The Civil War was over, Lee had surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse and things could now go back to normal. Yeah, right! There’s an old saying in regards to wars, “To the victor go the spoils.” The North, or more specifically the army under the command of Abraham Lincoln had won, and now the government could take one of two paths; reconciliation or revenge–it chose the latter.
The period of American History directly following the Civil War is known as the Reconstruction Years. On the surface that word, reconstruction, sounds harmless enough; an attempt to reconstruct the South after years of war; but words can often be used to hide more sinister and benign intentions.
Before I begin to discuss Reconstruction, I need to go back in time to when Lincoln was first elected as President. In his first Inaugural Address Abraham Lincoln made the following statement, “It follows from these views that no State upon its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union; that ‘resolves’ and ‘ordinances’ to that effect are legally void, and that acts of violence within any State or States against the authority of the United States are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances.”
Lincoln believed that the States could not lawfully secede from the Union, and that what the Southern States were doing was not declaring independence, but revolting against the legitimate authority of the government, or more particularly, the Constitution itself.
Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution grants Congress the power and authority to call forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union and to suppress insurrections. It was under this Article and Clause of the Constitution that Lincoln justified his raising an army to invade and force his will upon the South.
In the Thirty-Seventh Congress, it was enacted that, “…if any person shall hereafter incite, set on foot, assist, or engage in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States, or the laws thereof, or shall give aid or comfort thereto, or shall engage in, or give aid and comfort to, any such existing rebellion or insurrection, and be convicted thereof, such persons shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than ten years, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars…”
Throughout the duration of the Civil War there was a conflict, not only on the battlefield, but in the minds of those who fought. The North, or more specifically, the government believed that the Union was inseparable and perpetual, and that any attempt to leave it, or nullify federal authority within a State’s borders amounted to rebellion, insurrection, or even possibly treason. The South, on the other hand, believed that the Union was a voluntary agreement between the States, and that any time any State retained the right to leave said Union.
If you believe, as did the North, that the Union is perpetual and that secession is not allowed in our Constitution, then you cannot justify your belief that the Colonists held the right to sever their ties with England and declare their independence; not unless you want the world to see you as the hypocrite that you are.
Many States, during their ratification proceedings, made it known that should the government they were about to agree to ever become tyrannical and oppressive, that they held the right to resume their status free of federal authority. For instance, Virginias Ratifying Assembly listed this as the first statement in their ratification statement, “We the Delegates of the People of Virginia … Do in the name and in behalf of the People of Virginia declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression…”
If the government created by the Constitution can declare that it’s authority is supreme and that it is impossible for any oppressed party to remove themselves from its authority, then we are no better off than were we under the authority of a totalitarian dictatorship.
But the key point here is that it was Lincoln’s, and the government’s belief that the Southern States had not legally left the Union; they were merely in a state of rebellion against the political authority of the government. You need to keep that thought in mind as we continue.
Therefore, if the Civil War was waged by the North against the South under the belief that the South had not left the Union and become an independent nation; and that it was therefore authorized to suppress any such rebellion or insurrection within its borders, then how could they then turn around and ignore the Constitution AFTER the war ended?
Article 4, Section 4 of the Constitution declares, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government…” How is it that, after the war ended the South was divided into five districts, each of which was run by a former Union General under what amounted to martial law? How is it that the people of the South were not permitted to hold any office within their own State governments if they had shown any support for the Confederacy? Is that not a violation of their right to have a Republican form of government?
Again, I’d like to see people justify their beliefs on this without revealing their hypocrisy.
On March 2, 1867, President Andrew Johnson vetoed the Reconstruction Act which had been sent to him by Congress. Although his veto was overturned by Congress, it is interesting to note some of the things Johnson said in his veto message.
First off, Johnson states, “The bill places all the people of the ten States therein named under the absolute domination of military rulers… It declares that there exists in those States no legal governments and no adequate protection for life or property, and asserts the necessity of enforcing peace and good order within their limits.”
