Is it time to finally bury the Corporate Aristocracy?
The "Corpo-Lunatics", the globalists, are out to take all land, water, and air. We are taxed to breathe. Taxed to breed, and taxed to death by those who have stolen and who claim to own. UN Agenda 21 is being rammed down our throats in what might be one final push of desperation ... hopefully not an end of any meaningful existence for any of the average soul on Earth ...
Although the first shots were fired in 1775 and the Declaration was signed in 1776, the war against a transnational corporation and the nation that used it to extract wealth from its colonies had just begun. These colonists, facing the biggest empire and military force in the world, fought for five more years—the war didn’t end until General Charles Cornwallis surrendered in October 1781. Even then some resistance remained; the last loyalists and the British left New York starting in April 1782, and the treaty that formally ended the war was signed in Paris in September 1783.
The first form of government, the Articles of Confederation, was written in 1777 and endorsed by the states in 1781. It was subsequently replaced by our current Constitution, as has been documented in many books. In this chapter we take a look at the visions that motivated what Alexis de Tocqueville would later call America’s experiment with democracy in a republic. One of its most conspicuous features was the lack of vast wealth or any sort of corporation that resembled the East India Company—until the early 1800s.
The First Glimpses of a Powerful American Company
Very few people are aware that Thomas Jefferson considered freedom from monopolies to be one of the fundamental human rights. But it was very much a part of his thinking during the time when the Bill of Rights was born.
In fact, most of the Founders never imagined a huge commercial empire sweeping over their land, reminiscent of George R. T. Hewes’s “ships of an enormous burthen” with “immense quantities” of goods. Rather, most of them saw an America made up of people like themselves: farmers.
In a speech before the House of Representatives on April 9, 1789, James Madison referred to agriculture as the great staple of America. He added, “I think [agriculture] may justly be styled the staple of the United States; from the spontaneous productions which nature furnishes, and the manifest preference it has over every other object of emolument in this country.”1
In a National Gazette article on March 3, 1792, Madison wrote,
The class of citizens who provide at once their own food and their own raiment, may be viewed as the most truly independent and happy. They are more: they are the best basis of public liberty, and the strongest bulwark of public safety. It follows, that the greater the proportion of this class to the whole society, the more free, the more independent, and the more happy must be the society itself.
The first large privately owned corporation to rise up in the new United States during the presidential terms of Jefferson (1801 to 1809) and Madison (1809 to 1817) was the Second Bank of the United States. By 1830 the bank was one of the largest and most powerful private corporations and, to extend its own power, was even sponsoring its directors and agents as candidates for political office.
In President Andrew Jackson’s annual message to Congress on December 3, 1833, he explicitly demanded that the bank cease its political activities or receive a corporate death sentence—revocation of its corporate charter. He said, “In this point of the case the question is distinctly presented whether the people of the United States are to govern through representatives chosen by their unbiased suffrages or whether the money and power of a great corporation are to be secretly exerted to influence their judgment and control their decisions.”3
Jackson succeeded in forcing a withdrawal of all federal funds from the bank that year, putting it out of business. Its federal charter expired in 1836 and was revived only as a state bank authorized by the State of Pennsylvania. It went bankrupt in 1841.
Although thousands of federal, state, county, city, and community laws of the time restrained corporations vastly more than they are today, the presidents who followed Jackson continued to worry out loud about the implications if corporations expanded their power.
In the middle of the thirty-year struggle, on March 10, 1827, James Madison wrote a letter to his friend James K. Paulding about the issue:
With regard to Banks, they have taken too deep and too wide a root in social transactions, to be got rid of altogether, if that were desirable....they have a hold on public opinion, which alone would make it expedient to aim rather at the improvement, than the suppression of them. As now generally constituted, their advantages whatever they be, are outweighed by the excesses of their paper emissions, and the partialities and corruption with which they are administered.
Thus, while Madison saw the rise of corporate power and its dangers during and after his presidency, the issues weren’t obvious to him when he was helping write the U.S. Constitution decades earlier. And that may have been significant when the Bill of Rights was being put together.
The Federalists versus the Democratic Republicans
Shortly after George Washington became the first president of the United States in 1789, his secretary of the treasury, Alexander Hamilton, proposed that the federal government incorporate a national bank and assume state debts left over from the Revolutionary War. Congressman James Madison and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson saw this as an inappropriate role for the federal government, representing the potential concentration of too much money and power. (The Bill of Rights, with its Tenth Amendment reserving powers to the states, wouldn’t be ratified for two more years.)
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