Timothy N. Baldwin, JD.
August 12, 2010
Freedom mostly—if not only—comes by revolution. Revolution is the change of political power from one to another. In the case of America’s founding, power transferred from Great Britain to the individual States of America. Inevitably, revolution results in the division and separation from that form or system of government causing the plight. Rarely, if ever, does freedom come by gradual progression. Just the opposite: tyranny comes by gradual progression. Of course, revolution does not have to be violent and only becomes violent when those in control of the existing government forces its will upon those who would chose to be free from its dominion.
When a people attempt to be free from a system of government which they deem to be destructive to the ends and purpose of government, those who demand their allegiance and loyalty only heighten the problem and exacerbate the resentment of the people. Consequently, revolution is the result of a government which rules in a manner inconsistent with the principles of a free society, enabling the people to choose different forms of government under different constitutions.
The United States of America is in such a process and has been for generations. Meanwhile, the most sincere and intelligent have written and spoken extensively on the U.S. Constitution, trying to explain the essential components of its nature and character, in efforts of providing an effectual remedy of the form, laws and procedures that are pushing the revolution at an increasing rate. Astute authors have written on the paradoxical character of the constitution as one being unknown to those who are “under its control” and yet supposedly being the best in the world.
Millions of words have been written in the attempt to provide the answer to what the constitution is, how it is to operate and how freedom is to be restored through it. Yet, after two hundred and fifty years of political process and societal change, the questions have never been resolved. Even worse, the decline of freedom falls even faster, despite the plethora of knowledge on the subject.
The reason is open and obvious. A constitution will only reflect the philosophical and moral state of the society at large. Where society does not believe in and operate according to natural laws of God and rights of man, then the government (which is to be bound by the constitution) most certainly will not govern in a manner consistent with the underlying foundations of natural law which forms the constitution. The further in time and spirit society is removed from the principles forming the constitution, the more impossible it is for the constitution to serve as an adequate limitation on the government ruling those people. This is the reason why large societies can hardly—if ever—remain as a free Republic. It is an inevitable reality of human nature, and societies should act accordingly to this fact. The more societies refuse to govern themselves under these maxims, tyranny will become proportionately or even exponentially entrenched.
Most societies never learn this truth, and they suffer as a result. America is no different. It is a hard reality to accept that forms of government must be changed to meet the natural makeup and composition of societies as they grow and change, since this implies and necessitates hard work, knowledge, education, fortitude, resilience and structural change and separation to societies’ unions and constitutions. Human nature ironically holds on to the very form of government which causes the demise many say they despise. At last, real remedies are ignored until the pressure reaches an explosive point of violent revolution. Those societies that are intelligent and smart enough to proactively plan for changes in constitutions, societies and forms of government will preserve freedom through peaceful revolution. This plan is fought against, of course, by those interested in universal union and commerce and those higher powers, as they force the status quo against those crying out, freedom for a change!
America’s history proves this much and serves as a lesson to determine where we are in the process of revolution. Recognize first that the colonies had a British Constitution which had been enacted over several hundred years of debating and fighting for fundamental rights. Consequently, the British Constitution of the 1770s was considered to be one of the best in the world, having separation of powers, checks and balances, trial by jury, right of habeas corpus, due process, elections, and the guarantees of the rights of Englishmen, not to mention one of the best economies in the world. The colonies operated independently of Great Britain relative to their internal affairs and relied on Great Britain regarding their external affairs. Thus, the British Constitution operated in a federalist nature. Those in both America and Great Britain cherished their constitution and their individual rights. The British Constitution was worthy of loyalty, devotion and allegiance. Government violations of the constitution were not considered binding laws, but usurpations on the rights which they all shared. On this ground, they all stood.
Certain questions then should be raised at this point regarding the manner in which the American colonies remedied their political struggles with Great Britain. Why did the American colonies separate themselves from the best constitution the world had ever seen? Did the American colonies violate the Supreme Law of the Land by separating themselves from a constitution which was designed to protect and preserve freedom? Why did the American colonies not attempt to use the constitutional process more than they did (they declared independence after only eleven years of “serious” conflict with Great Britain)? Were the American colonies bound to operate under the British Constitution? Were the American colonies justified in seceding from Great Britain? Were the American colonies or was Great Britain the cause of all the deaths during the war? By separating from the British Constitution, were the American colonies lost without the ability to form their own constitution on principles conducive for their freedom?
All of these questions, and more, reach the heart of the issues regarding revolution because revolution always involves a conflict between an established system of government verses the natural rights of societies to govern, protect and perfect themselves, regardless of what a constitution purports to mean. Indeed, history, science and nature reveal that at some point, constitutions ironically become the very source of societies’ political problems. Consider this: what is the source of which the federal courts have used to opine in opposition to what you consider to be constitutional?—the source that Congress uses to regulate matters which you may consider to be unconstitutional?—the source that the President uses to implement executive orders, treaties and laws that you claim oppose the constitution? Their source: the United States Constitution.
