My lineage in the United States of America begins sometime after 1650 when a John Willingham arrived and settled in Bristol Parish. I imagine that he came to the colony as a chance to make something of himself, as land grants where given. Grants where given to many British subjects during this time in an attempt to populate the new land and expand the British Empire. Many Britain’s, like my forefather, used this as an opportunity to gain new liberties and potential wealth. Some came to the new world in order to find religious freedom, some economic, and some came for freedom in general, unwanted political or petty criminals. As the opportunities for land grew, and my family expanded into South Carolina and later Alabama, a change in the mindset of these colonists grew as well. Although they thought of themselves as Britain’s, they were not burden by the oppression of British rule like many of the Britain’s who still lived on the island. The consequence of which was a developing awareness of true freedom. However, because they still considered themselves Britain’s and servants of the Monarchy, when the King summoned the young colonial men to defend the British hold on the Ohio Valley, during the French and Indian War, our forefathers, like a young Lt. Colonel George Washington, went into action. The French had allied themselves with many of the native Indians in the area, except for the Iroquois Nation, and had used their allies for ambush attacks against the colonist who had settled into the Ohio valley for land and fur trading. So the colonist had a personal stake in this war. They spilled the blood of their young for the land, more land meant new opportunities, and the Ohio Valley was rich in resources for fur trade. The war ended in North America with the surrender of Montreal in September of 1760. And I can imagine that with that victory, many colonist felt overjoyed at the possibilities of new land and potential prosperity that would come their way after the retreat of the French and native Indians from the Ohio Valley and portions of modern Canada. Imagine the sting and anger they felt when the King and Parliament issued the Royal Proclamation of 1763 which prohibited colonists from expanding west of the Appalachian Mountains, and protected the French and native populations from losing their lands after they had fought a war over it. The colonists might have looked at this as an attempt by the British government to keep them pinned against the Atlantic and confined for the purpose of easier regulations. To pour salt upon the wound, after the expenses of blood, and food spent by the colonists for the war, the British government passed the Sugar Act of 1764 to raise revenue to recoup their losses. The colonies went into an economic depression. This was then followed by the Stamp Act of 1765, the Townshend Act of 1767, and the infamous Tea Act of 1773. All of which were done, without the consent of the colonists. When the Dartmouth arrived in Boston harbor late November of 1773, British law required that she unload her cargo within 20 days and pay the duties, or taxes, for her cargo or it would be confiscated by customs. In other ports, the colonists where protesting and demanding that the ships return their load back to England. In some, loads where confiscated by customs without the paying of duties. Governor Hutchinson of Massachusetts; however, demanded that the Dartmouth, and the just arrived Eleanor and Beaver, obey the Kings will, unload their cargo and pay their duties. And on December 6, 1773, frustrated colonists, some dressed like Indians, boarded the Dartmouth, the Beaver, and the Eleanor and dumped 342 chests of tea into the water. The British government closed the port of Boston and passed the Coercive Acts in retaliation. Civil unrest grew, and in February of 1775, Britain passed the Conciliatory Resolution which ended taxation on colonies who provided for the imperial defense and upkeep of imperial officers. In other words, you could either pay high taxes or lose your rights to property by providing for the British army. No longer were the Colonists Britain’s. This uneasiness between the Crown and her subjects would continue to fester until that fateful day in April of 1775, when 700 British regulars tried to capture and destroy military supplies reportedly stored by the Massachusetts militia in Concord. That morning, as the sun rose over Lexington, revolution begun with what Ralph Waldo Emerson described as the "shot heard 'round the world."
