The Principles of Liberty| The Revolutionary War Remember

The 28 Principles of Liberty| Principle 21

"Strong Local Self-government is the Keystone to Preserving Human Freedom"

Political power automatically tries to gravitate towards centralization, the purpose of the US Constitution is to prevent that from happening.  Centralization of political power ALWAYS destroys liberty by removing the decision-making function from the people on the local level to the officers of the central government.

When this occurs, the people start to lose the spirit of voluntarism and the will to solve their own problems.  They also cease to be involved in community affairs.

This contrasts with the New England town spirit where every person had a voice and a vote.  How different from the Anglo-Saxon tribal meetings, where the people were considered sovereign and every man took pride in participating.  And even more, how different from ancient Israel where the families of the people were governed in multitudes of tens, fifties, hundreds, and thousands, where problems were solved on the levels where those problem originated.    This is what the Founders considered the golden key to preserving liberty.

Thomas Jefferson said "These wards, called townships in  New England, are the vital principle of their governments, and have proved themselves the wisest invention ever devised by the wit of man for the perfect exercise of self-government, and for its perservation.

Jefferson was anxious to have America revive the customs of their Anglo-Saxon ancestors, including strong local self-government.  Historian Richard Frothingham has pointed out that in ancient England there were political and territorial divisions that were similar to that of Ancient Israel.  "Tythings, hundreds. burghs, counties and shires", in which the body of inhabitants had a voice in managing their own affairs.  That was until that ruling classes were installed in its place, undermining the ancient freedom of the municipalities.

Even as this situation arose, in the backs of the minds of the people, they remembered the the right of freemen of the past, and thought that it was something that might be brought about again.

And this is exactly what happened as Englishmen pulled away from the mother country and migrated to America.  The assemblies reappeared, and old rights were once again enjoyed.  As they wrote their laws, they were determined to protect the freedom of the individual and provide for a healthy local government.  Only those things that which related to the interest of the entire commonwealth were delegated to central government.

James Madison emphasized the necessity to reserve all possible authority in the states and the people.  The Constitution delegates to the federal government on that which involves the whole people as a nation.  He wrote, "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.  Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.  The former (federal powers) will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce....The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State."

Thomas Jefferson emphasized that if the oncoming generations continued the Constitutional pattern, the federal government would be small and cohesive and would serve and an inexpensive operation because of the limited problems which would be assigned to it.  He wrote, "The true theory of our Constitution is sure the wisest and best, that the states are independent as to everything within themselves, and united as to everything respecting foreign nations.  Let the general government be reduced to foreign concerns only, ans let our affairs be disentangled from those of all other nations, except as to commerce, which the merchants will manage the better, the more they are left free to manage for themselves, and our general government may be reduced to a very simple organization, and a very inexpensive one; a few plain duties to be performed by a few servants."

A WARNING from John Fiske:

"If the day should ever arrive when the people of the different parts of our country shall allow their local affairs to be administered by prefects sent from Washington, and then the self-government of the states shall have been so far lost  as that of the departments of France, or even so closely  limited as that of the counties of England, on that day the political career of the American people will have been robbed of its most interesting and valuable features, and the usefulness of this nation will be lamentably impaired."

Principles of Liberty| Christmas Liberty Video

Those who traveled with Washington across the Delaware river on Christmas night were carrying the cause of liberty. While the battle was fierce, it was over quickly and changed the attitude of the army and much of the nation's attitude towards the war. It was a step that brought about liberty for all, what a great cause to have fought for, the liberty of himself, his countrymen, his neighbors and family.

I do not think that it is coincidence that this battle had the timing that it did, for Christ is on the side of liberty.

Principles of Liberty| Thomas Jefferson's Prophetic Wisdom

Principles of Liberty| Happy Thanksgiving George Washington Style

George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

The 28 Principles of Liberty | Principle 20

"Efficiency and Dispatch Require Governments to Operate to the Will of the Majority, but Constitutional Provisions Must be Made to Protect the Rights of the Minority"

One of the serious mistakes Of the Articles of Confederation was the requirement that all states must approve in order for any changes to be made.  During the Revolutionary War, there were several vital changes that were suggested, but each time a single state was able to prevent that needed change.

Delaying action like this in an emergency can be disastrous.  Unanimity is ideal, but majority rule is a necessity.  John Locke explained it this way,"When any number of men have consented to make one community or government, they are thereby presently incorporated, and make one body politic, wherein the majority have a right to act and conclude (bind) the rest.  It being one body it is necessary the body should move that way whiter the greater force carries it, which is the consent of the majority, or else it is impossible it should act ot continue one body...And thus, every man, by consenting with others to make one body politic under one government, puts himself under obligation to every one of that society to submit to the determination of the majority, and to be concluded (bound) by it."

Nevertheless, the American Founders had suffered enough from the tyrannical conduct of Parliment to feel highly sensitive to the rights of minorities.  Thomas Jefferson referred to this in his inaugural address on March 4, 1801 when he said: "All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression."