Johnson then goes on to say, “Such a power has not been wielded by any monarch in England for more than five hundred years. In all that time no people who speak the English language have borne such servitude. It reduces the whole population of the ten States-all persons, of every color, sex, and condition, and every stranger within their limits-to the most abject and degrading slavery. No master ever had a control so absolute over the slaves as this bill gives to the military officers over both white and colored persons.”
Johnson then references Article 4, Section 4 when he says, “The United States are bound to guarantee to each State a republican form of government. Can it be pretended that this obligation is not palpably broken if we carry out a measure like this, which wipes away every vestige of republican government in ten States and puts the life, property, liberty, and honor of all the people in each of them under the domination of a single person clothed with unlimited authority?”
People believe that Lincoln and his Republican cohorts in Congress are responsible for the Constitutional Amendment which forever put an end to slavery. Yet they are not taught the prior to the outbreak of the Civil War they had proposed another amendment, that had it been ratified, would have become the 13th amendment to the Constitution. This amendment made slavery permanent and irrevocable in the United States, and Lincoln himself supported its ratification, “I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution–which amendment, however, I have not seen–has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service. To avoid misconstruction of what I have said, I depart from my purpose not to speak of particular amendments so far as to say that, holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.”
If Lincoln truly was this saint everyone believes him to be, and that he fought a righteous war to end slavery, then how can they reconcile the fact that upon his inauguration he supported an amendment to make slavery permanent in the United States?
However, as is the case with nearly all politicians, Lincoln did a 180 when he was elected for a second term in 1864; making that abolishment of slavery one of his top priorities. Although the Republicans had gained some seats in the House in the recent election, they still weren’t enough to guarantee passage of the 13th Amendment in the House. So he instructed his Secretary of State, William Seward, to procure the votes needed to pass it; by any means necessary. Seward had a huge slush fund which he used to bribe some Democrats to garner their votes in favor of the proposed amendment. When money wasn’t enough, he offered some positions within the administration or made contributions to their re-election funds. After the amendment was finally passed by the House, Thaddeus Stevens is said to have stated, “…the greatest measure of the nineteenth century was passed by corruption, aided and abetted by the purest man in America.”
Once the amendment got the votes required by the House, it was then sent on to the States for their ratification; this being done on February 1, 1865. By the end of the month it had supposedly been ratified by 18 States, including the two Confederate States of Virginia and Louisiana. Soon Arkansas and Tennessee also ratified it; which led to the question of the legality of the ratification, because the States were under military dictatorship and did not have a truly Republican form of government. Even Lincoln called this a ‘pernicious abstraction’, saying, “Obviously, they were not “in their proper practical relation with the Union”; whence everyone’s object should be to restore that relation.”
Lincoln was assassinated three days later.
The question which is of great importance is; was the 13th Amendment legally ratified? If the former Confederate States did not have a true Republican form of government, then was the 13th Amendment ratified by governments loyal to the North and not representative of the will of the people of the South? How can it be said that a constitutional amendment was legally ratified when those who voted in favor of its passage were carpetbaggers and scalawags?
And if you think that was done with the slightest degree of impropriety, you haven’t seen anything yet.
You see, once the former slaves were freed the country didn’t know what to do with them. For its entire history, this country viewed slaves as property, not as human beings with any rights. The freed slaves could not vote, could not own property, could not enter into contracts, and a whole slew of other things we take for granted today.
On November 19, 2008, former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel made the following comments in an interview for The Wall Street Journal, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” Emmanuel could have taken lessons from the Republicans in the North after the end of the Civil War as far as not letting a good crisis go to waste.
It certainly was a crisis, all these freed slaves running around with no legal status in society. The solution was another constitutional amendment; granting them citizenship; along with the rights associated with it; the 14th Amendment.
The 14th Amendment is responsible for all manner of mischief and has led our government to support measures under the equal protection clause of that amendment which it was never intended the government even become involved in. But was this amendment ever ratified legally? I say it wasn’t, and I’ll explain why.
As recently as the 1950’s it was commonly accepted that the 14th Amendment was never legally ratified. In fact, U.S. News and World Report stated in one of their publications, “Of course we all know that the 14th Amendment wasn’t legitimately ratified.”