While many would claim that the power wielded by the federal government is unconstitutional, such persons fail to realize that the very document that they claim is violated is the same document that generations of politicians in the federal government have used to possess this power; it is the very same document that generations of Americans have implicitly or expressly consented to as being the supreme law of the land in its then-and-now form.
How can vast and numerous societies remain free with such a disparity in discernment and perspective under one constitution? Since when could 400 million people across and beyond an entire continent be governed under one central government? It is impossible. Rome tried but naturally failed: its vast population, diversity, complexity and territory were the germinating seeds waiting to burst forth with growth of separation and division—thankfully so. The current composition of the United States union will be no different. We are not immune from those natural laws that govern all societies in every generation.
The reality is, several revolutions have already taken place in the United States, which have accomplished the goals of centralization of power and incorporation of nationalistic principles. Admittedly, those battles have been won and established. The success of these revolutions are evidently shown and proven. Consequently, many people in America feel helpless, hopeless and impotent, becoming obstacles to the process of revolution which will prove to burst forth. The continued success of the current tyranny is doomed for destruction as the process of revolution continues to naturally unfold. It behooves those men and women of freedom to assist in the destruction of this current reign and to do their duty to man and God.
The United States Constitution has become the very form and substance of what dynamic patriots like Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, Samuel Chase, Samuel Adams and others warned against, “namely, that the new plan of government…seriously endangered the rights and liberties of the people of the several States.” If their predictions have come true, who is to be believed regarding the quality of a constitution as it existed in its original form or now in its amended form?—those who opposed the constitution or those who advocated the constitution? Who was correct in their predeterminations of the natural effect of the constitution on freedom and the States? What lessons of human experience are to be learned from the experimental form of government ratified at that time?
Is the constitution so clear and certain that it would prevent the States in the union from fighting a bloody war, killing hundreds of thousands of fellow Americans, all in the name of “preserving” the constitution? If a constitution is so unclear as to its nature and character that it takes a war to determine who is “correct,” can that constitution be deemed a good constitution or a free constitution? And as such, how can it be considered a “more perfect union”? Simultaneously, if a war is what it takes to determine the “true” nature of the constitution, then where comes the notion that the constitution was one formed by the intelligence, pre-thought and consent of the people? And if a war must be fought to determine whether the constitution was a nation of one body-politic or a federation of several bodies-politic, how can those who wish to be governed under those completely different principles ever avoid the ultimate clash of conflict when it comes to how to the federal government should act and how the constitution should be construed? These same questions applied to the American colonies and Great Britain in the 1760s and 1770s. Their plight is our plight. Their dilemma is our dilemma. Their questions are our questions.
Like most Americans today who claim to love freedom, most of the founding fathers held on to the hope that they could enforce the British constitution’s limitations upon their “federal” government. Even up until 1775, most of the founding fathers rejected the idea of secession and thought that the British constitution could be successfully used against their government and that the constitution required their loyalty. “They wish[ed] for nothing more than permanent union with [Great Britain].” However, there was one man who saw things differently, as his hope was not so misplaced as theirs. His “ideas…[we]re those higher and broader ones which [we]re to rule the world of the future.” His distinctive quality: he saw that arguing constitutional law to redress government usurpation was literally and effectually worthless and only perpetuated the enslaving status of the colonies. This man was Samuel Adams.
During the intensity of conflict between the colonies and Great Britain, constitutional arguments had been brought to the forefront of public discussion. The constitutional issue: whether or not Parliament possessed the supreme power to govern the internal affairs of the colonies. (Sound familiar?) The colonies thought their constitutional rights of self-government were obviously violated—similar to those States today who have passed nullification acts just as some of the colonies did in response to the Stamp Act of 1765. They believed themselves to be correct in their constitutional positions. “The patriots published the debate, pro and con, far and wide, confident that their side had been well sustained.” No one could have convinced them otherwise, and they were the best minds society had.
But all of their belief and good grounds notwithstanding, the British Constitution would not give way for their argument. “For centuries the principles of the primeval liberty had undergone wide perversion. Kings had persisted, and people had acquiesced in all sorts of arbitrary procedure.” As a result of the time-induced “perversion” of their constitution, Great Britain’s agents had a very good response to the constitutional concerns of the colonies, such that “a good basis for [their] argument existed in the British Constitution as it was.” How could the colonies argue against the most influential constitutional scholars that America and Great Britain had ever known?
Moreover, how could they convince a government and society in Great Britain whose interest were opposed to the interests of America? The societies in question had gone their separate ways, and a constitution would never preserve freedom for the weaker party in that scenario. Despite the colonies’ inability to win their cause on constitutional principles, the process of revolution moved forward—but on different grounds.