Once upon a time, we were all minorities in this nation.  We are literally a nation of minorities.  It is the new-comers that feel that they are not yet first-class citizens.  The United States has built a reputation of being more generous and helpful to newcomers than any other nation.  It is a reputation worth preserving.

The 28 Principles of Liberty| Principle 19

"Only Limited and Carefully Defined Powers Should be Delegated to Government, All Others Being Retained in the People."

There was no principle no more adamantly emphasized during the Constitutional Convention then the absolute necessity to limit the federal government.  Not only was this done by carefully defining the powers delegated to the government, but the Founders were determined to bind down its administrators with legal chains contained within the Constitution.

One of the reasons that many of the states would not adopt the original draft is because they feared the encroachments of the federal government on the rights of the states and the people.  Therefore, the first ten amendments were added to include the ancient, unalienable rights of the Anglo-Saxon so that there could be absolutely no question as the the strictly limited authority the people were conferring on their central government. We can see this by looking closely at the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.

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

The Tenth: "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."

The people felt that it was absolutely necessary to hedge up the federal authority because of their experience with a corrupt and abusive government in the past. 

Alexander Hamilton commented on this by saying, "There is, in the nature of sovereign power, an impatience of control that disposes those who are invested with the exercise of it to look with an evil eye upon all external attempts to restrain or direct its operations...This tendency is not difficult to be accounted for.  It has its origins in the love of power.  Power controlled or abridged is almost always the rival and enemy of that power by which it is controlled or abridged.  This simple proposition will teach us how little reason there is to expect that the persons entrusted with the administration of the affairs of the particular members of an confederacy (the federal government) will at all times be ready with perfect good humor and an unbiased regard to the public weal to execute the resolutions or decrees of the general authority.  The reverse of this (expectation) results from the constitution of man."

The principle of limited government is enforced by the separation of powers between the states and the federal government by design.  The federal government was supreme in matters relating only to its responsibilities and was specifically restricted from invading the independence and sovereign authority that is reserved to the States.  This principle had to be carefully perpetuated for a healthy independence otherwise, the independence of each would deteriorate and eventually one would become dominant.  If it was the federal government that gained dominance, then it would mean the end of local self-government and the security of the individual.  If the States became dominate, then the nation you begin to fracture into smaller units.

The Founders felt that having this balance would make it possible for the people to have recourse if one or the other became dominant or abusive of their powers.  Hamilton said that the people could throw themselves into either scale, that they can make use of the other as the instrument of redress.

The Founder's would have frowned on the 17th Amendment.  The reason for this is because it took away the ability for the states to more effectively protect themselves by their Senators being appointed by the state legislature thereby making it possible for the Senate to veto anything that the House which they considered a threat to the rights of the individual states.  Unfortunately this was wiped out by the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913.  This amendment made the election of Senators by popular vote, stripping the state legislatures of their ability to defend their liberty.  It caused the states to lose the representation at the federal level and the Senators could now be pressured by whatever popular pressures of the day existed during their campaign season, just like the House of Representatives.  Since then there has been no veto power that the states could exercise against the Congress in those cases where a federal statue was in violation of states' rights.  In other words, this amendment is in direct violation of the 9th and 10th Amendments of the Constitution, and it would be wise for the American people to restore their Constitutional powers to the State level as was designed by the Founding Fathers.

Principles of Liberty "One Nation Under God" Painting Jon McNaughton

This Wonderful Painting can be purchased HERE

Continental Congress 2009

You can hear the event here

Principles of Liberty in Our Founding Documents

Principles of Liberty in our Founding Documents

Those who are familiar with the 28 Principles of Liberty outlined in The 5000 Year Leap, are acquainted with the claim that these are the principles upon which the Founders based our new government, thereby assuring us of lasting peace , prosperity, and freedom. Occasionally the question is asked, “Where can we find these principles in our founding documents?” This letter will help the reader make that connection.

First, however, one point needs to be made clear. There is a notion today that the Declaration of Independence is not really a part of American jurisprudence and that the principles contained therein cannot be referred to as a basis of American law. This line of thought is usually concluded by saying that if a principle cannot be found in the Constitution, such as a belief in a Creator, it is not part of American culture or law. This idea is blatantly false. The Declaration of Independence has been repeatedly cited by the Supreme Court as part of the fundamental law of the United States of America . (See John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution , pages 360-362)

The following, then, are some of the ways in which the 28 Principles of Liberty were emphasized as the Founders structured our government.

Principle 1. The only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is Natural Law. Natural law was defined as the order in which the Creator made everything work properly. There are certain laws which govern the entire universe, and just as Thomas Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence, there are laws which govern in the affairs of men which are "the laws of nature and of nature's God." If governments and human relationships are formed according to these laws, they will succeed, if not, they will surely fail, as history has proven. (First paragraph of the Declaration of Independence.)

Principle 2. A free people cannot survive under a republican constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong. The Founders knew they could not succeed in this political building without the support of the “Supreme Judge of the world” and without a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence .” They knew this would not happen unless they kept His commandments which amounted to being virtuous and morally strong. (Last paragraph of the Declaration of Independence.)

