I was working on the first of my long awaited threads concerning Garry Wills’ A Necessary Evil: A History of American Distrust of Government. I was finishing up the first section and I did some googling to find some of the historical quotes from the book online. ( Why type when you can cut and paste? ) In my search I came across Jerry Fresia, someone who dislikes the Constitution even more than me. I instantly abandoned work on my post and began reading.
It looks like Mr Fresia’s entire book can be read online. I read through the first couple chapters last night. They cover much of the same territory that I have in my arguments.
The Framers were elite.
Mr Fresia actually lists 35 Framers ( those he terms “considered most active” ) and gives an outline of their wealth and social position. ( This info is cited from Charles Beard’s An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States. My understanding is that the objections to that work concerned the interpretations rather than the data itself. )
The Framers were elitist.
This seems obvious but the book gives us some of their own words to support it. ( The work could use more context surrounding the these quotes, though. If anyone cares to dispute them I’m sure I can produce some with more substance. ) The elite fear of democracy attacking their property is covered extensively and it is maintained that this fear was not just of the lower classes. Mr Feria asserts that by “The People”, the elite referred to those inferiors whom none the less were allowed to vote, ie white landowning males:
In the third chapter, which I have only started, Fresia goes farther. He asserts that at the time of the ratification of the Constitution, a majority of people were against it. The cite for this is given as Charles L. Mee, Jr., The Genius of the People, a work I am unfamiliar with.
If this is true then where is the legitimacy of our supposed democracy?
Just my 2sense