What Patrick Henry Said

Patrick Henry on June 5 1788

  1. He said the shift from Confederacy to United States was greater than the shift from Colonies to Independent States.
  2. He said the U.S. Constitution isn’t about states getting along, it’s not about an agreement between The States. It is not a contract each state signs agreeing to certain things. (It’s We the People, thus abrogating the states) It is not about why, and the reasons for, and nature of the causes for this agreement between The States. Because if it was, The Constitution would be a contract or compact between a confederacy of states; a confederacy that defines itself as involved in the nature of how states get along; Something, a consideration, strictly forbidden and well nigh inaccessible via the old C. Thus stultifying a natural polity into what we have now. The Constitution, by binding the states from policy-making that deals with other states; restricts and corrupts government. The Constitution is about swaddling, and binding and limiting; not diplomacy, experimentation, or compromising spirit or seeking the symbiotic specifically.
  3. 2a. Specifically, as elaborated in The Federalist Papers, The Constitution creates a federal government that has stopped wars between the states, and protected us from Europe and Indian. If this cause for the constitution, was cited in a compact between the states; it would be more honest, and reflective, a document.
  4. This is a consolidated government, he said. Turning it on The People, rather than the states, is a corruption of the interests of the people, via a mob rule of the newly powerful. Patrick thought it should go not go, “we the people”, but “The States, aquiesce or desire”. This is not more ideal than a harkened call to the people, but a realer politic; in that it would engender device, such as forms through the state, that can stand up to the federal government; better than the people, unpuissant throughout the land. When I say mob, construe that like a cosa nostra metaphor, where leaders may benefit by the organization of consolidation, but not the people; for the factionhood of states, that infinite value, is wiped out by investors in a homogenized mercantile-prone market; manifested to corporate exponents today.
  5. The ability of taxation by the federal government upon the states, will be greater than the monarchies upon the former colonies.
  6. Had we adhered to the principles of The People, and States, retaining rights, we would have a confederacy, and not alarming transition to what P.H. calls, “Consolidated Government”.
  7. By making our basic rights implicitly from Consolidated Government, we are giving them up. Beware the institutions that looks to protect those rights; for it is to control those jewels; as these rights can only be protected by force, when we give up the rights to that force to Consolidated Government, we effectively risk and lose the rights. And who is to say today, our press is free, jury trials common; that the rights of conscience and franchises of human rights and privilege, really exist today as they should do. Anything that claims to protect liberty, must be able to be questioned, and the consolidated government, the power of the states amputated, is unquestionable, too small for such a large nation, too large, to be weilded precisely. Do not put government in charge of our rights. Are things really that bad that such is necessary?
  8. Shall the confederacy, which freed us from Britain, and rendered us more land than any european monarchy, be abandoned and called imbecilic, and wanting energy? Does that sound true? “Take longer time in reckoning things”. Greece and Rome are full of the peoples “losing liberty by their own carelessness and the ambition of a few”
  9. (Note from Vic) Consolidated Government greatly reduces factionalism. The strife of factionalism is claimed counter-productive; but factions are questionable institutions that need to ground their authority in effective service, and factions thus logically are an alternative to government to invest in. Today we see stark, bipolar perhaps, factions of conservation and liberality. Isn’t this a trailhead to some states fulfilling their conservative majority and others their liberal electorate, with different health care programs and assumptions and freedoms and spirits, across the board. And without the federal government would these states tend to conflict with each other? Could there be a confederacy judicicious enough to guide the states into symbiosis, respect of difference, and unique strengths?
  10. Patrick Henry was right citing the loss of jury trials to civil cases, a great right whose loss our country has suffered mid the battle between localized wisdom and centralized folly; he says the old canard that power placed in congress will not be abused, when history is fraught with abuses of power by centralized agencies. Do not place power in government and the few. A federal army, will only strengthen government against our rights; and the vision enemating from the constitution, sacrifices the rights of the people, as empires, and manifestedly destined to be empires, have before.
  11. There has been relative peace, in Virginia, in particular, he notes, and so what is the cause to change? There is no danger upon on, yet we strive towards greater change then when spirits animated us against the british.
  12. When officials gain power in the consolidated government, and amendments to the constitution require the approval of 75% of the states; change will be easily stopped; standing up to the ruling of our consolidated government will be difficult. He is convincing, that 2/3rds of the senate, and 3/4 of the states, being needed to amend the constitution; will prolong the difficulties caused by men in power: Yet today’s world does not even test that system, so far-fetched is it to motivate change; even the equal rights to women, in a country where 44 presidents have been men, did not amass enough common support, in the seventies. “Isn’t it a most fearful situation when the most contemptible minority can prevent the alteration of oppressive government?”
  13. He quotes the Virginia Constitution as containing and conveying the sentiments that since government exists to benefit the people, altering and reforming it easily is essential to that goal. Since, as well, the idea of an evolving government, the people are instilled to consider and refine as a privilege to every generation; was sacrificed to the binds of Consolidated Government. The rights to alter government are seen as equally important as beneficial government. So to have a consolidated government with difficult means to alter and reform it, makes no sense.
  14. Binding ourselves, limiting our posterity and opportunity of the future,”the american spirit will decay”; ‘If ammendments are left to the twentieth or tenth part of the American People, your liberty is gone forever.” On this plane, England may easier change England, than Constitutionalized America.


