Private Property Rights

- A basic Premise Of America's Constitution

Tired of having the fruits of their labors confiscated by an overpowering British government, America's Founders declared themselves free and independent.

Most American schoolchildren can recite their claim that ". all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights ... to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Less familiar, however, are these lines from their Declaration of Independence:

"He ( King George III ) has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance .... He has combined with others to subject us, ... imposing taxes on us without our consent."

What, then, did the Founders consider to be the real cornerstone of man's liberty and happiness? On what basic premise did they devise their Constitution? Let them speak for themselves:

John Adams

"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God ... anarchy and tyranny commence. PROPERTY MUST BE SECURED OR LIBERTY CANNOT EXIST"

 

James Madison

"Government is instituted to protect property of every sort .... This being the end of government, that is NOT a just government,... nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has ... is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest."

Their guiding principle was that people come together to form governments in order to SECURE their rights to property - not to create an entity which wilt, itself, "take from the mouths of labor the bread it has earned." What was wrong for individual citizens to do to one another, they believed, was equally wrong for government to do to them.

The right to own property and to keep the rewards of individual labor opened the floodgates of progress for the benefit of the entire human race. Millions have fled other countries to participate in the Miracle of America.


Footnote: Our Ageless Constitution, W. David Stedman & La Vaughn G. Lewis, Editors (Asheboro, NC, W. David Stedman Associates, 1987) Part III:  ISBN 0-937047-01-5