From:   shaista husain <>
Sent time:   Wednesday, November 02, 2011 11:12:00 AM
Subject:   SPAM-MED: Re: [september17discuss] Constitutional Rights and their importance to OWS

Just like in the French Revolution--the workers backlash during

Thermidor-- and the rise of the Jacobins and persecution---

During the American Independence there was a Shay's Rebellion an armed

revolt by peasants whose lands had been foreclosed--and many of the

writers of the Constitution, for eg Samual Adams, changed their

"progressive" earlier stance to protect the interests of the rich. We

are having a Shay's rebellion here now but it is unarmed. To quote

Howard Zinn: "The American colonists, having fought and won the war

for independence from England, faced the question of what kind of

government to establish. In 1786, three years after the treaty of

peace was signed, there was a rebellion of farmers in western

Massachusetts, led by Captain Daniel Shays, a veteran of the

Revolutionary war. The uprising was crushed, but it put a scare into

those leaders who were to become our Founding Fathers."

After Shays Rebellion, General Henry Knox warned his former commander,

George Washington, about the rebels: "They see the weakness of

government; they feel at once their own poverty, compared to the

opulent, and their own force, and they are determined to make use of

the latter in order to remedy the former. Their creed is that the

property of the U.S. has been protected from the confiscations of

Britain by the joint exertions of all, and therefore should be the

common property of all."

The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia for 1787 was called to

deal with this problem, to set up "big government," to protect the

interests of merchants, slave-holders, and landowners




On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 9:16 AM, Charlie Grapski <> wrote:

> Unfortunately the Guarantee Clause has never been considered by the Supreme

> Court to be something they viewed as enforceable - to them its all just

> "political" questions as to what constitutes a "republican form" of

> government.


> On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 9:12 AM, gail zawacki <> wrote:


>> Excerpt follows, the entire article is here.

>> The Constitution says that "The United States shall guarantee to every

>> State in this Union, a Republican Form of Government."


>> A "Republican Form of Government" is not a government controlled by

>> Republicans.


>> Rather, a Republican Form of Government" is a representative government.

>> It is a responsive government. It is a government, to use Abraham Lincoln's

>> famous words, "of the people, by the people, and for the people." A

>> republican form of government is a government that pays attention to the

>> welfare of the vast majority of its citizens, or in the words of OWS, it is

>> a government that cares about and is responsive to the 99 percent, rather

>> than a government that is captured by the 1 percent and made to do that 1

>> percent's bidding.


>> The guarantee of a republican form of government, which I have just

>> quoted, is called the Guarantee Clause of Article IV. The Guarantee Clause,

>> as my colleague Akhil Amar has pointed out, was designed to prevent

>> temporary majorities or even minorities from using the levers of government

>> to entrench themselves in power. It was designed to ensure that a small

>> group of powerful and wealthy individuals could not hijack the government

>> and make it do their bidding to the exclusion of the vast majority of the

>> public-- the public for which democratic governments were created to serve.

>> The Guarantee Clause was designed to prevent a small determined faction from

>> seizing the reins of government, and making it a ventriloquist's dummy, a

>> mere puppet of the powerful.


>> The second half of the Guarantee Clause speaks of invasion and "domestic

>> violence." The framers understood that republics are not lost only to

>> conquering armies. They are destroyed by corruption which leads to feckless,

>> unresponsive government, and causes government to lose legitimacy in the

>> eyes of the broad mass of its citizens. The riots and insurrections come

>> later on to deliver the final blow. That is why the Guarantee Clause

>> concerns both the destruction of majority rule and domestic upheaval. The

>> two are opposite sides of the same coin. Caesar seized Rome after the Roman

>> Senate had become deeply corrupt and the Republic could no longer defend

>> itself. When the Senate is for sale, a coup is unnecessary to destroy

>> republican government. The coup has already occurred from within.