- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Liberty Fund Inc.; 2nd edition (July 1, 1981)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0913966878
- ISBN-13: 978-0913966877
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,361,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Freedom and Federalism Paperback – July 1, 1981
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"In Morley's eyes," the cover notes, "a government of free men is like a strong-standing arch. The solid stones of which it is built is called freedom. Neither the building blocks of individual liberty nor the arch of freedom will stand secure without the keystone of federalism. It is federalism that holds up the arch. It is federalism that makes possible the preservation of both liberty and freedom. And the name of the arch is Republic-not Democracy." This book affirms that America was founded as a Republic, not a Democracy. Edmund Randolph avows, "The general object," of the constitutional convention, was "to provide a cure for the evils under which the United States labored; that in tracing these evils to their origin, every man had found it in the turbelence and follies of democracy." "The U.S. was conceived and framed as a constitutionally limited federal republic with limits not only on the powers of government but on that of majority rule. Succinctly stated, the fundamental purpose of government was to protect life, liberty and property.Read more ›
The American system rested on two pillars: individual freedom and decentralized government. Americans today often look to the Supreme Court to defend individual liberty; the founders, however, believe that freedom was best protected by strong local government, which would serve as a check on the power of the federal government. To a certain extent, a belief in states rights survives even today. While we may hear an occasional call for the elimination of the Electoral College, I've never heard anyone demand that Senate seats be divided based on population, so that California will have greater representation than Rhode Island.
Morley focuses on changes in the United States, often from the day-to-day political perspective. However, he doesn't leave out philosophical concerns. Like many conservatives, Morley sees Rousseau as a chief villain. His concept of the general will provide the philosophical foundation for transferring unlimited power to the central government. Morely also shows how centralized government has the tendency to absorb the functions of state government and limit individual freedom.
The most significant change took place as the result of the Civil War, which dramatically increased the power of the federal government. The fourteenth amendment resulted in a transfer of authority from the states to the federal government. Curiously, Morley seems to accept the claim that the fourteenth amendment "incorporates" the Bill of Rights, thus vesting jurisdiction over just about everything in the hands of the Supreme Court. Although I haven't made up my mind on this issue, the late Raoul Berger made a compelling case that the scope of the fourteenth amendment was much more limited. (See the work of Michael Kent Curtis for a different perspective.)
To fully appreciate this book, I would suggest keeping your computer on & opened to the following website: //1828.mshaffer.com. This website will give you direct access to Webster's 1828 First American Dictionary. It is crucial to understand the meaning of the words used as the Framer's understood them. The very first word to look up is "Federal" to find out the basis of the original construction of the Constitution:
FED'ERAL, a. [from L. faedus, a league, allied perhaps to Eng. wed. L. vas, vadis, vador, vadimonium. See Heb. to pledge.]
1. Pertaining to a league or contract; derived from an agreement or covenant between parties, particularly between nations.
2. Consisting in a compact between parties, particularly and chiefly between states or nations; founded on alliance by contract or mutual agreement; as a federal government, such as that of the United States...
It is crucial to understand two other words - Contract and Ratification.
Mr. Morley, as have others such as Judge Abel Upshur, makes it clear the Constitution is a contract among the natural inheritors of the colonial titles (the Declaration of Independence ended America's Colonial period.) - as sovereign States. The 1783 - Treaty of Paris named the individual colonies as independent states: "Article 1st:
His Brittanic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz.Read more ›