Principle 3. The most promising method of securing a virtuous and morally stable people is to elect virtuous leaders. No greater case can be made of the damage done to a free people by power-hungry and tyrannical leaders than the long list of abuses Thomas Jefferson listed in the Declaration. While directed at King George, these abuses are typical of leaders who are without virtue and morality. (List of grievances in the Declaration of Independence)

Principle 4. Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained. As in Principle 2, the Founders knew they could not succeed in this political building without the support of the “Supreme Judge of the world” and without a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence .” They believed they would have His support and protection if they relied on Him, constantly kept His laws, and taught their children to do likewise. (Last paragraph of the Declaration of Independence.)

Principle 5. All things were created by God, therefore upon Him all mankind are equally dependent, and to Him they are equally responsible. The Founders considered the existence of the Creator as the most fundamental premise underlying all self-evident truth. The words Nature's God, Creator, created, Supreme Judge of the Universe, and Divine Providence are used throughout the Declaration of Independence.

Principle 6. All men are created equal. (An exact quote from the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence)

Principle 7. The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things. “—That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men…” (Second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence)

Principle 8. Men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. (Second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence)

Principle 9. To protect man's rights, God has revealed certain principles of divine law. The Founders knew that God had revealed certain laws for human happiness, such as laws against killing, stealing, adultery, lying, coveting, etc. These are reflected in the right of man to form a government to protect his unalienable rights of life, liberty, and property outlined in the Declaration and the Bill of Rights.

Principle 10. The God-given right to govern is vested in the sovereign authority of the whole people. The last paragraph of the Declaration makes it clear that the people as a whole, by their representatives in Congress, have complete authority from the Supreme Judge of the Universe to govern themselves in every way and to take their rightful place among the sovereign peoples of the earth.

Principle 11. The majority of the people may alter or abolish a government which has become tyrannical. The second paragraph of the Declaration makes it clear that the people have a God-given right to throw off dictators and establish a government that will better protect them in their rights.

Principle 12. The United States of America shall be a republic. Article 1.2.1 of the Constitution sets forth the provision that gives the American people the right to vote for their own representatives, thereby making the United States a constitutional republic of the people.

Principle 13. A constitution should be structured to permanently protect the people from the human frailties of their rulers. In forming our government on the basis of Natural Law, the Founders dealt directly with the human nature characteristic that power almost always corrupts. The separation of powers, checks and balances, and limited governmental powers in the Constitution were all methods employed to check the human frailties which result in run-away power. That is why the Constitution will never be obsolete or outdated.

Principle 14. Life and liberty are secure only so long as the right of property is secure. The fifth amendment of the Bill of Rights specifically prohibits the federal government from taking private property of the people for public use without just compensation. It is a recognition of the sacred right to property and that property is really an extension of one's life and liberty.

Principle 15. The highest level of prosperity occurs when there is a free-market economy and a minimum of government regulations. Other than setting up a proper monetary system and ensuring the free flow of commerce between the states, no power is given to congress to regulate economic affairs of the people. It is a manifest intent to keep the federal government completely out of the free-market economy and to leave any needed regulation to the states.

Principle 16. The government should be separated into three branches - legislative, executive, and judicial. Articles I, II, and III of the Constitution create this beautiful separation of powers to prevent the tyranny of consolidated government.

Principle 17. A system of checks and balances should be adopted to prevent the abuse of power. This constitutional system of pitting human nature against human nature by checking each other's power is pure genius.

Principle 18. The unalienable rights of the people are most likely to be preserved if the principles of government are set forth in a written constitution. Of the 200 or so nations on the earth today, about 125 of them have written constitutions. However, ours is the oldest one—one of the youngest nations has the oldest written Constitution. The Founders were the first in modern times to realize that the best way to preserve good government and the rights of the people, is to write them down.

Principle 19. Only limited and carefully defined powers should be delegated to government, all others being retained in the people. Article 1.8 contains the twenty powers delegated to congress; Article II contains the six areas of responsibility of the president; and, Article III contains the eleven kinds of cases assigned to the federal courts. The Tenth Amendment reminds us that all other powers are reserved to the states and the people.

Principle 20. Efficiency and dispatch require government to operate according to the will of the majority, but constitutional provisions must be made to protect the rights of the minority. Article VI declares the Constitution to be the supreme law of the land. If a law is passed which violates the rights of people, it can be declared null and void by the guardians of the Constitution.

Principle 21. Strong local self-government is the keystone to preserving human freedom. The Tenth Amendment leaves most power to govern with the states and local governments. This is where freedom really manifests itself.

Principle 22. A free people should be governed by law and not by the whims of men. The people reserve the right in Article I.1.1 not to be governed by any law not passed by their representatives. Article III gives the power to the judiciary to prevent a citizen from being prosecuted by an unjust law which violates the unalienable rights of the people.

