all property. (Essay on Property, March 29, 1792)

A just security to property is not afforded by that government, under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species. (Essay on Property, March 29, 1792)

Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government which impartially secures to every man whatever is his own. (Essay on Property, March 29, 1792)

May God Bless and Save the United States of America —
Our Constitutional Republic !