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Old 02-10-2017, 05:35 PM
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Default Book Review: Bradford's "Original Intentions" on making of US Constitution

Book Review: Bradford's "Original Intentions" on making of US Constitution
(Apollonian, 10 Feb 17)

M.E. Bradford's "Original Intentions: On the Making and Ratification of the United States Constitution," U. of Georgia Press, Athens (Ga.) and London, 1993, 165 pp., xxvi, 136 text, notes, index; is outstanding primer for understanding the making and real meaning and purpose of US Constitution. For Americans had been successful w. the original Articles of Confederation, having won the war and their independence fm Great Britain, but now had a serious foreign debt and were having some difficulties, esp. w. the latest rebellion led by Shay in Massachusetts. Were things breaking down?--and couldn't they improve things as in way of revenue for the union by more direct method(s), and simplifying the commercial relations among and btwn the states?

So Bradford does great svc for us as he examines the specific state ratification debates, pt-ing out the absolute greatest concern for all of them that the union WOULD NOT DOMINATE THE STATES, that the union only had specifically delegated powers and NO MORE. Only 11 percent of the Constitutional text had to do w. power granted to the union; fully 20 percent made specific prohibitions for what union could NOT do. Of course, the great flaw turned-out to being the far too powerful judiciary, as we now know--it's STILL working its mischief, even to this very day, as always.

For don't forget it was Sup. ct. Justice Joseph Story, fm Massachusetts, first nominated as Democrat-Republican for the ct. by Madison (1811), who originated and formulated that fatal specific idea that the union was superior to the states, against the justly famous "compact" theory of Jefferson and later, Calhoun, Story holding that the whole people of all the states together were "sovereign" over and against the people of the individual and several states, then spoken-for by Sen. Dan Webster and later, Lincoln himself. And whatever one might say about such legalist "fictions" as Story's and Lincoln's, note it was good enough to see to the gross, horrific mass-murder of the people of the south (including blacks, don't forget, of whom about a million died) in the 1860s war of Northern Aggression--in fact, it continues to hold to this day.

For one extremely significant thing, Bradford pt.s out the nowadays little known fact state of N. Carolina actually voted down and refused ratification the first time they met and took a wait-and-see attitude for whether the newly-elected US Congress, after the Const. went into effect, would put in place the promised Bill-of-Rights amendments. B. of Rights wasn't just some optional thing, esp. for the 9th and 10th Amendments.

Another great pt. made by Bradford is reverence of all American founders, and as expressed in the ratification debates, for preceding British constitutional system and traditional rights of Englishmen, including that of Magna Charta. Practically every single provision of US Constitution is derived fm the British system and precedents for law and legal tradition. So when one speaks of American tradition, such as it is, one necessarily implies the preceding British spirit, system, and tradition.

Bradford brings up the "nomocratic" theory by which purpose of constitution is the necessarily republican idea of subjecting state and gov. to strict rule-of-law rather than the present sort of "teleologic" understanding by which the const. is supposed to "grow" and/or "adapt" in accord w. the trends, fashions, and whims of the pure democratic principle.

Of course, death of US Constitution was the 1860s War of Northern Aggression which decisively rejected the only rational basis, the above-noted "compact" theory, even though it's the only possible basis of law. And what has ensued is the same satanic, murderous empire as we see today, all rationalized by moralism, Pharisaism, and oligarchic patronization for the human condition, for the politicians soon enough realized they had to have some plausible excuse for the gross destruction and mass-murder which was perpetrated; high-flown idiocy and lies are what we've been given by the courts.

Thus Bradford's work is such a masterpiece as most substantial, well referenced, scholarly PRIMER, so short and yet well-written, for more than mere basic understanding of law and US Constitution, highly recommended.
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