Principle 23. A free society cannot survive as a republic without a broad program of general education. The reaction of King George to the list of grievances in the Declaration of Independence is an example of why tyrants want to keep the people ignorant of their actions. In order to preserve and encourage the sacred right of people to gain knowledge, the Constitution forbids the federal government from involving itself in education of the people. It leaves this responsibility to the states and the people where it can be locally controlled. (Tenth Amendment)

Principle 24. A free people will not survive unless they stay strong. Article 1.8 gives Congress the power to maintain a military.

Principle 25. "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations - entangling alliances with none." No authority can be found in the Constitution for the United States to tie its sovereignty to any other nation or to give the people's money to foreign rulers.

Principle 26. The core unit which determines the strength of any society is the family; therefore, the government should foster and protect its integrity. No authority can be found in the Constitution to involve the federal government in family affairs. The Founders knew any laws dealing with these kinds of sensitive issues must be kept close to the people, thereby best preserving this most sacred institution.

Principle 27. The burden of debt is as destructive to freedom as subjugation by conquest. Article 1.8 lists “to pay the debts” as the first use of public funds. The Founders considered it immoral to pass debts on to the next generation.

Principle 28. The United States has a manifest destiny to be an example and a blessing to the entire human race. The entire Constitution was intended to be such a model for the world of how a people can govern themselves and thereby enjoy an unlimited amount of freedom, prosperity, and peace. Our greatest export was to be freedom.

As we experience this season of Thanksgiving, let us be thankful that our Founders rooted our wonderful country in solid and lasting principles.


Earl Taylor, Jr.

The 28 Principles of LIberty: Principle 18

"The Unalienable Rights of the People are Most Likely to be Preserved if the Principles of Government are Set Forth in a Written Constitution."

The one weakness of the Anglo-Saxon common law, was that it was unwritten. Due to the fact that the whole people were aware of the principles, they seemed to be indifferent to writing them down. According to Dr. Colin Rhys Lovell, this was customary until they converted to Christianity. Prior to that, it was unwritten and considered immutable.

It was the Norman conquest that taught the Anglo-Saxons in England a bitter lesson. A majority of their treasured rights disappeared through the flood of blood and oppression. They did regain them very slowly over a period of time, a few centuries, and gradually were written down. In A.D. 1215, King John virtually had a sword held to his throat, due to the national crisis, and signed the Magna Charta, which set forth the traditional rights of the freemen as well as the feudal barons who had been serving under King John.

During that same century, the model parliament came into being which compelled the King to acknowledge that principle of no taxation without representation. Later, in 1628, Charles I was pressured into signing the People's Petition of Rights and the English Bill of Rights was signed in 1689 by William and Mary.

Through the centuries, the British have tried to manage the political affairs with no written constitution and relied on these few documents as a source of reference. They did prove very helpful to the Founders, but they felt that the structure of government should be structured in a more permanent and comprehensive form. So, the tradition if a written constitution in modern times is completely American in principle and practice.

The first written charter for America was the Mayflower Compact of 1620. If became more comprehensive when Thomas Hooker and his associates adopted the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut in 1639. The charter makes no reference to the British Government nor the Crown, but the source of its authority as "We, the people."

said that the writing of a statute or a charter is "oftentimes better regulated by many than by a single person." The Founders agreed with this idea and considered it wise to filter it through the wisdom and experience of many delegates assembled in a convention rather then leaving it to the genius of some individual.

James Madison stated, "It is not a little remarkable that in every case reported by ancient history in which government has been established with deliberation and consent, the task of framing it has not been committed to an assembly of men, but has been performed by some individual citizen of preeminent wisdom and approved integrity. Minos, we learn, was the primitive founder of the government of Crete, as Zaleucus was of that of the Locrians. Theseus first, and after him Draco and Solon, instituted the government of Athens. Lycurgus was the lawgiver of Sparta. The foundation of the original government of Rome was laid by Romulus, and the work completed by two of his elective successors, Numa and Tullius Hostilius. On the abolition of royalty the consular administration was substituted by Brutus, who stepped forward with a project for such reform, which, he alleged, had been prepared by Servius Tullius, and to which his address ontained the assent and ratification of the senate and people. This remark is applicable to confederate governments also. Amphictyon, we are told, was the author of that which bore his name. The Achaean league received its first birth from Achaeus, and its second from Aratus."

It is always difficult to operate through a committee, a group, or a convention as the Founding Fathers did. The final product was far stronger then any individual alone could have written it. And time has also proven the incredible value have having a written document for reference, a standard, rather then relying on a few scattered statutes as the fundamental law of the land.

The 28 Principles of Liberty are adapted from W. Cleon Skousen's Book 'The 5000 Year Leap' and are brought to you by Fragrant Smoke.

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The Threat to Religious Freedom

While there are those who would take what is said in the mainstream media today as absolute truth, and come to accept new beliefs, that differ from those at the very foundation of our nation, I am standing up to say, I am not one of them.

While much is said about traditions and values being old, outdated, and restrictive, I have found through personal experience that the opposite is true. These 'New' ideas and agendas that we see in our nation today are old, restrictive and destructive. This is not just in the area of marriage or religion, but in all areas effecting all liberties. Elder Dallin H. Oaks presents these truths so well, that I am inclined to post this video created by Seth Adam Smith on the topic.

