The Foundations of America
What made America Unique
“...But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government;....” James Madison, Fourth President of the United States(1)
It’s all important to understand what ideals America was founded on to better understand how we got into the political and social dilemmas our society faces today.
Writing the Constitution of the United States
When the 55 Founding Fathers gathered in Philadelphia in 1787, they recognized the shortcomings of the Articles of Confederation, which united the colonies from 1781 to 1789. The task facing the Founding Fathers, true visionaries, was unprecedented in world history. The Founders recognized that an excess of power leads to despotism, while too little authority leads to anarchy, and both eventually to the ruin of the people. Throughout history, it has proven impossible to establish a lasting free society capable of staying on that thin line that separates anarchy from overpowering government.
The Founders hoped for as close to a utopian society as possible - understanding the collective good will of the citizens would determine how close we get. The people of colonial America wanted the same things nearly everybody everywhere has ever wanted - a decent, safe place to live, ability to support your family and enjoy life. The Declaration of Independence stated that people “... are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness... ”
Everything they accomplished was for YOU.
The Founders had to solve 2 dilemmas:
1) set up the government and laws to govern a free society and
2) how to maintain social order and morality in a free society.
The Founding Fathers argued and prayed often, and in less than 4 months, wrote the finest founding document in history. Completed on September 17, 1787, the Constitution established a republic, and set forth the responsibilities of the federal government. The Constitution created a unique framework of checks and balances under which the citizenry were to work out the never ending issues that would arise as the years went by. The Founders then placed the future of the nation into the hands of voters.
Continue to: Solving the two age old dilemmas of self government
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