“The United States Constitution provides that Congress “shall have the power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises … but all Duties, Imposts, and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.”
The Anti-Federalists were the enemies of the state and the Federalists were the champions of the omnipotent national state. This divide would animate the argument on how to govern North America below the Canadian border after 1783. But why then was the war fought? Why institute a system just as monstrous as the one they had just stumbled away from in London?
So, why, pray tell, did the British colonials seek a divorce and violently so after General Gage’s predations on arms and power in 1774-175?
So it begins:
Many causes emerged and these are certainly at the forefront:
October 7, 1763 King George III proclaims a ban on westward migration in the colonies.
April 5 and 9, 1763 Parliament passes the Sugar and Currency Acts
March 22, 1765 Parliament passes the Stamp Act (even playing cards and dice)
May 15, 1765 Parliament passes the Quartering Act of 1765
March 18, 1766 Parliament repeals the Stamp Act and passes the Declaratory Act (asserting the authority of Parliament to legislate for the colonies “in all cases whatsoever.”)
June 29, 1766 Parliament passes the Townshend Acts
July, 1767 Parliament passes the New York Suspending Act
April 21, 1768 The British Secretary of State for the colonies responds to the Massachusetts Circular Letter
June 8, 1769 The British Secretary of State for the colonies orders General Thomas Gage to deploy forces to Boston
March 5, 1770 The Boston Massacre leads to the death of five colonists
November 2, 1772 The first Committee of Correspondence is formed in Boston, and produces Samuel Adams’ bold assertion of the “Rights of the Colonists,” and Dr. Joseph Warren’s “List of Infringements and Violations of Rights.”
January 6, 1773 Massachusetts’ Governor Hutchinson argues the supremacy of Parliament before the General Court
May 10, 1773 With the passage of the Tea Act, the East India Company is granted a virtual monopoly on the tea trade in the colonies
March 31-June 2, 1774 The British Parliament passes the five Coercive Acts in order to punish Massachusetts for the Tea Party and regain control of the colony
September 11, 1774 King George III commits Britain to a policy of intractable opposition to colonial claims.
This is not the complete list but simply highlights what one can find in the primary source documents but many of these simply overlook the day to day predations of the ruling class both English and later American weaponized by the governing instruments of the state.The Whiskey Rebellion was merely a homegrown version of reacting to the Coercive Acts under the British yoke. I would urge everyone interested to read further on these precursors to American Revolution I.
This is not comprehensive by any stretch but space demands brevity for the purpose of showing that the Constitution was simply a redux and improved imitation of Imperial law making from the mother country. This is why the Anti-Federalists were so horrified by the political coup in Philadelphia crafting the monstrous Constitution.
You will be shocked to learn by the end of this essay a legal precedent in 1792 that current band of legal brigands on the Supreme Court used to tax not only action but inaction (drawn from the chilling dissent by Thomas on the national socialist healthcare tax championed by Roberts).
Many Constitutionalists constantly badger everyone around them that the restoration of the document or a return to its origins will create a new yellow brick road where the government acknowledges and protects individual liberty at every turn and the central government in contravention of all human recorded history will remain small and vigilant of every predation on individual freedom.
Ad nauseum, the same parroting of nonsense learned in government obedience classes carefully and artfully disguised as civics class begun by a pledge to the centralizing instrument of mankind on the North American continent. The statist Tourette’s syndrome that urges desperate men to paint history not as it was, but as they wish it to be.
I have covered various aspects of why the Constitution is a devilishly clever instrument to make a Helot people think they are free. Under Article VIII of the Articles of Confederation, the United States federal government did not have the power to tax. And on reflection, wisely so. As one will note from the quote at the top, the first order of business for the Constitution was into wrest the power of the taxing regime to the top of the political food chain.
Kenneth Royce does a brilliant book-length treatment of why the Constitution is so awful for free men and such a gift for grasping totalitarians.
So I simply want to treat the first ten years of the career of the document to show just how monstrous a predator on liberty it truly was. Many of these champions of the “original” document claim that the later distortions and license used by the executive, legislature and courts were merely deviations. I will establish they are a pattern from birth.
These are the same folks by the way who take the problematic Second Amendment seriously yet the record of infringement would occupy volumes to document. A brief 20th century tour of “infringement” would be the 1934 National Firearms Act, 1938 Federal Firearms Act, 1939, US v. Miller, 1968 Gun Control Act (egged on by Governor Reagan’s Mulford Act and the RFK assassination), Nixon’s call for a handgun ban in 1972, the 1986 Firearms Owners Protection Act, the Bushevik I import ban in 1989, AWB, Brady Bill, NICS, Bushevik II’s 2007 NICS Improvement Act and all the attendant nonsense in between and since.
Excepting Nixon’s imbecilic proposal, all the law of the land stamped and approved by all branches. All Constitutionally endorsed.
The Arkansas high court stars the ball rolling in 1842 in State v. Buzzard for this collectivist nonsense with guns. “That the words ‘a well regulated militia being necessary for the security of a free State’, and the words ‘common defense’ clearly show the true intent and meaning of these Constitutions [i.e., Arkansas and U.S.] and prove that it is a political and not an individual right, and, of course, that the State, in her legislative capacity, has the right to regulate and control it: This being the case, then the people, neither individually nor collectively, have the right to keep and bear arms.”
And we have all heard that nonsense in the gun community for decades and nothing is new under the sun.