The NorthWest Ordinance

Art. 3. Religion, morality, and knowledge, being
necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and
the means of education shall forever be encouraged.

May Religion and Morality continue to spread throughout our land, that we may once again have good government, happiness, and true knowledge.

The Principles of Liberty: Principle 17

The 28 Principles of Liberty: Principle 17
“A System of Checks and Balances Should be Adopted to Prevent the Abuse of Power”
After John Adams had sold the people on the separation of powers, it must have been shocking to him to see that they wanted to make the separation so complete that it would have made the system unworkable.
The individuals who took a puritanical view opposed the adoption of the Constitution because they wanted the separation complete and absolute. They missed the most important part, and that was that they were to be separate in their functions, but subject to the checks and balances of the other two departments in case it became abusive in performing those functions.
James Madison spent 5 of the Federalist Papers numbers, 47 to 51, explaining why the separation of powers should not be absolute, but should make allowances for a built-in system of checks and balances. He conceded that keeping the three departments separated was fundamental to the preservation of liberty.
“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
The purpose of checks and balances is a constitutional control in the hands of each department of government to prevent any usurpation of power by another department or abusive administration of the power granted to it.
The failure to use the checks and balances effectively has resulted in allowing the judiciary to create new laws by pretending to be merely interpreting old laws. Failure to use checks and balances has also allowed the President to make thousands of new laws, instead of congress, by issuing executive orders. It has allowed the federal government to invade the reserved rights of the states on a massive scale. It has allowed the legislature to impose taxes on the people never contemplated by the Founders, or the Constitution. Each department of the government has the responsibility to rise up and protect its prerogatives by exercising the checks and balances which have been provided, and even more so, the people have the responsibility to be the watchmen over their representatives and elect ONLY those that will function within Constitutional boundaries.
James Madison said, “As the people are the only legitimate foundation of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter under which the power of the several branches of government is derived, it seems strictly consonant to the republican theory to recur to the same original authority whenever an one of the departments may commit encroachment on the chartered authorities of the others.”
How do the people protect themselves? Madison sought many different avenues and found that the only protection was within the machinery of checks and balances provided in the Constitution as written.
The three departments are independent, yet reliant on each other to fulfill their functions, so they are mutually dependent. Their resulting system was far more complex then Montesquieu. Here are their provisions:
1. The House of Representatives serves as a check on the Senate since no statue can become a law without their approval.
2. The Senate also serves as the check on the House of Representatives since no statue can become a law without its approval.
3. A President can restrain them both by using his veto to send back a bill not meeting his approval.
4. The Congress has on the other hand, a check on the President by being able to pass a bill over his veto with a 2/3 majority of each house.
5. The legislature also has a further check on the President through its power of discrimination in appropriating funds for the operation of the executive branch.
6. The President must have the approval of the Senate in filing important offices of the executive branch.
7. The President must also have the approval of the Senate before any treaties with foreign nations can go into effect.
8. The Congress has the authority to conduct investigations of the executive branch to determine whether or not funds are being properly expended and the laws enforced.
9. The President has a certain amount of political influence on the legislature by letting it be known that he will not support the reelection of those who oppose his program.
10. The executive branch also has further check on the Congress by using its discretionary powers in establishing military bases, building dams, improving navigable rivers, and building interstate highways so as to favor those areas from which the President feels he is getting support by their representatives.
11. The judiciary has a check on the legislature through its authority to review all laws and determine their constitutionality.
12. The Congress, on the other hand, has a restraining power over the judiciary by having the constitutional authority to restrict the extent of its jurisdiction.
13. The Congress also has the power to impeach any of the judges who are guilty of treason, high crimes or misdemeanors.
14. The President also has a check on the judiciary by having the power to nominate new judges subject to the approval of the senate.
15. The Congress has further restraining power over the judiciary by having the control of appropriations for the operation of the federal court system.
16. The Congress is able to initiate amendments to the Constitution which, if approved by three-fourths of the states, could seriously effect the operation of both the executive and judicial branches.
17. The Congress, by joint resolution, can terminate certain powers granted to the President such as war powers without his consent.
18. The people have a check on their congressmen every two years, on their President every four years, and on their Senators every six years.
The Founders Device for Peaceful Self-Repair
In other nations that copied our constitution, they forgot to incorporate adequate checks and balances. Instead, when a usurper takes over, they must use an army and result to machine guns and bombs to get them out. What the founders wished to achieve in the Constitution of 1787 was machinery for the peaceful means of self-repair when the system when out of balance.
During Watergate, this peaceful process was used. The Congress threatened to impeach, and the President who used his high office for purposes that were outside his scope of authority and the ramifications of legal conduct, he resigned. There was no command of the army to allow him to stay in power; it was a quiet and peaceful transition. This was the primary purpose of the United States Constitution, to have a peaceful means in order to repair distortions of power. While it requires more patience then the use of force, its outcome is much more certain.

