I continually receive comments from those who believe “our Founding Fathers” opposed a strong federal government and were against unduly taxing the people of America. This mythology is the basis of people like Ron Paul who argue for extending rights to states and ending excessive federal taxation. The “free enterprise” heritage of “our Founding Fathers” is part of the myths in American history that right wing gun lovers so enjoy spouting. Well, as we celebrate the nation’s birthday, let’s look at the record.
If people like Ron Paul are correct that “our Founding Fathers” believed in states rights and ending federal taxation, they certainly were confused in their actions. They initially created the Articles of Confederation which was the dream government of the Ron Paulites since it gave enormous powers to states, lacked a central executive, and made the federal government unable to meet fiscal and military responsibilities. For some strange reason, the “Founding Fathers” ended the Articles of Confederation within five years of creating this states rights form of government. Everyone including Franklin, Washington, Madison, Hamilton, Madison, etc.. ripped apart the government of the Articles of Confederation and yelled for creation of a strong Federal government led by a strong president and which had the power of taxation.
If one reads comments by Washington or Hamilton or Franklin during the 1780s, they constantly complain states have too much power and they seek creation of a central federal government. Washington is furious at white males grabbing funs like in Shays Rebellion and trying to enforce their will upon government. Of course, Washington had absolutely NO FAITH in local militia and they were the last group he would entrust with the nation’s security.
Perhaps, Ron Paul and those who believe “our Founding Fathers” wanted a weak national government could produce evidence in the Constitution to that effect. Hamilton even created the Bank of the US (18th century version of Federal Reserve System?) and pushed for taxes to run the government.
Oh, Republican right wingers, I hate to tell you and the idiot Sarah Palin, but Washington in his Farewell Address NEVER used the expression about avoiding “entangling alliances.” Actually, to set the record straight, Jefferson used those words in 1800. But, then again, asking NRA followers or right wing believers in no government involvement in the economy to actually read American history would be the 8th wonder of the world.
Oh, for the record. Here is what the Federal government of “Our Founding Fathers” did;
Purchased the Louisiana Territory even though the Constitution never says Congress has such power.
Built roads and canals all over the nation.
Founded the Bank of the US
Fought a war against the Barbary Pirates–without Congress declaring war.
Crushed local rifle toting groups like Shays Rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion
Imposed tariffs to protect businessmen
Launched an invasion of Canada
Passed the infamous Alien & Sedition Act– opposed by Democrats like Jefferson.
Gave land to states to build the first colleges in the mid-west
Washington urged building of a national university run by the government.
Created the first modern political party –Jefferson’s Republican-Democratic party.
P.S. I doubt if Washington would have supported men with rifles bringing them to church, not that Washington ever went to church.