The "Tea Party" at Boston in 1773, was not just retaliation over taxes on tea, but a growing since of independence and an awareness of freedoms lost. Our forefathers cultivated this land. Forged cities out of wilderness and prosperity out of raw resources. And they did it with little help from an oppressive constitutional monarchy which ruled over them. Black slaves too, gave their lives building this nation. As well as Indians, and later, the Chinese who built the railroads that connected our cities and coasts. The point is that much has been given for the opportunity of freedom and prosperity. And we, the citizens of this nation, are the rightful heirs of that freedom. When those brave men, who pledge their lives and posterity to the founding of our nation, who, by an act of treason, gave meaning and value to our experiment, founded this nation, they did so in hope that we would be a nation of free men, with equal opportunity under law, beheld to no higher authority than that of a Divine Creator. So fearful were they of a central, powerful, government that our first days as a free nation were spent under the governance of a Confederacy. However, total anarchy breeds total anarchy and it was soon discovered that some means of national law must be made to save our new nation. Arguments arose about the form of such a national institution. Letters written by Madison, and Hamilton, now comprised in a single work known as The Federalists, where published for the people to read. These letters argued what the true purpose of government should be using new social philosophies in political thought first postulated by men such as John Locke and Thomas Hobbes. This new Enlightenment brought forth the concepts which we hold dear today, that government, any government, serves only to protect and defend the inalienable rights of her citizens from enemies foreign and domestic, and that such powers granted to her are granted on consent of the people who reserve the right to revoke such powers when deemed necessary to protect their freedoms. Our government was designed to protect the individual by dividing the powers granted by the people into two distinct and separate governments, one of state and one of federal. These powers were then subdivided again, through the various branches of each government: the legislative, the judiciary, and the executive. James Madison referred to it as a Compound Republic, a republic within a republic to protect the rights of the minority from oppression of mob rule. Our economy was inspired by the newest philosophy of economics postulated by Adam Smith who revolutionized the understanding of wealth with the simple concept of the "invisible hand." Smith proposed that, although a free market may appear unrestrained, such a market was actually guided to produce the right amount and variety of goods by a phenomenon created in the supply chain. Milton Friedman described it best in his story of the pencil. He said that many parts go into a pencil. The wood, the led, the rubber, and the brass. The logger, who sells the wood to the mill, does not know the destiny of the wood or why the wood is being bought. He sells the wood to the mill based on his ability to acquire the wood and to provide a service. The mining company who harvests the led, the iron, or the copper does not know the destiny of these items but only that an order has been requested and that a price has been quoted based upon the needs of the mining company and the foundry who ordered it. The foundry worker who creates the sheet of brass from the raw goods purchased from the mining company does not know the destiny of his creation but only that he is being paid an agreed wage to make it and the foundry then sells it to the pencil company. Same for all the individual components of the pencil. And the end user, when he reaches for the pencil he bought, does not necessarily see all the individuals who made a profit on the components of the pencil and the lives that are affected by his purchase, but rather he sees a pencil he took out of a box, so he may write. And so, when you order goods in our society today, it is Adam Smith's invisible hand that touches the lives of our labor force. That drives the demand for a simple pencil to the demand for raw materials and labor.
When the Constitution was finally crafted, it imparted unto the world a brand new ideology of government. It created a central government endowed with powers, granted by its citizens, for the sole purpose of defending their rights to achieve economic success and personal freedom. It DID NOT give congress, or any other branch of government, state and federal, the authority to impose equality by invading the God given freedoms and rights of others. It DID NOT give the government the authority to impose mob rule upon all citizens of this nation nor did it give government the authority to have unlimited power and control over wealth and commerce. When the government bails out one company for the sake of a few, it tramples on the hard work and freedoms of the many. Where now is the incentive to create wealth or purchase interest in a company if only it can be taken away by government? A "free market" economy has created the wealthiest nation in the world. At the end of 2008, our GDP was 14.3 Trillion Dollars. The GDP of France is $2.097 Trillion. The GDP of England is $2.231 Trillion. The GDP of Japan is $4.348 Trillion. The GDP of China is $7.8 Trillion. There is no economy in this world larger than the economy of the United States of America. We are the global economy. No where is there a country where a child, of mixed race, raised by a single mother and grandparents with little money, can be granted the freedom an opportunity to create for his self the possibility of achieving the highest office in our nation, and find wealth and prosperity along the way. This is what our Constitution protects. The equality of chance.
Our founders understood the dangers of government. Fears of a federal monopoly through excessive taxation, usurping the sovereignty of the several states, were heavily considered in the debate over the Constitution. However, it was understood that the defense of the nation must be held in high regard, and, therefore, the power to tax was granted to Congress for the sole purpose of providing the means necessary to execute the powers granted the federal government under the new Constitution. Those powers where expressly written in Article 1 Section 8. However, the power to regulate commerce has taken new meaning since the inception of our Constitution. Regulation to our founders meant to make regular not tax. Taxation was meant to provide revenue to the Federal and State governments for the purpose of paying for the defense, the acquired debts, and provide financial means to pay for the labor and provisions required to exercise the powers expressed in the Constitutions of both the Federal and State governments. So too has the understanding of welfare changed from their time to present day. To provide for the general welfare simply meant to make available the opportunities for health, and prosperity, and not necessarily to control it, regulate it, or provide it. Today I see the fears of our founders baring fruit. I see a federal government, who through manipulation of the Constitution, as usurped the Sovereignty’s of the States. Who has grown beyond the required interests of the framers intent, and as begun to trample on the freedoms we once held so dear. Our government has pinned us against the Atlantic. Clustered us in our cities and states. Taxed us according to our initiative to prosper, and not for the defense of our freedoms, but for the purpose of expanding its own power. We have been subdivide and categorized by race, gender, orientation, and religion. No longer are we a nation of free men and women, but rather a nation ethnicities used by our government for the purpose of control and wealth distribution. Representatives, Senators, and Judges who sit for too long on their thrones, seek not our well being, but to gain more power. They claim republic but build tyrannical aristocracies for themselves. When Madison envisioned our Congress, he envisioned an institution where a continual stream of new ideas and interests would flood a House of Representatives for which the passing of would be tempered by a Senate. He did not envision Representatives and Senators serving 20, 30, or 40 years creating kingdoms for themselves, but a constant renewal of government. The road for change has been laid. A revival of our Constitutional rights is being called for. Not because we hate our country, but because we love it and the founding principles for which it was created.