The Principles of Liberty: Principle 16

The 28 Principles of Liberty: Principle 16

“The Government Should be Separated into Three Branches-Legislative, Executive and Judicial.”

Polybius, recognized as the greatest of all Greek Historians, lived 204 to 122 B.C. When Greece was conquered by Rome, Polybius was deported to the Roman capital. This is where he quickly recognized the advantages of the Roman republic. He was the author of 40 books of history.

During his day, there were three main types of government discussed; Monarchy, Aristocracy and Democracy. Unfortunately, none of these systems, when allowed to govern, provided equality, prosperity, justice or domestic tranquility for the whole of society. He felt that he understood why this was. Each form carries within itself, the seed of it s own degeneration, if allowed to operate without checks or balances. Monarchy could easily become tyranny, aristocracy sink into an oligarchy and democracy into mob rule by force and violence.

Polybius felt that there were essential elements in each form and questioned why not combine them into a single system? This idea began its birth in the Roman system, but shortly after Polybius died, the Romans abandoned their principles of a republic and chose an emperor instead. So, Polybius’s idea of a system that restrained government from acquiring enough power to abuse the people died with him, until Baron Charles de Montesquieu determined to resurrect it. He wanted to submit this mixed constitution for consideration of modern man.

Montesquieu became one of the best-educated scholars in France. He wrote a book called “The Spirit of Laws”, which has been described as one of the most important books ever written. The final writing took him two solid years. It was greatly admired by the Founders. It documented the practical possibility of a government based on ‘separation of powers’ or a mixed constitution.

In book XI, Montesquieu set forth the ingredients for a model constitution. The Founders used many portions of it as a guide in their own work. The Founders joint effort far exceeded Montesquieu, but he does deserve credit for his contribution.

A single executive was ideal to Montesquieu due to what he witnessed as a weakness of the Roman system in setting up two or more consuls. Having a single person who can make decisions quickly and decisively and cannot escape either credit or blame for the consequences would be ideal.

It was John Adams that pushed the idea of the separation of powers. It was a very revolutionary idea and very unpopular when first presented. It was only Dr. Benjamin Rush that agreed with John Adams at first. In writing a letter to Benjamin Rush, John Adams mentions how Thomas Paine came to talk to him about it. John Adams felt that politics was a divine science and dedicated much of his life to studying it, so that his children and grandchildren may be blessed by his efforts. He started by planting his seeds of separation of powers in Massachusetts.

It was quite the struggle, but he did succeed, and for the first time in the world, a constitution read:

“In the government of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts the legislative, executive and judicial powers shall be placed in separate departments, to the end that it might be a government of laws and not of men…”

Years later, he got his ideas incorporated into the U.S. Constitution, but was never able to gain genuine acceptance for himself. Even though he had been the first U.S. vice president and the second President, he very shortly disappeared into history and was nearly forgotten. It was when scholars started digging into the origins of American constitutionalism that he came into perspective. He, himself, thought that few would remember what he had attempted to accomplish. To a friend he wrote, “Mausoleums, statues, monuments will never be erected to me. Panegyrical romances will never be written, nor flattering orations spoken to transmit me to posterity in brilliant colors.”

His ideas however, did catch on. Pennsylvania revised their constitution to include a separation of powers and Benjamin Franklin, one of the last to be converted, acknowledged that the Constitution of the United States was as perfect as man could be expected to produce, and urged all members of the Convention to sign it.

We close with John Adams aspiration “To see rising in America an empire of liberty, and the prospect of two or three hundred millions of freemen, without one noble or one king among them.”

The 28 Principles of Liberty are adapted from W. Cleon Skousen's book, The 5000 Year Leap and are brought to you by Fragrant Smoke.