In 1774, just two years before the colonies declared independence from Great Britain, Lord Hutchinson described what he saw as the shift in reasoning concerning the cause of freedom in Massachusetts, that being, an appeal to natural rights at the exclusion of constitutional arguments. He says,
“The leaders here [in Massachusetts] seem to acknowledge that their cause is not to be defended on constitutional principles, and [Samuel] Adams now gives out that there is no need of it; they are upon better ground; all men have a natural right to change a bad constitution for a better, whenever they have it in their power.”
Samuel Adams, the father of the American Revolution, abandoned arguing constitutional principles and law and proclaimed the true and surer foundation of freedom: the Natural Rights of a society to govern itself in whatever form and composition best suited to preserve freedom—constitutions notwithstanding. Like John Locke, Samuel Pufendorf, Samuel Rutherford, Hugo Grotius and other political philosophers of old, Samuel Adams proclaimed that “the public good is above all other considerations; and every rule of morality, when in competition with it, may very well be dispensed with.” Even knowing the history of Englishmen who “thought it their duty to themselves and their posterity to contend with [the kings of England] till they were restored to the footing of the Constitution,” Adams recognized that the laws of Nature and Nature’s God required a separation from this same constitution because the constitution’s practical effect prolonged and cemented their slavery.
Despite Adam’s forthright, honest and indeed accurate analysis of the colonists’ political and societal condition, most of the founding fathers did not appreciate his suggestion that the British Constitution be abandoned and seceded from. In fact, during the first continental congress meeting in 1774, Samuel Adams was told without equivocation not to spread his message of secession to the group. They knew what Samuel Adams was about, and it would not be accepted among the representatives of the other colonies. Samuel Adams was preemptively told before the meetings began,
“[Y]ou must not utter the word independence, nor give the least hint or insinuation of the idea, either in Congress, or any private conversation; if you do, you are undone; for independence is as unpopular in all the Middle and South as the Stamp Act itself. No man dares speak of it…You must not come forward with any bold measure; you must not pretend to take the lead.”
It was the course of reconciliation upon the British Constitution that was the action plan for the entire colonies. Yet, as history proved, thoughts of reconciliation and “getting back to the constitution” did little or nothing to restore freedom in the colonies. Had Samuel Adams given up on what he knew to be the answer for freedom and had those founders sustained that misperceived position of 1774, the United States of America would not have seceded from Great Britain to gain their independence. Yet, the process of revolution continued upon the grounds which were initially rejected: secession and self-government based upon the laws of Nature and Nature’s God. Samuel Adams was right, and it is a good thing the leaders of the colonies eventually saw the truth this Massachusetts statesmen proclaimed. Samuel Adams knew well the process of revolution, and he welcomed it.
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Today, most Americans do not think in Samuel-Adams-terms. They think in terms of those founders who rejected independence as the right plan of action until the very last minute. Or they think like those Tories and loyalists, which had played no part in implementing freedom in America. Regardless, the process of revolution will—indeed, it must—favor the side of those who are willing to be as bold and forthright as Samuel Adams in their assessment of the actions needed to be taken, regardless of how many others do not see where we are in the process. Like the rising and setting of the sun, this natural process cannot be stopped. We should only recognize it, prepare accordingly, and like Samuel Adams, welcome it.
A high estimate of the population of Rome estimates a population of 14
million at its zenith.
2. Moses Coit Tyler, American Statesmen, Patrick Henry, Vol. 3, (Boston and New York, Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1899), 329.
3. James K. Hosmer, American Statesmen, Samuel Adams, Vol. 2, (Boston and New York, Houghton, Mifflin and Col, 1899), 243.
4. Ibid., 194
5. Ibid., 192.
6. Ibid., 193.
7. Ibid., 193-194.
8. Ibid., 233 (emphasis added).
9. Ibid., 216.
10. Ibid., 242 (emphasis added).
11. “Ibid., 283.
© 2010 Timothy N. Baldwin, JD - All Rights Reserved
Timothy Baldwin is an attorney from Pensacola, FL, who received his bachelor of arts degree at the University of West Florida and who graduated from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in Birmingham, AL. After having received his Juris Doctorate degree from Cumberland School of Law, Baldwin became a Felony Prosecutor in the 1st District of Florida. In 2006, he started his own law practice, where he created specialized legal services entirely for property management companies.
Like his father, Chuck Baldwin, Timothy Baldwin is an astute writer of cutting-edge political articles, which he posts on his website, www.libertydefenseleague.com. Baldwin is also the author of the soon-to-be-released book entitled, Freedom For A Change, in which Baldwin expounds the fundamental principles of freedom believed by America’s forefathers and gives inspiring and intelligent application of those principles to our current political and cultural standing.
Baldwin is involved in important state sovereignty movement issues, including being co-counsel in the federal litigation in Montana involving the Firearms Freedom Act, the likes of which is undoubtedly a pivotal and essential ingredient to restoring freedom and federalism in the states of America. Baldwin is also a member of freedom organizations, such as The Oath-Keepers, and believes that the times require all freedom-loving Americans to educate, invigorate and activate the principles of freedom within the States of America for ourselves and our posterity.
Web site: LibertyDefenseLeague