times that tried mens souls never ended

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The story of how the United States of America replaced the Articles of Confederation with a national Constitution, and the key component absent from both that would have produced a truly just society

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The Times That Tried Mens’ Souls …:

The Times That Tried Mens’ Souls …

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The Historical Journey by Which Americans Relinquished Liberty to Endure Over Two Centuries of Insecurity Written by Edward J. Dodson, M.L.A. © 2013 / All Rights Reserved

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“The American Revolution was more than simply a struggle to free the colonies from English control; it was more than a civil war between Whigs and Tories. It became as well a movement to obtain certain democratic rights for the American people: emancipation of slaves, humane penal codes, greater freedom of worship, termination of aristocracy in landholding, expanded suffrage, and broader educational opportunities.”

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“Our fears at present surpass all description. Never was there upon the face of the earth a set of wretches in a more deplorable situation. Deprived of all hope of future comfort or safety, either for themselves or their unhappy wives and children, many have lost their senses, and now are in a state of perfect madness. ...”

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“Some have put a period to their miserable existence by drowning, shooting and hanging themselves, leaving their unfortunate wives and helpless infants destitute of bread to support them.”

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Robert Morris

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Alexander Hamilton

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“There are good intentions in the Majority of Congress, but there is not sufficient wisdom or decision. There are dangerous prejudices in the particular states opposed to those measures which alone can give stability and prosperity to the Union. There is a fatal opposition to Continental views. Necessity alone can work a reform.”

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“The issue of state particularism versus national unity was joined on precisely the question of providing for the army. If the army had been allowed to disband and the responsibility for paying the soldiers had been shifted to the respective states from which those soldiers came …, it is hard to believe that the principle of unity could have survived.”

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“It is yet to be decided whether the Revolution must ultimately be considered a blessing or a curse, not to the present age alone, for with our fate will the destiny of unborn Millions be involved.” George Washington

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“the most horrid forfeitures, confiscations, and attainders … pronounced against us. …Would not our men have shared the fate of the people of Ireland?”

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Rufus Putnam

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John Adams

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Don Diego de Gardoqui John Jay

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“…for the sole purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein.”

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“The hopes of carrying this state into a proper federal system will be demolished. Many of our most federal leading men are extremely soured with what has already passed. Mr. Henry, who has been hitherto the champion of the federal cause, has become a cold advocate…” James Madison

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Patrick Henry

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“The delegates in Philadelphia were the wealthiest, most powerful and best educated men in America. None represented the less affluent farm regions in the western parts of the twelve states.” Harlow Giles Unger

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“By this time, Paine, Jefferson, and Lafayette had heard that the Americans had drafted a new Constitution which had been submitted to the states for ratification. They were all delighted with it. Probably in the spring of 1788, Paine read the record of the constitutional debates, which had arrived in Paris. …”

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“His suspicions about Adams’ desire for a monarchy never left Paine’s mind, and it was something he constantly returned to. When Paine eventually came back to American in 1802, he was convinced that the Federalists in general, and Adams in particular, wanted to destroy the new American Constitution and replace it with a monarchy.”

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“What right had they to say, we, the people ? My political curiosity, exclusive of my anxious solicitude for the public welfare, leads me to ask, who authorized them to speak the language of, we, the people , instead of, we, the states ? States are the characteristics and the soul of a confederation. If the states be not the agents of the compact, it must be one great, consolidated, national government of the people of all the states.”

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“If I shall be in the minority, I shall have those painful sensations which arise from a conviction of being overpowered in a good cause. Yet I will be a peaceable citizen! My head, my hand, my heart shall be at liberty to retrieve the loss of liberty and remove the defects of that system – in a constitutional way. I wish not to go to violence, but will wait with hopes that the spirit which predominated in the revolution is not yet gone, nor the cause of those who are attached to the revolution yet lost.”

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Federal Hall, New York City

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“If we can make the Constitution better in the opinion of those who are opposed to it, without weakening its frame, or abridging its usefulness in the judgment of those who are attached to it, we act the part of wise and liberal men to make such alterations as shall produce that effect.”

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A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. Article II

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No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law. Article III

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The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Article IV

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No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. Article V

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In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence. Article VI

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In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law. Article VII

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Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. Article VIII

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The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. Article IX

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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. Article X

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Patrick Henry

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“I wrote the first of those amendments in these words. ‘Each state in the Union shall respectively retain every power, jurisdiction and right which is not by this Constitution delegated to the Congress of the United States or to the departments of the Federal Government’. But they have omitted it … and changed it into this equivocal thing … ‘or to the people’. [T]his Constitution cannot last. It will not last a century. We cannot get rid of it by a most violent and bloody struggle.”

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Whereas, the earth is the birthright of all persons, equally; and Whereas, the rental value of all land is societally- and not individually-created; Rent in all its forms shall be fully collected by government to pay for all publicly-provided goods and services. Taxation of all forms of income derived from individual labor or engaging in commerce is prohibited. Article XI

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“Not only there does not exist, nor can exist, any other revenue than the clear produce of land, but it is the earth also that has furnished all capitals, that form the mass of all the advances of culture and commerce. It has produced, without culture, the first gross and indispensible advances of the first labourers; all the rest are the accumulated fruits of the œconomy of successive ages, since they have begun to cultivate the earth. …” Anne Robert Jacques Turgot

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“This œconomy has effect not only on the revenues of proprietors, but also on the profits of all the members of laborious classes. It is even generally true, that, though the proprietors have more overplus, they spare less; for, having more treasure, they have more desires, and more passions; they think themselves better ensured of their fortune; and are more desirous of enjoying it contentedly, than to augment it; luxury is their pursuit.” Anne Robert Jacques Turgot

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“Land must be looked upon as the ‘given’ element, not merely of production, but of existence itself. It has cosmic in addition to economic implications. Without land, life as well as the creation of wealth would have no meaning. This is not a figure of speech. It is an absurdly obvious statement, but no less significant because of its self-evidence. …Land is unique and fundamental; the connotations it presents are not bounded by narrow horizons.” George Raymond Geiger

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