To understand why the 14th Amendment was never legitimately ratified, you have to know how an amendment can become part of the Constitution. Proposals for amendments can come about by one of two ways. Either 2/3’s of both Houses of Congress may make proposals, which are then sent to the States for their ratification, or 2/3’s of the State Legislatures may call for a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution; which then have to be ratified by 3/4 of all the States.
When the 14th amendment came before a vote in the Senate there was a newly elected Senator from the State of New Jersey named John P. Stockton and Stockton was known to be against what the 14th Amendment proposed to do. Stockton had been duly sworn in at the beginning of the 39th Congress and those in favor of passage of the proposed 14th Amendment realized that they were one vote short. So a motion was made to unseat Stockton. Congress cannot simply unseat one of its members who has committed no offence; but in the case of Stockton, that’s exactly what they did. This had the effect of lowering the number of votes needed for passage of the proposed 14th Amendment; ensuring its passage in the Senate.
If you think that is improper, keep reading.
Once the proposed 14th Amendment made its way past Congress, it was then submitted to the States. Well Tennessee had many who opposed the ratification of the 14th Amendment; so many in fact that many of them refused to show up at the State House to vote upon it; thereby denying a quorum, (the required number of people to do business). This posed a problem for those in favor it its passage; they could not do business until the requisite number of people were present in their deliberations. Their solution was to kidnap two of the legislators who opposed the amendment and forcibly bring them to the State House; declaring them present and establishing the needed quorum. They were clearly outnumbered by those who supported ratification, and therefore the amendment was passed with ease; although two of those present during the vote were there under duress.
Then in Oregon the Legislature voted to ratify the amendment, only to discover that two of the newly elected Republicans who voted in favor of it had not actually received enough votes to win; that Democrats had. When the problem was rectified and a second vote taken on the proposed amendment with the proper people seated, the amendment was defeated. However, the federal government basically told them the second vote didn’t count; even though two of those voted had no legal authority to vote upon the measure.
New Jersey and Ohio had also first voted in favor of ratification of the 14th Amendment, only to rescind their votes later. Once again the federal government refused to accept that they could ‘change their minds.’ In their statement regarding why they had reversed their opinion, New Jersey delegates stated, “…we are fearful that this amendment has been worded ambiguously with deliberate intent, so that it can be used to deprive us of our liberties…”
But the biggest reason why the 14th Amendment was never legally ratified is in how the Southern States supposedly ratified it. Remember now, these Southern States were under military rule; it having been declared that anyone loyal to the Confederacy, (which was just about everyone), not be allowed to hold office of any kind. What passed for government in the Southern States at this time were mere proxy governments loyal to the radical Republicans in the North who sought to punish the South for the war.
Thaddeus Stevens, the purported leader of the radical Republicans in the North, once said, “The talk of restoring the Union like it was, and the Constitution as it is, is one of the absurdities which I have heard repeated until I have become sick of it. There are many things which make such an event impossible. This Union never shall, with my consent, be restored under the constitution as it is … The Union as it was and the Constitution as it is–God forbid it. We must conquer the Southern states and hold them as conquered provinces.”
So tell me, how can it be said that the 14th Amendment was duly, and legally ratified by the voice of the people of the Southern States when the governments instituted over them did not represent their wishes; it merely subjugated and controlled them according to the will of the radical Republicans?
The ratification of the 14th Amendment by the South was done by military dictatorships, not duly elected representatives of a Republican form of government, as guaranteed by the Constitution.
It is a legal premise that when multiple parties enter into a contract they must do so of their own free will for said contract to become binding. Any time one party is forced to enter into a contract under duress it nullifies the contract.
Therefore, if the Constitution is to be considered a contract between the States and the people to establish a system of government, then any modifications or alterations to it must be done by the free will of those the government represents. This simply was not the case with the 14th Amendment; it was ratified by puppet governments loyal, not to the Southerners, but to the Republicans in the North.
Taking all this into consideration, I don’t know how anyone can claim that the 14th Amendment was legally ratified. Yet the 14th Amendment has done much to enslave us to our government.
