English Class: American Literature

An Appeal To My Fellow Countrymen Against Tyranny

Friends, gentlemen, how is it that only a few short years ago we were fighting for our liberties, and now we are all gathered here to support a form of government that our conscience had so lately been against. Have we not just resisted the taxes, though slight they were, that Parliament had laid on us? Why then would we concede to “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States;”? Gentlemen, let us not so easily slide into tyranny.

In Article I Section VIII we can see the dangerous power given to this new government. “To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years; To provide and maintain a Navy; To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces; To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;” Here I would like to read a passage from the third letter of the ‘Federal Farmer’ which he wrote on October 10th, 1787. He writes, “Congress will have unlimited power to raise armies, and to engage officers and men for any number of years; but a legislative act applying money for their support can have operation for no longer term than two years, and if a subsequent congress do not within the two years renew the appropriation, or further appropriate monies for the use of the army, the army will be left to take care of itself. When an army shall once be raised for a number of years, it is not probable that it will find much difficulty in getting congress to pass laws for applying monies to its support.” I have inserted this quote because it clearly reveals the effects of ratifying this Constitution. We will have a standing army! Did we not vehemently protest against the British standing army? How can we ourselves establish a government that will quickly become oppressive? This army will assert the total power of the government and any who oppose it will quickly be vanquished.

Friends, you all know that the Constitution is a coup d’etat of the Articles of Confederation. We all know that this document should not even be considered. The Articles of Confederation work well for a small limited government. This Constitution that is being considered will create a government so powerful that it will not listen to the people nor allow any dissenters. The Constitution is much more dangerous than the Articles of Confederation because it will take us down the road to despotism and tyranny.

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