Maybe we need to take a deeper look at our history.

Americans revere the Founding Fathers and the Constitution but few of us bother to examine the historical context or to ask some fundamental questions. For example, what was wrong with the Articles of Confederation? Whose interests were served by replacing them with the new Constitution? Why was the Constitution drafted in secret? Did you know that the Bill of Rights, the most important part of the Constitution, was added as an after-thought, and only as a political expedient to help get it ratified?

Bob Taft points out that, “There were 65 men delegated by their states to attend the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Did you know that ten of these refused to attend, including one whole state, Rhode Island? Did you know that of those who did attend another sixteen were too ashamed of the document to put their names to it? That means that of those who were delegated to attend not even a two-thirds majority could be mustered to ratify the thing, let alone the unanimous agreement required by the Articles of Confederation, the amendment of which was the sole purpose for calling the 1787 convention. Of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, 16 signed the Articles of Confederation; 8 attended the 1787 Con-Con, but only 4 of those signed the Constitution. If it was so great, why didn’t those who were a party to its creation jump at the chance to add their names as signers?”

Taft argues that the Constitution amounted to a power grab by the moneyed interests. You can get a lot more background on this matter by reading Taft’s article US Constitution and the Founding Scoundrels.

Oh, and if you want to get some deeper insights about what was going on following the end of the Revolutionary War, you might do some research on The Whiskey Rebellion. When I was a school boy, and history was still being taught, we were told of the  Whiskey Rebellion but given no idea of what it was all about. It was more than just a bunch of  frontiersmen rummies complaining about the tax on their booze. It was about the livelihoods of western (Pennsylvania) farmers who needed to get something that was valuable and easy to carry  to eastern markets. This story is told by David Blume in his book, Alcohol Can Be a Gas! — t.h.g.


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