District of Columbia Act 1871 De Facto formed 3
We the People of the United States, menaced for the past 100 years by collectivist trends, must seek Revival of Our Strength by re-Educating Ourselves in the Spiritual Foundations, Principles and Ideals which are the bedrock of our Republic, the Principle and Conviction of the Sacredness of every Human Life, and in the understanding of Our Responsibilities in the care and maintenance of those Foundations. To that end is this HTML Edition presented.
"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action." ----George Washington, speech of January 7, 1790 in the Boston Independent Chronicle, January 14, 1790
"The establishment of our institutions," wrote President Monroe, "forms the most important epoch that history hath recorded. They extend unexampled felicity to the whole body of our fellow-citizens, and are the admiration of other nations. To preserve and hand them down in their utmost purity to the remotest ages will require the existence and practice of virtues and talents equal to those which were displayed in acquiring them. It is ardently hoped and confidently believed that these will not be wanting."
In this era of world-wide social and political change, it behooves us, as never before, to know the fundamentals of our Constitution which, in times of stress as well as in peace, has provided the American people with a more enduring and practical government, and a greater degree of prosperity that any other people have ever had.
It is well to remember the words of James Madison as we search for Truth in Self-Government and in Our Understanding of this Great Document of Liberty, Freedom, Justice and Prosperity.
"A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives." -- James Madison letter to W. T. Barry, August 4, 1822
"In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion," wrote Washington in his Farewell Address, "it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened."
Therefore, the purpose of this presentation is to make accessible to every citizen and his posterity such knowledge of the Constitution For The United States as will serve him well, in peace or war. But the means of acquiring the information essential to stalwart citizenship has never before been available to the mass of people in as practical and simple form as this presentation on the internet.
"Almost every provision in that instrument [The Constitution]," said a great jurist, " has a history that must be understood before the brief and sententious language employed can be comprehended in the relations its authors intended."
The simple plan of this presentation is to explain the Constitution by a note to every line or clause that has a story or drama from history back of it, or that has contributed during the -1678 years of our life under this document to the welfare of mankind. This method leaves the test of the Constitution and the Amendments in unbroken connection, so that the whole design is plainly seen as the explanation appears immediately under the part to be explained. In addition to showing the historic sources of particular provisions of the Constitution examples are also given to the application of the clauses in great matters which have arisen during our nation's life. These decisions of the courts are brought down to the present day. They illustrate very clearly that the man in power has undergone no change and that without the prohibitions of the Constitution and the means of giving them immediate effect he would become as dangerous as he ever was to the safety of the government and to the rights and liberties of the people.
One who reads and studies closely the full explanation in the text will discover that each clause or word in the Constitution was carefully designed to protect the individual -- his life, his liberty and his property. By a few, the erroneous belief has been spread that the Constitution is a barrier in the way of American progress. Actually the Constitution is a coat of mail which man himself has fashioned for his own protection, and which he has changed from time to time that the protection might be the more complete -- protection against the abuse of power by his servants in the legislature or Congress, whom he may dismiss at election time or by impeachment, and against whose invasion of his rights he can appeal to the courts; against his executive officers, whom he may dismiss by impeachment or ballot; against his judges, whom he may remove for lack of "good behavior." His government is not his master, as the king or dictator has always been, but his servant."
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