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American Democracy - Founders and framers of the American constitution

"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 will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. 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.

The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the State governments, in times of peace and security. As the former periods will probably bear a small proportion to the latter, the State governments will here enjoy another advantage over the federal government. The more adequate, indeed, the federal powers may be rendered to the national defense, the less frequent will be those scenes of danger which might favor their ascendancy over the governments of the particular States.

If the new Constitution be examined with accuracy and candor, it will be found that the change which it proposes consists much less in the addition of new powers to the Union, than in the invigoration of its original powers." James Madison The Federalist No. 45: Alleged Danger From the Powers of the Union to the State Governments Considered Independent Journal January 26, 1788

Learn about the Commercial Clause: http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/node/#.Ts_1EE7HpG0.blogger

Democracy needs public virtue tell the founders and framers of the American Constitution

"To suppose that many any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea" James Madison.  But John Adams added 'Public Virtue cannot exist in a Nation without private virtue, and public Virtue is the only foundation of a republic."

Explaining more, lets refer to Georges Washington so that to learn: 'Virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government, and human rights can only be assured among virtuous people."  In a certain sense what also tells Patrick Henry enhance this previous sentence: "A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom.". So as warns Benjamin Franklin "Only virtuous people are capable of freedom."  Highlighting liberty as a human need, Judge Learned Hand will come to precise that 'Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women. When it dies, no constitution, no law, no court can save it."

If you read all previous quote, why not conclude with Thomas Jeffersonthat  " No government can continue good but under the control of the people; and ... theirs minds are to be informed bu education what is right and what is wrong; to be encouraged in habits of virtue and to be deterred from those of vice... These are the inculcation necessary to render the people a sure basis for the structure and order of government.".

However a central point remain Loyalty to the Constitution is stressed by the Preamle stating that "We the people, must seek the blessing of liberty by reverencing the Constitution itself learning and abiding by its precepts of individual self-government and responsibility, being virtuous, and doing good to one another."
More on the American Constitution:  http://rss.libguides.com/rss.php?mode=s&iid=294&sid=1489919
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The Commercial Clause in The United States of America

"The Constitution] contains an enumeration of powers expressly granted by the people to their government. It has been said that these powers ought to be construed strictly. But why ought they to be so construed? Is there one sentence in the Constitution which gives countenance to this rule?

In the last of the enumerated powers, that which grants expressly the means for carrying all others into execution, Congress is authorized 'to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper' for the purpose. But this limitation on the means which may be used is not extended to the powers which are conferred, nor is there one sentence in the Constitution which has been pointed out by the gentlemen of the bar or which we have been able to discern that prescribes this rule.

We do not, therefore, think ourselves justified in adopting it. What do gentlemen mean by a "strict construction?" If they contend only against that enlarged construction, which would extend words beyond their natural and obvious import, we might question the application of the term, but should not controvert the principle. If they contend for that narrow construction which, in support or some theory not to be found in the Constitution, would deny to the government those powers which the words of the grant, as usually understood, import, and which are consistent with the general views and objects of the instrument; for that narrow construction which would cripple the government and render it unequal to the object for which it is declared to be instituted, and to which the powers given, as fairly understood, render it competent; then we cannot perceive the propriety of this strict construction, nor adopt it as the rule by which the Constitution is to be expounded.

As men whose intentions require no concealment generally employ the words which most directly and aptly express the ideas they intend to convey, the enlightened patriots who framed our Constitution, and the people who adopted it, must be understood to have employed words in their natural sense, and to have intended what they have said. ...We know of no rule for construing the extent of such powers other than is given by the language of the instrument which confers them, taken in connexion with the purposes for which they were conferred.

The words are, 'Congress shall have power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes.'

The subject to be regulated is commerce, and our Constitution being, as was aptly said at the bar, one of enumeration, and not of definition, to ascertain the extent of the power, it becomes necessary to settle the meaning of the word. The counsel for the appellee would limit it to traffic, to buying and selling, or the interchange of commodities, and do not admit that it comprehends navigation. This would restrict a general term, applicable to many objects, to one of its significations. Commerce, undoubtedly, is traffic, but it is something more: it is intercourse. It describes the commercial intercourse between nations, and parts of nations, in all its branches, and is regulated by prescribing rules for carrying on that intercourse. The mind can scarcely conceive a system for regulating commerce between nations which shall exclude all laws concerning navigation, which shall be silent on the admission of the vessels of the one nation into the ports of the other, and be confined to prescribing rules for the conduct of individuals in the actual employment of buying and selling or of barter.



If commerce does not include navigation, the government of the Union has no direct power over that subject, and can make no law prescribing what shall constitute American vessels or requiring that they shall be navigated by American seamen. Yet this power has been exercised from the commencement of the government, has been exercised with the consent of all, and has been understood by all to be a commercial regulation. All America understands, and has uniformly understood, the word 'commerce' to comprehend navigation. It was so understood, and must have been so understood, when the Constitution was framed. 


The power over commerce, including navigation, was one of the primary objects for which the people of America adopted their government, and must have been contemplated in forming it. The convention must have used the word in that sense, because all have understood it in that sense, and the attempt to restrict it comes too late." Chief Justice John MarshallGibbons v. Ogden (1824) Supreme Court of the United States1824

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