and its’ impact on the Country and Georgia
The Bill of Rights (Partial)
Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent starts of its institution.
RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.
ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
- Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
- Tenth Amendment – Powers of States and people.
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 Founding Fathers of our country, upon the adoption of the Constitution, believed in the need for what is now called The Bill of Rights in order to prevent the abuse of power by the Federal Government. Here we are looking only three of these Amendments; the second, the ninth and the tenth Amendments. It was a belief widely held by the Founding Fathers that the several States were Sovereign States and that, in joining together in a Republic named The United States of America, they were not surrendering their sovereignty. Rather they were joining together as sovereign states ceding those rights specifically named in the Constitution to the Federal Government in order to more efficiently provide for the common defense and certain other common needs enumerated within the Constitution.
There was little change during the 18th and the first half of the 19th centuries. It was not until slavery became an issue greatly dividing the peoples and the States of the United States, that States Rights became an issue. The great divide preceding the War Between the States was both moral and economic and the war was fought primarily on the question of whether or not the Sovereign States had the right to leave the Union.
An income tax was passed during the Civil War (The Revenue Act of 1861) which was repealed ten years later. This was the first, but by no means the last, effort of the Federal Government to apply an income tax upon all of the citizens of the several States.
With the passage in 1909 of the 16th Amendment established the right of the Federal Government to tax in this manner. It is only now, in the 21st century, that an attempt to replace the income tax with a consumption tax (The Fair Tax) that the power of the Federal Government and its’ representatives to direct the Sovereign States is being challenged. More on this later.
The 20th century saw little change until the Labor Relations Act of 1937 and the Child Labor Law established the Federal Government’s power to regulate interstate commerce. The New Deal leading up to WWII began the growth of Federal Power which was greatly extended during the war. The second half of the 20th century saw the Kennedy Minimum Wage Law extending Federal Power even further. The growth of Federal Power has continued to grow ever since.
But, it is only in the 21st Century that Federal Power has grown to alarming rates. The advent of 9/11 and the resulting War on Terror and the Patriot Act have caused, perhaps by necessity, the American people to surrender more of our rights than ever before. And the subsequent Administration has begun an unprecedented expansion of Federal Control over the American (notice the American Economy - no longer the economies of the Several States) Economy to ever greater lengths.
We will discuss in this series of articles, the effects of these trends on the United States as a whole, the State of Georgia and ourselves as not only Georgians but residents of North Georgia.
We will also look at the actions already taken by several States and actions contemplated by a number of other States, including Georgia, regarding the Sovereignty of the State.
And, finally, we will look at at least four possible paths we might take to the future and what each might look like in years to come.