Answers to today’s problems found in third American Constitution!

150 years ago a third Constitution was created in Montgomery, Alabama. The authors foresaw America today and set a course to avoid it.
by Mark Vogl
Wednesday, March 7, 2012

When first formed, the united States operated under the Articles of Confederation through the Revolutionary War.   After the war, the independent nation – states (as recognized by Great Britain’s individual treaty with each state) realized changes had to be made to enhance commerce and protection from foreign military adventurism against the infant confederacy.  But, when the delegates sent to the convention found it impossible to work with the Articles of Confederation they advised their separate states, and asked to be allowed to draft a new Constitution.  The result of their work was the Constitution.  However, all states, big and small, north and South retained their right as an independent nation-state to leave the union.  Some states like New York, actually articulated this right in the resolution passed by their legislature to rejoin the union under the second constitution! Don and Ron Kennedy co-authors of THE SOUTH WAS RIGHT state clearly in their work; if you cannot leave, you are not free.

In 1860, as a result of conflicting views of national purpose, identity and direction seven Southern states exercised their right to secede, ( a right recognized in classes taught at West Point at the time), and met in Montgomery, Alabama to form another American nation.  Later they would be joined by six more states and two territories.   The founders of the Confederacy took great pains to make specific changes/modifications to the Constitution they had left to ensure that their fears concerning the path the U.S. was taking could be changed.  The South would take a very different direction.  And despite the present day historical spin of political correctness, a careful reading of the Confederate Consitution  and comparison to the U.S. Constitution will clearly illuminate the concerns of the South, and surprisingly demonstrate that the men who met in Montgomery in 1860 foretold the problems America faces today!

Before we go further, we must here and now address the question of slavery, as those most frightened by a careful study of the South’s governing document will use slavery as the means to distract from the principles important to today’s challenges, by attempting to demean and discredit the entire document with sole focus on the peculiar institution.  These tacticians of the left are practiced in the art of public discourse, and use distraction as an efficient weapon in the fight for human attention.

Therefore, I state here, and for the record the condemnation of slavery, both as a Southern institution and just as much an institution of the United States and the North.  Slavery was the sin of America’s nineteenth century just as abortion is the sin of America’s twentieth and twenty-first century.  With that said, let’s look at some of the structural adjustments made by the South to reset the course of their nation to the original course set by the Founders in Philadelphia.  The flags of the United States and Euro nations flew over the slave ships bound for the west.  It was not the Confederate flag.  Slaves were spread across all colonies, north and South initially.  And it is the US Constitution that did prohibit the slave trade when it was adopted.  All but one state in the north had slavery at that time. But in the Southern Constitution, the international slave trade was banned.

There is no means to right this wrong.  There is no method to correct the past.  But let not those as guilty as we, white wash the history.  In the future, when a time comes where abortion is condemned, it will be the same for those future people.  They will be descendants of a barbarous people who slaughtered tens of millions of innocents.  This is an aspect of original sin we must learn to use for wiser policy decisions today.

First amongst the changes is found in the Preamble:

WE, the People of the Confederated States, each State acting in its sovereign and independent character, in order to form a permanent Federal government, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Confederate States of America.

Inserted in the Preamble are two critical points.  Perfection was replaced with permanence.  As the South saw it, the threat to the Union came from its oppression and centralization of power.  Therefore, permanence, keeping the Union together required a lighter reign, more autonomy on the part of the states.  And secondly, God must be invited to the table of governance!  50 million aborted American souls, most of them from the black community would praise hallelujah to God’s guidance in terms of government policy.

In my view, no issue is more important to the election of 2012 than the role of God at the governing table, and the re-establishment of the Christian Character of the United States.  This is not a new concept, but rather one passed down from the founding.  Benjamin F. Morris, a Yankee, wrote a 1000 page treatise titled The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States.  Written in the early years of the War for Southern Independence and published in 1864, this work traces the involvement of Christianity through each phase of the discovery, exploration, settlement and founding of the united States.

The quality of a people, the very nature of a nation revolves around its relationship with God.  The decline we see, as a result of the Culture War has done more to bring down America than any war, any depression, any catastrophe endured.  President Obama’s public pronouncement declaring we are not a Christian nation is the single most important aspect of the 2012 election.  No other issue requires more immediate rejection, and reverse.       

Extracted from the Preamble was the "joker" of the American Constitution.  The card which opened the vast domain of endless power to the central government;  "provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare"  The general welfare clause has also been removed from the main body of the Confederate Constitution, thus eliminating a foundational point for law imposed by the Supreme Court through their decisions.

The Confederate founders added value to citizenship;  "…no person of foreign birth, and not a citizen of the Confederate States, shall be allowed to vote for any officer, civil or political, State or federal."  Further, only citizens could hold office.  This provision reduces the incentive to immigrants by removing their right to influence the election of office holders.  This is a clear signal to the desire to protect the national character of the South, requiring a generation of assimilation before new comers could fully be citizens.  These policies are quite opposite to today’s America, where many attempt to devalue American citizenship by granting rights and privileges to illegal immigrants.

This provision combined with the requirement that a vote of 2/3’s of both Houses to raise the President’s proposed budget by one dollar set a very high standard for excessive spending, and effectively blocks the creation of the huge deficits presently financing U.S. government operations.

The President is also authorized to use the Line Item Veto: The President may approve any appropriation and disapprove any other appropriation in the same bill. The Southern Constitution grants a lot of power to the Executive to run the government, but also limits him/her to one six year term.  The effect of this on spending and budget matters is problematic.  How this combination of powers, combined with liberation from re-election syndrome would play out is anybody’s guess.  In some respects I am fearful of this combination. When we look at Presidential Executive Orders and other actions in the post November months of a President’s last term, we see immense power unleashed with little restraint.

In an indirect way, the Confederate Constitution prohibits the bail outs of private industries, and or the establishment of laws to affect capitalism and actions of its citizens as consumers; "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes; but neither this, nor any other clause contained in this Constitution, shall ever be construed to delegate the power to Congress to appropriate money for any internal improvement intended to facilitate commerce;."  This clause could have blocked actions by the Bush and Obama Administrations with respect to bail outs and would also forbid the nationalization of one sixth of the economy, health care.

America did have a second course.  Part of the nation attempted to exercise its right to travel that path.  These initiatives by the South should be seen as their pre-war anticipation of the Fourteenth Amendment.  It might be wise in the Sesquicentennial era to study the alternative route to see if remedies for today’s troubles are present in our past.  

©2012 Mark Vogl

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