Jefferson 's Solution to Today's Runaway Government:
Educate the People and Restore Original Principles
Many students of American History stand in awe at the careful wording of the Declaration of Independence which incorporates eight magnificent principles necessary for freedom to exist in America . What some do not fully understand is that Jefferson spent the rest of his life, exactly fifty years to the day, trying to defend those principles and holding the line against an increasingly powerful federal government which seemed to want to break out from the cherished confines and principles of the Declaration.
During the difficult years of the nation's second president, John Adams, the federal authorities assumed powers that alarmed many of the Founders who thought they had gone well beyond Constitutional limits, especially with the passage of the Alien and Sedition Act. This led Jefferson to help draft the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798 which were formal protests against such federal acts and declared the states' rights to not obey such unjust laws
"...we have nothing scarcely to propose."
When Thomas Jefferson became the third President of the United States in 1801, he was so determined that the federal government, by strictly following the Constitution, would work quietly in carrying out its few and defined powers that he eventually said:
"The path we have to pursue is so quiet that we have nothing scarcely to propose [to Congress]. A noiseless course, not meddling with the affairs of others, unattractive of notice, is a mark that society is going on in happiness."
Imagine Congress convening in Washington and the President telling them that he doesn't know of a single new law needed to make the system run more smoothly!
But it wasn't long before succeeding administrations and Congressmen yielded to the urge to let the federal government assume more and more power than the Constitution gave them.
Jefferson's Final Declaration and Protest
After watching federal power accumulate over a period of nearly two more decades, Thomas Jefferson had to speak again. It was as though he was giving his final warning to the people. It was in 1825, less than one year before he died. He drafted a document entitled, The solemn Declaration and Protest of the Commonwealth of Virginia on the principles of the constitution of the United States and on the violations of them .
In this Declaration, Jefferson once again reiterated the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. These included:
The people and the states have agreed to form a single federal government with respect to relations with each other and with foreign countries.
The people and the states retain the rights to independent government in relation to domestic affairs.
Each government has a distinct and separate set of functionaries to carry out its duties.
The commonwealth of Virginia religiously adheres to this distribution of powers and opposes with firmness the usurpation of either set over the other.
The greatest calamity to befall the people and the states is submission to a federal government of unlimited, usurped powers, the dissolution of the Union , and living under a government of unlimited powers.
"We know and value too highly the blessings of our Union ," he said, so we will stay with our union, be patient and suffer much with the hope that time will bring consequences to the usurpers.
"We owe...the world at large to pursue with temper and perseverance..."
The great Jefferson then spelled out a formula that should be followed when and if the federal government degenerates from its original brilliance. He said that when things really deteriorate, rather than admit that this great experiment has failed, we must show the world that we can endure and recover. Said he:
"We owe every other sacrifice to ourselves, to our federal brethren, and to the world at large to pursue with temper and perseverance the great experiment which shall prove that man is capable of living in [a] society governing itself by laws self-imposed, and securing to its members the enjoyment of life, liberty, property, and peace;..."
Jefferson continues his counsel by telling us what our frame of mind must be as we see the union crumbling around us:
"and further, to show that even when the government of its choice shall manifest a tendency to degeneracy, we are not at once to despair , but that the will and the watchfulness of its sounder parts will reform its aberrations, recall it to original and legitimate principles, and restrain it within the rightful limits of self-government."
His four-step solution is:
Do not have the negative spirit of despair
Join with the nation's sounder parts
Recall original and legitimate principles
Restrain the runaway government within its proper limits
The Nation's Sounder Parts are Awakening
Millions of citizens across this country are alarmed at the progress of the destructive forces and are awaking to a realization of our awful situation. They do not have a spirit of despair but one of hope and faith in the eventual victory of good and right. They know that things are terribly wrong and that there must be some better answers. They see hypocrisy and deception and they are determined that there are better solutions. They are realizing the only real answer to this deteriorating dilemma is found in the words of Thomas Jefferson when he said:
"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power."
These sounder parts are those who have the spirit of freedom and liberty. They are members of churches, political parties, tea parties, and citizens who don't belong to any organization. They are Americans concerned for their country. They are turning to The National Center for Constitutional Studies (NCCS) for help in understanding the original and legitimate principles of the Founders, for in them they hope they will finally find answers that will work.
The Making of America Seminar:
Thrilling audiences across the nation with the
True Story of America can be had in several formats
One-Day Live Seminar:
The all-day live seminar will hold you in your seats as you marvel at the wisdom of the Founders. It generally follows this format:
Developing America 's Great Success Formula - 8:30am-12:00pm
Lunch Break- 12:00-12:45pm
The Perfect Plan of Liberty - 12:45pm-4:30pm
Steps for a successful live seminar:
Organizing Committee- Form an organizing committee of dedicated people to plan and commit to bring people to the seminar.
Select a Date- Select a Saturday, usually 2-4 months out, when you can assemble 50 or more people. (50 person minimum and no limit)
Venue- Identify a facility that will meet the projected attendance, financial, & scheduling needs. It is preferable to have everyone seated at tables.
Schedule Date- Secure the date with the NCCS seminar coordinator email@example.com
Marketing- Personal, face to face contact and commitments from like-minded groups and organizations provide the highest success.
Refer to www.nccs.net/seminars for full details.
Last summer, the Hughes Brothers, of Branson , Missouri , donated their entire theater for a whole day for The Making of America Seminar . A professional DVD was made and is available from NCCS. Obtaining our Study Guide and the DVDfrom NCCS makes it possible to experience the The Making of America anytime you wish. Families are purchasing this set for each of their extended families to be viewed a lesson at a time. It is a great family activity for each family member to have a Study Guide and to fill in the blanks during the telling of America 's story.Click here for more details and for ordering.
The Making of America Seminar can also be experienced merely by downloading the Study Guide from www.nccs.net/seminars, printing the pages, and then watching each lesson on your computer from the NCCS website. (The online video is currently only available in Flash but will be available in other formats soon.) Can you imagine how many thousands of people can now enjoy this most exciting story of America who may never be able to attend a live seminar? Not only Americans, but now many around the world can hear the wonderful story of America . There is no charge for any of these downloads.
Truly, as Jefferson hoped would happen, the sounder parts of America are rising to the occasion to learn about and restore America to its sacred roots. We invite all to help to do the same. We encourage you to share this resource with as many people as you can.
Earl Taylor, Jr.