Basic Principles of Our Nation — Especially Regarding Education

From John Quincy Adams :

Here was a conflict between two first principles of government resulting from a defect in the British Constitution: the principle that sovereign power in the human government is in its nature unlimited; and the principle that property can lawfully be taxed only with the consent of its owner. Now these two principles carried out in practice are utterly irreconcilable with each other… The King and Parliament and the people of Great Britain appealed for the right to tax to the Colonies to unlimited and illimitable sovereignty of the Parliament, and the Colonists appealed to the natural right of property and the article of the Great Charter. The collision in the application of these two principles was the primitive cause o the severance of the North American Colonies form the British Empire.

The grievance alleged in the Declaration of Independence were..causes amply sufficient to justify before God and man the separation itself; and that resolution – to the support of which the 55 representatives of the one people of the United Colonies pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor – after passing through the fiery ordeal of a sex years war, was sanctioned by the God of Battle sand by the unqualified acknowledge of the defeated adversary.

John Quincy Adams spoke these words in a oration on the occassion of the celebration of Indpendence Day 1837 at Newburyport. He had special reason to know what the first principles of our national governmental philosophy were because his father John Adams was the primary promoter and his boyhood friend Thomas Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence, upon which he is basing this argument.

John Quincy Adams says that inside the first two principles of government, as stated in the Declaration, is the constraint of government. That neither King nor parliament has unlimited power.

Today many people assert that we cannot know the intent of the founders. This is obviously silly. They told us what they intended. That both executive branch — or legislative — or judicial branch would take power that they were not given by the Constitution is very serious. While we don’t normally get into politics on GSB, we do talk about education. This is foundational civics education, required for homeschoolers, at least in Texas.

Let’s do not neglect to teach this to our children. God is the final authority. Government is supposed to be limited to what the people agree to. This was the aim, intent, and clear declaration of our founders, godly forefather.

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