Category Archives: Art 1 Sect 10
July 4, 1788 – In Providence the local Federalists have set up a giant barbecue to celebrate both the Independence Day holiday and to read aloud the proposed Constitution. There is little hope that Rhode Island will quickly ratify the Constitution, in fact, as of today, there hasn’t been any move to even call for a convention to consider the document.
The anti-Federalists in Rhode Island aren’t just opposed to the Constitution. They oppose virtually every idea to strengthen the Union. For the past few years they have intentionally/unintentionally sabotaged the Articles of Confederation by using the power of the veto to stop any forward progress. It is in Rhode Island where the rampant use of State issued paper money has resulted in chaos and financial ruin to States and individuals trying to do business with Rhode Islanders
Now, as the few Federalists in Rhode Island gather to celebrate, William West, leader of the Country Party, decides to take action and make sure that the Providence Federalists understand that Rhode Island has no intention of ratifying the Constitution. He means to shut down their celebration and end once and for all the consideration of the Constitution in the Rhode Island…
Episode 2 – Titles of Nobility
It’s not actually “freedom.” The Founders weren’t fighting for freedom, they fought for Liberty. So what is the difference?
The prohibitions contained in the Constitution allowed for the abolition of all forms of slavery, by prohibiting ex post facto laws, enshrined the writ of habeas corpus and prohibited Titles of Nobility. In all, these things did more to secure and protect liberties than anything that was contained in the State Constitutions under the Confederacy.
On August 21, 1786, the uprising known as “Shay’s Rebellion” began in Massachusetts. The rebellion was born of frustration among the Veterans of the Revolutionary War who felt that they were being denied the very freedoms for which they had fought and bled. Like most history though, it is the stories of the individuals involved that have been lost in the shuffle of “the big picture” that had the most influence and the most impact on the events of the day. Captain Henry Gale was a leader of Shay’s rebellion, and in the United States of America, he was sentenced to hang for his actions, driven by his conscience. His story, which I learned from one of his descendants (buy the book liked to the left, it’s great!), is a remarkable vision of the America of the pre-Constitution era, and in the midst of the Ratification Debates, it may have been the hanging of Captain Henry Gale that influenced the writing of and the debates over the powers of the Government.