Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – I just found it really fortuitous that I stumbled upon this letter while watching the Snowden clip about the nobility of the federal government and that’s what it was that drew Edward Snowden to it, then tying the whole immigration part of this letter to our current pickle over said immigration, being able to then see that back in 1794, 1795, 1796, just years after the Constitution went into effect, members of the House of Representin’ and one of the most famous of all founding fathers found it necessary to guard against the admission of people that would not contribute to the good order and happiness of life under our new Constitution with newfound freedoms and liberties gained in the revolution. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: I started thinking about this nobility, about how Snowden said he believed in the nobility of Mordor, the nobility of leviathan. Just as it happens, I have been pouring through many 18th century historical documents in preparing the introduction to the very-soon-to-be-released John Taylor’s Argument Against the Carriage Tax. As I’m preparing the introduction for the Argument Against the Carriage Tax, a wonderful and never-before-told picture emerges. Here’s the picture: it’s 1794, one year into the second term of George Washington. It is a mere five years after the Constitution has been ratified. It is in the second year, the third meeting of the Congress organized under the Constitution. Already you see a schism and a split in between the way some people think the new government ought to run and some people think that the new government ought to not run. You have these two sides developing that will ultimately become the John Adams-led federalists versus the Thomas Jefferson-led republicans, even though at that time they may actually have used a capital R to make their affairs official, but they were [r]epublicans.
What happens is that a tax bill is passed in the late spring of 1794. I didn’t know this, but a tax bill is passed that has a bunch of new taxes in it. Many of the new members of Congress, James Madison included, agree that repayment of the war debts — the states still have debts leftover from the Revolutionary War, from 1776 to 1783. There are still soldiers that are owed and bonds that were never paid and what have you. They agree that it’s a good thing to assume the debts. In assuming the debts, of course, you have to have a revenue stream to repay them, so they’re seeking new taxes. A slate of taxes are passed in late 1794. One of them is the tax on carriages.
Of all the duties, imposts, and taxes that are passed, it is only the tax on carriages that draws the ire and attention of young Jimmy Madison who is in the Congress at the time. He believes it to be a breach of the Constitution. He believes it to be something that will unfairly tax and burden but a few southern states because they’re the ones that make carriages. He starts firing letters off to Jefferson, John Taylor, Edmund Pendleton and others saying: I fought against this tax. This thing is wrong. In his letter to Pendleton, this is just amazing. It’s just wonderful how the Lord works sometimes and just guides you into things that you had no idea you were going to be guided into. I’m going to cover the nobility part of Madison’s letter because I was intrigued by it.
At the same time, the House of Representin’, in 1795, in January of 1795, is considering also a bill to write a uniform rule of naturalization. Way, way back in the day they were considering immigration? Yes, they were. Folks, ladies and gentlemen, you would not believe the bigotry. You would not believe the dripping bigotry that comes from the pen of Jimmy Madison when he writes to Pendleton warning about: Wait a minute now, we don’t want to import certain kinds of individuals because they’re going to cause problems. Let’s deal with the nobility first, or in dealing with this we get to the part about nobility. Here’s what Madison writes to Pendleton. By the way, this applies to today’s debate over immigration, today’s discussion in the House of Representin’ that’s going to go on over the Senate-passed immigration bill, the amnesty bill that many believe is going to spell the end, if you’re of this variety, the end of the Republican Party as it has been described. This is relevant to today…
For the rest of today’s transcript please sign up for a Founders Pass or if you’re already a member, make sure you are logged in!
The House of Representatives has been engaged in revising the naturalization law, which has been found not duly guarded against intrusions and evasions. The new bill, as passed the House, requires of the candidate for Citizenship [Mike: This is what would be required of you to gain citizenship in the United States, to be naturalized.] residence for five years, an oath of abjuration as well as of allegiance, satisfaction to the Court of good Character, attachment to the principles of the Constitution, and of being well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States.
Mike Church Show Transcript – Where Did Congress Get The Power To Fund Anything And Everything Under The Sun?
Mike: Do you think someone seeking amnesty after having broken every law that’s on the books dealing with these sorts of things and who is also not contributing to the good order or happiness of the U.S., unless you think people go to work and are very happy in their work knowing they’re being taxed to pay for the food, medical supplies, education, transportation and every other hell forsaken thing of people that should not even be in our midst or should not be in the midst of the state that do not wish for them to be there? I’m just intrigued by how even early on there was a built-in fear that the wrong kind of people would screw up, that if you imported the wrong kind of people you’d screw up the constitutional order of things.
On the motion of Mr. Giles, a clause was added requiring of all who may have belonged to the order of Nobility, or borne any hereditary title, to make an express renunciation on these points in court and upon record.
Mike: Thinking out loud about Edward Snowden saying he got into our government because he believed in the nobility of it, here we are on 8 January 1795 listening to James Madison saying: We’re not letting any new people in here if they think they’re going to come in here and flaunt about their nobility. I just found that really, really not in sync or in harmony. He goes on to say: This is really strange. I wouldn’t think that anyone would have objected to admitting characters in here that have titles of nobility. Then he goes on to describe the events.
You will think it strange, perhaps, that this should have met with opposition; and yet it became a question of some heat, tho’ opposed rather as unimportant than improper. Several of the conditions have reference to the present State of Europe, [Mike: If we just replace Europe with Central and South America, I think the rest of this has merit.] and the danger of an influx to this country both of aristocracy and licentiousness.
Mike: When he says licentiousness, this is an 18th century word we don’t use any longer. If you are a licentious character, you are of an immoral or amoral composition, you are lazy, filled with sloth and the sin of vices is the pursuit of your life. That’s what it would have meant in the 18th century. In other words, shady characters that were not law-abiding and were not coming here — as he’s referring to people that were trying to be naturalized — to contribute to the good order and happiness. They want to regard against admitting people that are licentious or lazy or scofflaws or what have you.
It seems not amiss that we should be on our guard against both extremes. [Mike: Madison is saying this is a foregone conclusion and you would never want these people admitted into your population as citizens.] There will be a serious effort made to begin an effectual operation for paying off the public debt. The increase of the impost presents a fund that will of itself, if not diverted, answer the purpose.
Mike: I just found it really fortuitous that I stumbled upon this letter while watching the Snowden clip about the nobility of the federal government and that’s what it was that drew Edward Snowden to it, then tying the whole immigration part of this letter to our current pickle over said immigration, being able to then see that back in 1794, 1795, 1796, just years after the Constitution went into effect, members of the House of Representin’ and one of the most famous of all founding fathers found it necessary to guard against the admission of people that would not contribute to the good order and happiness of life under our new Constitution with newfound freedoms and liberties gained in the revolution. Put that in your Tuesday morning pipes, chew on it, and smoke it for a little while.
End Mike Church Show Transcript