Grand Jury Indictment of the Federal Reserve

Grand Jury Indictment Of The Federal Reserve

Defendants ______________________________
Inasmuch as we have issued indictments and subpoenas which the U.S. Attorney and the courts would not act upon, we issue this final indictment of the federal reserve and its principals (Board of Governors, Directors of Federal Reserve and Members of the Open Market Committee). This is not done in anger or as an act of disrespect, but still disagreeing with the U.S. Attorney and the courts.
The Grand Jury finds that—The power to print paper money or to issue bills of credit, was never given to the Federal government and it is contrary to both the letter and the spirit of the Constitution for it to do so.
While the power “to coin money, regulate the value thereof and of foreign coin” and the power “to borrow money on the credit of the United States” were both delegated to the Congress, the power to print money was never given. A proposal was made in the Constitutional convention to give Congress this power and it was defeated by a vote of nine states against, two for. (See Madison’s Notes on Debates in the Federal Convention for August 16, 1787). But the wording of the Constitution itself denies such a power to Congress. It provides that “No state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.” This being so, when the Federal government issues irredeemable paper as a tender in payment of debts it compels them to violate this prohibition. Inasmuch as the laws dealing with lawful money are still intact (gold and silver coin) the federal reserve, in ignoring these laws is also violating statutes.
“No state shall…pass any law…impairing the obligation of contract.” By compelling the states to use irredeemable paper as a tender in payment of debts, Congress thereby causes the states to impair the obligation of contracts to the extent of billions of dollars each year. This can be seen by noting the effect which inflation has upon people. According to the Statistical Abstract of 1980 there was at the end of 1979 $3,222 Billion of Life Insurance in force. Assuming an annual inflation rate of just 10%, holders of policies are systematically robbed each year of over $322 Billion. The combined CPI for the past five years totaled 48.6% inflation (1977, 6.5%; 1978, 7.7%; 1979, 11.3%, 1980, 14.4%; 1981, 8.7%). Life insurance in force averaged approximately $3,024 Billion per year. 48.6% X $3,024 Billion = $1,469 Billion, or nearly $1.5 Trillion impairment of insurance in force. Holders of the national debt would be robbed of over $100 Billion at just 10% inflation annually. This is not to mention the loss being suffered by old age pensions, retired people, people with bonds, savings accounts, and holders of mortgages, etc. The states, by ignoring their constitutional charge are guilty of participating with the federal reserve in impairing contracts, violating citizens civil and property rights, all without due process of law for citizens. Why then do governments leave good money and go to bad? One reason is that it enables them to effectively eliminate (assuming a 10% inflation rate) 10% of their obligations annually and to pay off long term bonds with severely devalued dollars, except as offset by excessive interest.
The purpose of the Constitution’s provision is to protect the right of private property including contract rights, not to impair them.
The Grand Jury finds that—The founding fathers interpreted the Constitution as requiring the use of gold and silver coin as the only legal tender which could be used in the nation.
It is a fact that for the first seventy years of its existence, the nation was on a silver and gold standard. This is all the evidence one would ever need as to the type of monetary system intended for this nation by those who drafted and adopted the United States Constitution. It was not until the great crisis brought on by the Civil War that the North, in an attempt to provide additional financing, for the first time issued “bills of credit” and made them a tender in payment of debts.
An irredeemable currency is directly contrary to the spirit of the Constitution which was designed to protect contract rights. There is a specific provision contained in the Constitution which says: “No state shall…pass any law…impairing the obligation of contract.” This same law should apply to the federal government. By printing worthless currency and compelling state courts to use it as a legal tender in payment of debts, it forces them to disobey the prohibition. Recognizing the danger of allowing state governments to pass laws destroying contract rights and also desiring that states should act honorable, this prohibition was adopted. Morally and legally, it is equally applicable to the Federal.
If this matter was so plain to those who drafted the Constitution, how did it happen that we use neither gold nor silver today but only an irredeemable paper and a debased coinage? The answer is found in the fact that when a nation gets into serious trouble, those in government tend to ignore the restraints of the Constitution, and the people, under the stress of the times tend to permit it.
Thus it happened that in the desperate days of the Civil War, a sorely beset Congress first authorized the issue of paper money by the Federal Government. The term “greenbacks” was used to describe this issue and they were made a legal tender in payment of debts both public and private. Of course the constitutionality of this act was tested in the United States Supreme Court which held in a five to three decision that paper money was unconstitutional.
This victory for sound money did not last long however because shortly thereafter when the personnel of the Court had been changed by the addition of two new members, another case involving essentially the same issue was brought before it, and this time in a five to four majority reversed the prior decision. It is a matter for reflection that the decision of a single Court Justice can affect the destiny of an entire nation.
Eventually the issue of greenbacks was redeemed in gold and silver coin as was always intended, and the nation returned to a hard money system which continued until the money manipulation policies of the federal reserve created the Great Depression. It was during the agony of that crisis that government once again ignored the Constitution, and a confused and distraught nation failed to restrain them. A prior Congress passed an administration measure under which the use by citizens of gold as money was made a criminal offense, the gold of the citizens was confiscated and paper was issued in its place. The private federal reserve banks in 1934 issued to themselves the only gold redeemable certificates—laying claim to the gold just taken from the citizens. Once more the matter came before a prior Supreme Court—and once more in another 5 to 4 decision the Court upheld Congress. This opened the door to an unlimited issue of paper money for the citizens which has continued ever since.
The change in our national fiscal affairs since the hard money system was abandoned to the federal reserve is reflected in the following approximated figures:

