The origin of the Bill of Rights?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by fromtheright, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. fromtheright

    fromtheright
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    As this subject is being discussed off topic on two other threads, we might as well focus our thoughts here.

    Previously discussed on THIS THREAD and THIS THREAD.
     
    #1 fromtheright, Aug 3, 2006
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  2. El_Guero

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    So here we are focusing upon the forces (causes) that led to the Bill of Rights?

    I say that the people got tired of listening to Baptist Preachers everytime they went by the jail preaching ____ fire and brimstone.

    IMHO
     
  3. fromtheright

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    The Bill of Rights actually started in the Federal Convention in 1787 when George Mason rose on the last day of a tiring four months and proposed one. He was shot down by several and he went on to strongly oppose the Constitution after voting against it in the Convention.

    As the new Constitution was debated around the country, one of the constant criticisms raised by the anti-Federalists was that it lacked a Bill of Rights. It was one of Jefferson's two strongest objections to it. Though Madison was against one, seeing no need for it, the arguments of others, especially Jefferson, wore him down somewhat. When Virginia's ratifying convention met, Madison was the chief proponent of the Constitution and he was faced quite ably on the other side by Patrick Henry and George Mason. The Va. convention accepted the new Constitution but added to their ratification recommended amendments to the Constitution, following a pattern set by Massachusetts' convention.

    Once the Constitution was adopted, Patrick Henry exacted a little revenge by preventing Madison being elected by the state legislature as one of Virginia's Senators but he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. In the course of that campaign he pledged to work for a Bill of Rights, stating the view that at least they could do no harm and might actually be helfpul.

    True to his word, Madison did introduce a list of amendments in the First Congress and after several delays was able to have them debated. He then went back to Virginia to argue for their ratification by the Virginia legislature IIRC, which took Virginia almost two years to do.

    The Bill of Rights had nothing to do with Baptist preachers who, with Virginia's disestablishment of religion were free to preach. It is true that Madison's pledge to work for a Bill of Rights earned him the vote of many Baptists, as well as John Leland's support, IIRC, over Madison's close friend and anti-Federalist James Monroe. There were not being jailed near the time of the adoption of the Constitution, such abuses having ended a few years before. I would also disagree with your view that Mason was the Father of the Bill of Rights. He indeed was the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights but it was not his hard work that hammered it out in the First Congress.
     
    #3 fromtheright, Aug 3, 2006
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  4. El_Guero

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    hmmmmm

    'cept that was based upon the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights . . .

    And I think it was before the 4th of July stuff . . .
     
  5. El_Guero

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    hmmmm . . . I thought you would read the stuff I posted.

    ;)

    I did find my memory to be much better than I tho't - my prof woulda' been proud!

    humbly yours
     
  6. El_Guero

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    I think I addressed that from online sources - which described Mason as the "Father of the Bill of Rights" and the other link that stated:

    http://www.mainstreambaptists.org/mbn/Patriots.htm
     
  7. El_Guero

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    Now I don't mind disagreeing with an esteemed colleague. And unfortunately, we both have scholars that wrote our disenting opinions for us. Therefore we might have to agree to disagree about the importance of the Baptists in forming the Bill of Rights.

    Humbly
     
  8. fromtheright

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    EG,

    I still disagree. He was a proponent but certainly not the Father--IMHO.



    I suspect that the discussion with Monroe had nothing to do with the Bill of Rights but with Patrick Henry's bill for assessment to support the clergy, which Madison largely defeated with his Memorial and Remonstrance.

    I think this is pure poppycock. Madison did not advocate a Bill of Rights until he ran for the U.S. House.



    Though, as you know, the First Amendment had nothing whatever to do with religious liberty under the state governments.
     
  9. fromtheright

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    EG,

    I don't disagree that they had an influence: their support for Madison was critical in the close election against Monroe to the U.S. House and Madison's pledge then to work for a BoR certainly led to that support, but Baptists were certainly not the primary reason we have a BoR. The original record doesn't support it, though maybe there are secondary scholars who argue otherwise, against the evidence. My scholars are the Founders themselves. My scholars beat your scholars. ;-)
     
  10. Baptist in Richmond

    Baptist in Richmond
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    Sorry, wrong site....
     