But I digress; this is merely Exhibit A to show the further corrosive effects of thinking a government can remain limited in its infringements on liberty, which the Constitutional framework codifies in addition to the legal ownership of other humans in chattel slavery..
We’ve all discussed the Quasi-War with France from 1791-1800, the Whiskey Rebellion, the Alien and Seditions Act and other such liberty destroying edicts that crushed the animating spirit of liberty that had started the divorce proceedings with the United Kingdom in 1775 in the first place.
The Constitution not only codified slavery but used government money to equip the patrols to repatriate the “human property”. Read Section 3 and 4 of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 to really get your government muscle on. This was approved on 12February 1793 with 48 votes in favor and 7 against and 14 abstaining.
This was the unfinished business of the slave clause from 1787 coup convention:
The Fugitive Slave Clause undoubtedly gave slave-owners something of value. The Articles of Confederation had contained no similar provision, nor had the Articles given the Confederation Congress power over the issue. At most, masters might attempt to exercise their common law right to recapture fugitives on their own, but it appeared that nothing restricted free states from denying that right by asserting that any slave who entered their territory could not be seized and returned.
Both of these laws also made it a crime to abet or provide sanctuary for runaway slaves. This is an important part of the modern police state in America with its huge odious infrastructure of confidential informants, accessories and all the active police state apparatchiks that comprise the bloated malum prohibitum legal/ custody complex in America.
Want to read something really scary? Look at what happened to Ben Franklin’s grandson, Benjamin Bache, at the hands of the Federal government at the Aurora in the 1790s. James Adams, the royal aspirant suggested a verbose title for the president: “His Highness, the President of the United States of America and Protector of the Rights of the Same.” Despite the HBO whitewash of this politicking scoundrel, the record speaks of a despot. Along with this, he proposed that the president and all senators should hold their offices for life. Bache would suffer mightily at the hands of the administration for merely pointing out the emperor has no clothes.
Ask Mr. Bache about Rightful Liberty.
A closer look at the mischief of the ten years under the auspices of the Constitution paints an even bleaker picture.
Almost immediately. the taxing mischief of the central state to get the machinery rolling. In fairness, by 1796, state and local governments in fourteen of the 15 states taxed land. Delaware taxed the income from property. The central government tax theft schemes would merely compound matters for struggling farmers, ‘smiths and businessmen.
Despite the famed marker of 1803 for Supremes sovereignty in determining Constitutionality, it occurred earlier than that. In Hayburn’s Case (1792), the Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of the Invalid Pensioners Act (1792). Once again, a mere year after the ratification of the Constitution a wealth redistribution scheme for the transference of government monies from one part of the constituency to another was argued after said money had been seized through taxation. Of course, the practice was continued.
Unlike Marbury v. Madison in 1803 which questioned an Act of Congress and ruled it unconstitutional, Hylton v. United States was the 1796 decision that determined the tax industry for the American government would be able to torture language and behavior until they wrestled a rationale to start taking money out of the citizen’s pockets a mere five years after the ink had dried on the Constitution. This would be the first in a long and wretched train of decisions expanding the central government’s ability to tax everything it could lay claim to. The sole reason income taxes weren’t considered was most likely the immaturity of accountancy and verification technology at the time. Ironically, Justice John Roberts in 2012 would use this decision as a touchstone for justifying Obamacare as a tax. Think about that: the rudiments of the national socialist takeover of healthcare in America relies partially on the rationalizations for tax schemes from the early days of the beloved Constitution.
You have to read Roberts’ opinion to get a full whiff of the stench of this decision:
“A tax on going without health insurance does not fall within any recognized category of direct tax. It is not a capitation. Capitations are taxes paid by every person, “without regard to property, profession, or any other circumstance.” Hylton, supra, at 175 (opinion of Chase, J.) Justice Roberts says: “…the health care penalty tax is not a direct tax because no one in the past has every tried to tax everyone directly for health care. If no one in the past has ever tried it, then it cannot be a direct tax now.”
This is the reasoning of a toddler lathered in complex fallacies throughout.
Roberts later admits that the penalty applies to everyone (that is, it is an unconstitutional direct tax), but it is only “triggered by specific circumstances.” Figure that out. That circumstance is being forced into an insurance pool after which one is committed by the government to fulfill. Ex post facto ergo propter hoc.
Samuel Chase said in Hylton:
“The term duty, is the most comprehensive next to the generical term tax; and practically in Great Britain, (whence we take our general ideas of taxes, duties, imposts, excises, customs, etc.) embraces taxes on stamps, tolls for passage, etc. etc. and is not confined to taxes on importation only.” And, “As I do not think the tax on carriages is a direct tax, it is unnecessary, at this time, for me to determine, whether this court, constitutionally possesses the power to declare an act of Congress void, on the ground of its being made contrary to, and in violation of, the Constitution; but if the court have such power, I am free to declare, that I will never exercise it, but in a very clear case.”
This is a terrific example of the logic of a tyrant. The Constitutional parchment is merely another instrument of tyranny but what a vehicle for abuse of power it has become.
This the first ten years of this diabolical instrument. Ten years on and it is used as a lever to control the most banal human transactions from speech to spirits to dissent.
Is it any wonder the westward expansion started so quickly as entire families and communities desperately fled west to territories unfettered by the Constitution?
As Patric Henry would tell us, he smelled a rat. Indeed.
“But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case it is unfit to exist.”
– Lysander Spooner