  1. How will you punish abusers within government? How will you punish an army used on you? You have no militia, all power will be lodged in the government, regarding. Do oppressors release the oppressed? Arab Spring. The states must submit to these laws, not the people; the people do not need approve. Leagues and manifestations of goals, go through government too broadly. Government must be about how we get along; The binds of proposed government contradict the security the individual poor man feels now and the considerations of the constitution reduce his ability to influence his society.

On June 7th, Patrick added the following

1) “A full investigation of the actual situation of America, ought to precede any decision on this great and important question. Government is no more than a choice between evils.”

2)”You are told, there is no peace…Commerce, wealth and riches, vanished…..Laws insulted….tyrannical legislation…These things, Sir, are new to me.” Just what is causing the need for a constitution so? Let’s investigate and analyze the stage and polity here, “These severe charges which are demonstrated against it, appear to me totally groundless.” “On fair investigation, we shall be found to be surrounded by no real dangers.”

3) “We have the animating fortitude, and perservering alacrity of Republican men, to carry us through misfortunes and calamities. Tis the fortitude of a Republic to withstand the the stormy ocean of human vicissitudes. I know of no danger awaiting us. Public and private security are to be found here in the highest degree. It is the fortune of of a freee people, not to be intimidated by imaginary dangers. Fear is the passion of slaves….Let us recollect the aweful magnitude of our deliberation.” I mean as well, why shouldn’t future generations have the right and obligation to consider what we do today?

  • Note from Vic. Essentially two faults with Constitution. As written by “Brutus”, why not let every generation have a constitutional convention. And as spoken by Henry, what are the reasons for the constitution, and those reasons should be in the constitution.
  • There is a godly hopefulness to Henry et al, that whatever the country goes through, the country will be able to deal with. As a Historical shift to Constitutions from Kings, as the middle ages showed the King System not be as good as the Constitutional systems of Classical Times, where while there was some competition between the politites of Kingdoms and Constitutions, the Constitutional Polities, replaced the King, with the Upper Class, and this was expected. There has never that we know been a polity, popular with the people, grounded in godliness, (I guess there are a few, Like King Numa of Rome, and Lycergous of Sparta, that resulted in an abscence of class, and abundance of wisdom. Maybe this is the most offered. The hopes of frequent constitutioal conventions, or the faith the former colonies can work out their problems and improve their situation, maybe that is more than God Allows. For history is so poor, because God treats us as not worth much. Faith that things can be worked out, is a faith in God. Cynicism, that we need to restrict the states, so much, so as to eliminate war, as was done, between states, is almost a pagan acceptance of evil gods, that in the old days, were sacrificed human beings, too, but now, rule their sacrifices secretly through a manipulation of media upon The Kingdom of God.

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