1933 1982
National Debt $27 Billion $1,000 Billion
Annual National Budget $5 Billion $750 Billion
*Gold and Prices, George F. Warren & Frank A. Person, John Welsey & Sons (1935), Page 138.
The Grand Jury Finds—Why it is so important that we use the precious metals rather than paper for money. The virtue of gold and silver is that governments or private credit monopolies cannot destroy citizens contract rights.
Gold and silver are perfectly suited to serve as money. Being largely impervious to decay, their value is not destroyed by the passage of time. Also they are probably the most versatile of all metals and this intrinsic worth together with their natural beauty has preserved their value in every nation and in every age. Every civilization has found them desirable and sought after them and it is this fact which makes them more stable than any other standard of value. Governments and private credit monopolies cannot manipulate nor corrupt this standard without such coming to the immediate attention of the people—and it has. Gold and silver have very distinctive physical characteristics which makes it relatively easy to observe a reduction in the weight or size of coins.
One ofttimes hears it said that there is not enough gold in the world to serve our monetary needs today—that the demand for money has grown so enormously since the Constitution was adopted that the monetary system it provided for will no longer suffice. The first answer to this argument is that the Constitution does not provide for a gold standard, but for a standard of gold and silver. Both metals were decreed as legal tender.
A second answer to the shortage argument is that it is utterly wrong to assume that we need a stock of gold and silver equal to the amount of money in circulation. We need only a small fraction of that amount. The truth of this fact can be seen by noting that the size of our gold stocks when we were on the gold standard between 1900 and 1933 was generally less than 10% (Statistical Abstract of the U.S. [1937]. Pages 163 & 200) of the total money and bank deposits. The reason why such a relatively small amount of the precious metals will suffice is easily seen.
Imagine, if you can, everyone who has a claim for money simultaneously demanding that his debtor pay in gold and silver coin. Such a situation is unthinkable, especially when it is realized that we are all debtor and creditors at the same time. The great majority of us cannot afford to invest in the precious metals. When we have a claim for money we want to turn that claim into food, clothing, services, etc. as soon as possible without going through the cumbersome and useless process of converting it into gold and silver first.
But the scarcity argument is seen in its most ridiculous light when it is remembered that it is this very scarcity which makes it possible to use gold and silver as an unchanging standard of value. If they were to become as plentiful as, say paper, they could not possibly retain their value in the eyes of the people. It is the very fact that they are scarce together with the fact that they have intrinsic worth, which preserves their value from generation to generation.
On the other hand, paper has none of the characteristics needed as a standard of value because it has no intrinsic worth. This is not to say we should not use paper as a medium of exchange to represent a claim for money. Paper is certainly convenient to use for transferring claims to gold and silver and there is nothing against using it for this purpose. Common sense dictates that we do so. There is no danger in using paper as a claim or an evidence of ownership of something of value. The great danger—and indeed the terrible harm—comes from making it irredeemable—in asserting that the paper has value rather than that it represents a claim for some commodity which has value.
The Grand Jury Finds that—Irredeemable paper money is the fundamental cause of inflation, that this irredeemability is a violation of statutes dealing with lawful money and the money of account of the U.S. The federal reserve itself continued to publicly show its recognition of these statutes into the late 1960’s by printing on its notes we used as money that they were redeemable in lawful money. Statutes and the Constitution did not change, only their printing the recognition of their still existing obligation to redeem in lawful money changed.
The Grand Jury Charges that:
By issuing and circulating irredeemable paper as legal tender in payment of debts the Federal Reserve Bank in this district, in concert with other Federal Reserve Banks under authority of a prior congress is compelling the states to violate that provision of the Constitution which forbids them to make “anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.”
The Grand Jury Charges that:
By issuing and circulating irredeemable paper money as legal tender in payment of debts, the Federal Reserve Bank in this district, in concert with other Federal Reserve Banks is causing the states to violate that provision of the Constitution which forbids them to impair the obligations of contract.
The Grand Jury Charges that:
By issuing and circulating irredeemable paper as legal tender in payment of debts the Federal Reserve Bank in this district, in concert with other Federal Reserve Banks under authority of a prior congress is using something other than what the Constitution allows.
The Grand Jury Charges that:
In 1980 the FRB in this district in concert with agents and employees of other Federal Reserve banks did issue and put in circulation Federal Reserve notes in an amount in excess of $1,025,547,000 from the branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, some of which were also issued and put in circulation through the Salt Lake City Branch; and provisions of 12 U.S.C. 411 require that the said notes shall be obligations of the United States and shall be receivable by all national banks and member banks and Federal Reserve banks and for all taxes, customs, and other public dues, and they shall be redeemed in lawful money of the United States, in the city of Washington, District of Columbia, or at any Federal Reserve Bank, and as defined at 12 U.S.C. 152, the terms “lawful money” and “lawful money of the United States” shall be construed to mean gold or silver coin of the United States, and 18 U.S.C. 334, crimes and criminal procedure requires that whosoever, being a Federal Reserve Agent, or an agent or employee of such Federal Reserve Agent, or of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, issues or puts in circulation any Federal Reserve notes, without complying with or in violation of the provisions of law regulating the issuance and circulation of Federal Reserve notes shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than five years or both, and the defendants being members of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, or agents or employees thereof, did issue and put in circulation Federal Reserve notes without complying with and in violation of the provisions of 12 U.S.C. 411, and that such Federal Reserve notes are not obligations of the United States as required at 12 U.S.C. 411 and as defined at 18 U.S.C. 8, and that such notes were issued and were not redeemed, are not now being redeemed nor can they be redeemed in lawful money of the United States which is defined in 12 U.S.C. 152 as gold and silver coin of the United States as required in 12 U.S.C. 411, and therefore the said notes were issued and put in circulation in violation of 18 U.S.C. 334.
/s/ Hans V. Andersen Jr.
Foreman of the Grand Jury
U.S. Attorney