When did America cease to be the land of the forefathers?

Discussion in 'History' started by kirk2spock, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. kirk2spock
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    kirk2spock Rookie

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    The American Colonies were established by England with the goal of expanding the realm of the British Empire and increasing its wealth. The New World was teaming with untapped resources and proved to be a rich ground upon which agriculture and industry could be formed for the benefit of the Empire. The Colonies were established to obtain this wealth and send it back to England to be used by her citizens.

    For nearly 150 years this continued until the Colonies threw off the tyrannical rule of the English king and Parliament in order to establish a new government for themselves. They based this government on the freedoms inherent to all men – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The chief role of this government was to protect these freedoms for the common individual and establish a system whereby wrongs against these freedoms could be redressed. The Constitution lays down the goals of this government – establishing justice, insuring domestic tranquility, providing for the common defense, promoting the general welfare, and securing the blessings of liberty for present and future generations. This was the ultimate extent of the government and its sphere of authority. It was a limited, small government that left to the individual many responsibilities and choices about how to best pursue their own happiness.

    For a while the government was able to do just this. But in looking at the modern American government one can see that the form of government established by the forefathers no longer exists in the modern world. The present government has extended its influence far beyond what the Constitution originally proposed as the obligations of the government into the Leviathan it is today. Our modern American government is not what the American forefathers designed it to be. This begs the question, when in American history did the American government cease to be the government laid down by the forefathers? What caused this change that pushed our government in the direction it is currently moving in away from individual responsibility and control toward more government control over individuals? Is liberty today the same as it was 200 years ago?
     
  2. daveman
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    daveman Diamond Member

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    "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy."

    We started the second sentence last century.
     
  3. Sallow
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    Sallow The Big Bad Wolf. Supporting Member

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    Well maybe if the United States stayed as the original 13 colonies..the government would never have needed a reason to "grow".
     
  4. konradv
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    konradv Gold Member

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    Your premise is only valid if you buy into the notion of "original intent". Would you have us believe that all the Founders were of the same mind? Actually there were "original intents", which is why we have a relatively short and in some ways vague document, necessitating courts to make interpretations. As Jefferson said, it's for each generation to decide what it means and that we're not bound to their interpretation.

    "I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.” Thomas Jefferson

    Thomas Jefferson quotes
     
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  5. Ravi
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    Ravi Diamond Member

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    When the religious right gained a choke hold.
     
  6. Madeline
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    Madeline BANNED

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    [​IMG]
     
  7. antagon
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    antagon The Man

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    i challenge this premise. the forefathers laid this government for their progeny, not themselves. i think that's what's been played out in history, and for the betterment of the nation, undoubtedly.

    1. government in action. the constitution lays but a framework for actual legislations to follow through with. such has been pursued to the effect of today's america.

    2. i think liberty has changed. there has been a recognition of economic and democratic liberty of which the founders didn't seem to have a concept or appreciation. the US has empowered americans with some of that liberty since.
     
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  8. edthecynic
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    edthecynic Censored for Cynicism

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    With the election of Ronald Wilson Reagan.
     
  9. konradv
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    konradv Gold Member

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    Ahh... yes, 6-6-6! :evil:
     
  10. regent
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    regent Gold Member

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    No government can stay the same, that was England's problem and why she lost the colonies. She kept her mercantilism economy going, her elitism, and her concept of what America place was in the world, even as the colonies and the world were changing. It is usually the dream of conservatives to keep things just as they are, to conserve them, and it doesn't work. Things and people change, and like it or not, they will continue to change. Look at the changes in America since 1789, changes in population from somewhere around 4million to 300 million, we moved from a farming nation to manufacaturing. Politically we have changed, women can now vote, people vote for the president and vote for their Senators. Changes will continue. The problem is not change, we can't stop that, the problem is what changes.
    "No society, can make a perpetual Constitution, or even a perpetual law." Thomas Jefferson
     

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