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.