The Constitutional convention took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from May 25 to September 17, 1787 to address problems in governing the United States of America, which had been operating under the Articles of Confederation following independence from Great Britain. The Constitutional Convention lasted over a period of four months and it was signed on September 17, 1787.
It went into effect on March 4, 1789. There are 4543 words in the original, unamended Constitution, including the signatures.
The 4543 words in the original, unamended Constitution, include the signatures. and these words where summarized in SIX pages; pages 1-4 are the base text of the constitution, page 5 is the letter of transmittal and page 6 contains the Bill of Rights.
And believe or not, not one delegate stood up and said …”We must pass this bill so we can see what is in it.” Because the delegates read it before they signed it.
A rather novel idea I would say, compared to what we see coming out of Washington today.
ObamaCare was passed on March 21, 2010 on a strictly partisan vote by the Democrats, without one Republican voting in favor. In about 90 days it will be four years since it passed. You would think after nearly four years, a government that employees millions of Federal workers could pass a law without the mass chaos that we have seen. But what we have seen is a Federal government so large and out of control, is this not a testimony to how incompetent they are?
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has actually tweeted a photograph of this stack of paper. By his math, the Obama administration has issued 20,000 pages of regulations “associated” with the new law.
There are 20,202 pages and of course this changes every other day when Obama with a wave of his hand changes the law. While the actual law contains 381,517 words when you add in the rules and regulations attendant to this law, We the People are subjected to a total of 11,588,500 Words.
My final comment: One of the major debates at that Constitutional convention centered around how to contain the powers of a Federal government, can you imagine that the founders could have envisioned the possibility of what is happening today? They addressed the problem by setting up a system of ‘checks and balances’ throughout this document and added the 10th amendment to clarify distribution of power.
“The Tenth Amendment was intended to confirm the understanding of the people at the time the Constitution was adopted, that powers not granted to the United States were reserved to the States or to the people. It added nothing to the instrument as originally ratified.” – United States v. Sprague, 282 U.S. 716, 733 (1931).
The founding fathers had good reason to pen the Tenth Amendment.
The issue of power – and especially the great potential for a power struggle between the federal and the state governments – was extremely important to the America’s founders. They deeply distrusted government power, and their goal was to prevent the growth of the type of government that the British has exercised over the colonies.
Adoption of the Constitution of 1787 was opposed by a number of well-known patriots including Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and others. They passionately argued that the Constitution would eventually lead to a strong, centralized state power which would destroy the individual liberty of the People. Many in this movement were given the poorly-named tag “Anti-Federalists.”
The Tenth Amendment was added to the Constitution of 1787 largely because of the intellectual influence and personal persistence of the Anti-Federalists and their allies.
It’s quite clear that the Tenth Amendment was written to emphasize the limited nature of the powers delegated to the federal government. In delegating just specific powers to the federal government, the states and the people, with some small exceptions, were free to continue exercising their sovereign powers.
When states and local communities take the lead on policy, the people are that much closer to the policymakers, and policymakers are that much more accountable to the people. Few Americans have spoken with their president; many have spoken with their mayor.
Adherence to the Tenth Amendment is the first step towards ensuring liberty in the United States. Liberty through decentralization.
Note: Parts of this article where cut and pasted from various sources.