If I were to ask you what your citizenship status was, I’d be willing to bet, except for those who are still citizens of other countries, that most would say they are U.S. citizens. However, if you were to ask me the same question, I would reply I am a citizen of the State of California, (even though that is not something I like to brag about).
Are you aware that prior to the supposed ratification of the 14th Amendment there was no such thing as a U.S. Citizen? The 14th Amendment created that position solely for those who had been freed from bondage by the 13th Amendment; it did not apply to any white person in the United States. This fact was affirmed by the Supreme Court in 1872, “No white person born within the limits of the United States and subject to their jurisdiction…owes his status of citizenship to the recent amendments to the Federal Constitution.” (Source: VAN VALKENBURG V. BROWN)
Numerous times I have addressed the subject of sovereignty, the supreme or ultimate political power in a nation. In America sovereignty belongs to the people, as affirmed in Chisholm v Georgia in 1763, “At the Revolution, the sovereignty devolved on the people…”
The text of the first clause of the 14th Amendment reads, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any States deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
First off, what is a person? If I were to ask you that you would probably look at me as if I were stupid, but it’s a serious question that I don’t believe many know the real answer to. There are two definitions for a person; one is the natural person who has unalienable rights, and the other one is a corporate entity with ‘privileges and immunities.’
Which one are you? Well, to answer that all you have to do is reach inside your wallet or purse and pull out any piece of identification you have. Look at how your name is spelled. If your name is fully capitalized, then that document identifies you as a corporate holding, a legal person without any rights.
For instance, if my name is spelled as follows: Neal H. Ross, then I am a human being with all the rights that come along with being human. However, if it is spelled, NEAL H. ROSS, then I am considered a piece of property belonging to the corporation which is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; which is not governed by the organic Constitution ratified in 1789. Instead it is governed by the government of the corporation UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
In 1871 Congress passed a law incorporating the District of Columbia and the seat of our federal government. If you are therefore under the jurisdiction of that government, you are not free, you are a corporate holding; and as such your labor, your earnings, and your property belong to the government. Also, as a corporate holding you have no rights, you have privileges; and privileges can be, and routinely are, revoked.
Let us not forget, when New Jersey reversed their decision to ratify the 14th Amendment they said, “…we are fearful that this amendment has been worded ambiguously with deliberate intent, so that it can be used to deprive us of our liberties…” Well there you have it, their fears came to pass; for we have all lost our liberties due to the evil perpetuated under the guise of granting rights to those freed from slavery.
When the 14th Amendment states that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof…” have you ever stopped to ask yourself exactly what that means? Well, according to Black’s Legal Dictionary defines the term subject to as being subordinate or inferior.
If sovereignty is defines as absolute and supreme political power, than how can we be sovereign and subordinate at the same time? The simple answer is, we can’t. Either we are sovereigns and our government represents and works for us, or we are subordinates, and we work for our government and must obey whatever laws it passes; regardless of whether those laws are passed in pursuance of the specific powers granted government by the sovereigns via a written constitution.
Now you tell me, and be honest, which do you think you are; sovereign or subject? Sovereigns do not require permission from their government to exercise their rights. You need a license to drive your car, you need a permit to make additions to your home, you need a license to hunt or fish, you need a license to get married, and you even register your children as corporate holdings via a birth certificate, whereupon they are issued a corporate ID card, (Social Security Card) which contains their taxpayer ID number.
I’ll bet you didn’t know any of this. Of course you didn’t know it; they wish to perpetuate they myth that most believe; that they are free and they have open elections where their voices make a difference. But we are not free, and no matter who we vote for government keeps on spending, keeps on depriving us of more of our liberty, and the people go on watching their sports, their Reality TV, their Twitter and Snapchat accounts; completely oblivious to the fact that they are slaves.
Madison said that knowledge will forever govern ignorance; well the people of this country certainly are ignorant. So it is only reasonable to assume that the people would not have the ability to recognize that they are free range slaves on the plantation called the United States of America.
The question is, what are YOU going to do about it now that I have exposed you to the truth?