    #10 Baptist in Richmond, Aug 3, 2006
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  11. fromtheright

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    You're welcome here anytime, BiR. Don't run off. Stay a while.
     
  12. El_Guero

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    While your scholars beat my scholars, I went back to the original Framers.

    My Framers beat your scholars.

    ;)
     
  13. El_Guero

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    You know this Constitutional stuff has been the most fun in awhile. A little boring, but fun nonetheless.
     
  14. fromtheright

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    Ohh, EG, this stuff doesn't bore me at all, it really is my passion. It is easy for me to get enthralled about that period of history, it really was the perfect time in history between the raw power struggles of 17th century England and the political struggles of the 19th century, and for such a collection of brilliant and wise men (with such wonderful women as Abigail Adams and Dolly Madison behind them) to come along at such a propitious moment, well-learned in the principles of government and human nature, coming together to form a government such as had never been contemplated in history, in which the people were actually sovereign and not just the ruled, when the people actually read and understood the issues and the principles themselves. A time of discussing not just how the ruling class could get more but how power should be divided so that people could remain free. It was truly a glorious moment in history. I just don't tire of this. Please, anytime you want to discuss these topics, just say the word, I'll be there, ready to lap it up.

    You know I also enjoy it because it's a good opportunity to discuss these issues with, and make, some friends here. I've felt quite blessed to find and make some friends on my philosophical side such as you, dale-c, Ralph, JB, Bro C, C4K, KenH (on more topics than perhaps either Ken or I would admit), as well as some good folks whom I more often than not disagree with but respect greatly, like Galatian, BiR, MP, Terry Herrington, Daisy, and poncho, many of whom I'm also fortunate enough to call friends.

    Long past time to hit the sack.
     
    #14 fromtheright, Aug 4, 2006
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  15. The Galatian

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    The British colonies in America were uniquely ready to take the new thinking of the new economic philosophers of laissez faire and the new political thought of liberalism. I mean liberalism in the classical sense, not "left-leaning". Liberalism, in the classic form, sees liberty as the greatest political goal. These were radical departures from the old regime, and they frightened many in England.

    The new prosperity of the colonies produced a class of wealthy, well-educated middle-class people who were aware of the benefits of these ideas, and they sought to establish them in America. In a relatively unstratified society, quality and industry meant more than birth or social ranking.

    Along with this, there was a class of small landholders in the west who had built their society pretty much from scratch, and who were naturally receptive to liberal and laissez faire ideas.

    This is brought the colonies into conflict with the economic and political order in England, and is the true cause of the Revolutionary War.
     
  16. fromtheright

    fromtheright
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    Ah ha! Finally! I was starting to worry that you and I were agreeing too much, Galatian. Even in that post, I was with you mostly until that last sentence. I disagree that the Revolution was caused over economic and social differences but believe it was truly over ideas and "the rights of Englishmen".
     
  17. The Galatian

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    It was over ideas. A revolutionary economic idea, and a revolutionary political idea. It just happened in America because of the particular social and political situations there.

    To a large degree, the colonies had already implemented most of the ideas of the enlightenment, and had come to resent the British for imposing on them in any way.

    One could argue that the Glorious Revolution provided the definitive statement of the "rights of Englishmen", but when the Americans appealed to Parlaiment about these rights, they were laughed at. Rather, the Americans came to accept that there were natural rights that did not come from men and documents, but rather belonging to them as creatures of God.
     
    #17 The Galatian, Aug 5, 2006
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  18. El_Guero

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    Scary

    Writes like a different galation . . .
     
  19. El_Guero

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    G'night FTR!

     
  20. fromtheright

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    Galatian,

    The best I can tell, for the most part, until the Declaration of Independence, the arguments were cast in terms of "the rights of Englishmen", then started seeing natural rights arguments such as Hamilton's (The Farmer Refuted, I believe), that our rights are written as with a sunbeam on the heart of man by divinity.
     

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