Archive for the ‘Early American history’ Category

RealWorldGraduation_Question_47_Presidential_Elections   <– PDF

Suppose, in a U. S. Presidential election, candidate A gets 48% of the popular vote, candidate B gets 46%, and the remaining 6% is divided among various other minor-party candidates as officially reported by the election authorities in all the states.  However, candidate B is declared the winner of the election, and takes the oath of office.  How could this happen?  Between the election and inauguration, neither candidate dies, is convicted of a felony, is found to be ineligible, or refuses the office.  Also, none of the 6% gained by other candidates represented a victory in any given state.

a) Candidate B engaged in large-scale election fraud, and was able to get many of candidate A’s votes to be rejected. Although 48% voted for candidate A, less than 46% were counted.

b) Candidate A was favored by the mainstream media, and they inflated the vote counts for their favorite, even though he was not as popular.

c) The other minor-party candidates gave their votes to candidate B, so he ended up with 52%, and is clearly the winner.

d) Since neither candidate got a 50% + 1 majority, a runoff was held in the U. S. House of Representatives, and candidate B was the winner.

e) A combination of a) and c).

(The answer is on p. 2 of the PDF.)

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Real World Graduation: Question 4

RealWorldGraduation_Question_4   <– PDF

Article I, Section 2 of the U. S. Constitution originally contained the following provision:

“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons.”

In this passage, “representatives” refers to the number of seats in House of Representatives in Congress, “Numbers” refers to population, “several States” refers to any State that ratifies the Constitution, “those bound to service” refers to indentured servants (those who had committed to a term of voluntary servitude in compensation for repayment of the voyage to America fronted by others), “Indians not taxed” refers to Indians on reservations, “other persons” refers to slaves, and “free persons” refers to anyone not in the “other person” group, i.e. not slaves.

This passage can therefore be clarified as follows: “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the States according to their respective population, which shall be determined as the sum of the number of a) all free persons, b) indentured servants, and c) three-fifths of slaves; specifically excluding Indians on reservations.” In other words, representation in Congress was apportioned to the full population of all people in the state not on reservations, except for slaves, whose apportionment was at a fraction of only 60%.  This is known as the “three-fifths” rule.  This three-fifths provision was superseded by the 14th Amendment, which was ratified 9 Jul 1868.

Why did the Founding Fathers insert the three-fifths clause regarding slaves?

  1. a) Most of the Founding Fathers were slave owners who had contempt for black people, and reduced the value of black people to 60% of a white person because it was a long-held tradition.
  2. b) Most of the Founding Fathers were slave owners who had contempt for black people, and reduced the value of a black person to 60% of a white person in an attempt to deprive the slaves of their fair share of welfare payments.
  3. c) Even the Founding Fathers who did not own slaves were racist, and reduced the apportionment of slaves to 60% of a white person to suppress the political influence of the black slaves in the Southern states.
  4. d) The members of the Democratic Party insisted on this provision before they would allow a ratification vote in the Southern states.
  5. e) Each of the Founding Fathers had different motives, but these motives were generally a combination of a), b), and c).

(The answer shown on p. 2 of the PDF.)

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Posted in Articles of Confederation, Constitutional Convention, critical thinking, Early American history, Real World Graduation, U. S. Constitution | No Comments »

Practical Aspects of Gun Control, Part 3

PracticalGunControlPart3    <== PDF version

Dear readers:

This post is available only as a pdf owing to its considerable length.  It continues the examination of the historical aspect of gun control, focusing on the true extent and meaning of the Second Amendment.

Thanks for reading.


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Posted in Alexander Hamilton, Bill of Rights, Early American history, Federalist Papers, gun control, James Madison, Second Amendment | No Comments »

A Free Reprint of The Federalist Papers

FederalistPapersReprint   <== FREE PDF reprint of The Federalist Papers

24 Nov 2011

Dear Readers:

The Federalist Papers are a series of 85 essays by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay published from the fall of 1787 to the spring of 1788.  Their purpose was to explain and defend the newly-crafted U. S. Constitution (intended to supercede the Articles of Confederation)  during the ratification debate in New York.  In the course of these essays, these three founding fathers discuss the philosophy of limited government with necessary powers, the separation of powers between the states and the federal government, and how these were implemented in the Constitution.

It is important for those who believe in limited government to read and understand the Federalist Papers.  They are as relevant today as they ever were.  Page 2 of the reprint (available in pdf only due to its length) contains a  commercial for a book that will help you understand it better; I hope you will consider that too.

The Federalist is in the public domain, and there is nothing copyrighted in this reprint.  Please distribute it as you see fit.

Thanks for reading,

Ed Duvall

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Posted in Alexander Hamilton, Articles of Confederation, Early American history, Federalist Papers, James Madison, John Jay, U. S. Constitution | No Comments »