Every day seems to bring a new revelation of governments worldwide in crisis mode-either threatening a crisis or experiencing one. What in the world is happening on the planet, you might wonder. I decided to go back to our country’s founding to see what the sentiments were at that time. Perhaps there was some confusion, fear, and skepticism. A constitutional representative republic form of government had never been tried before. The Framers knew that the American public needed to debate the concept before they could accept it.
James Wilson, a Pennsylvania resident, attended the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. After the Article VII ratification process began, Wilson spoke to the Pennsylvania state convention on November 24 that year in a brilliant speech promoting the ratification of the U.S.Constitution. Take, for example, this quote from his remarks:
“Permit me to add, in this place, that the science even of government itself seems yet to be almost in its state of infancy. Governments, in general, have been the result of force, of fraud, and accident. After a period of six thousand years has elapsed since the creation [of the world], the United States exhibit to the world, the first instance, as far as we can learn, of a nation, unattached by external force, unconvulsed by domestic insurrections, assembling voluntarily, deliberating fully, and deciding calmly conserving that system of government under which they would wish that they and their posterity should live.”
Wilson points out that the ancients really only knew three kinds of government: monarchy, aristocracy, and pure democracy. Along comes this infant country proposing a constitutional government that is a representative republic. He notes that governments generally happen by force, fraud, or accident. Isn’t that what we see today? Can we realize that “without America, there is no free world?” (That is the sub-title of the Canada Free Press, btw).
Wilson is saying this: We the People assembled voluntarily, debated carefully, and willingly adopted our form of government that generations have given blood and treasure to preserve. We are unique in all of the governments upon the earth. Those who would destroy us and our way of life cannot do so without our consent.
In these times, Americans need to remember who we are as a nation and then be who we are, not only for ourselves but for our posterity.
The choice is ours: hold on to the form of government and the freedoms we have, or hand it all to those who would exert their power over us.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.🇺🇸