June 7th, 2010
As shown by the Jefferson Papers maintained and posted by the Avalon Project at Yale Law School, it is doubtful Jefferson would have supported any national banking system such as the Federal Reserve System. See: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/bank-tj.asp .
Maybe its time we revisit the thoughts of the nation’s founding fathers as we reassess what has become of our nation’s governments and the Constitutionality of same – Federal or otherwise. For anyone that cares, we must ask, how did we progress to where we now stand? And, upon what shaky foundations are our financial and political systems now based? Are these foundations legitimate or merely a result of an unknowing public and slick maneuvers? Also, who is responsible for any questionable allowances in light of the Constitution that may continue forward from this/whatever day? Have the current political and financial systems '...reduce[d] the whole to one power...' ?
Adam Trotter / AVT
From Jefferson’s Opinion on the Constitutionality of a Federal Bank: 1791
“…If has been urged that a bank will give great facility or convenience in the collection of taxes, Suppose this were true: yet the Constitution allows only the means which are "necessary," not those which are merely "convenient" for effecting the enumerated powers. If such a latitude of construction be allowed to this phrase as to give any non-enumerated power, it will go to everyone, for there is not one which ingenuity may not torture into a convenience in some instance or other, to some one of so long a list of enumerated powers. It would swallow up all the delegated powers, and reduce the whole to one power, as before observed. Therefore it was that the Constitution restrained them to the necessary means, that is to say, to those means without which the grant of power would be nugatory…”
“…Perhaps, indeed, bank bills may be a more convenient vehicle than treasury orders. But a little difference in the degree of convenience cannot constitute the necessity which the Constitution makes the ground for assuming any non-enumerated power.
Besides, the existing banks will, without a doubt, enter into arrangements for lending their agency, and the more favorable, as there will be a competition among them for it; whereas the bill delivers us up bound to the national bank, who are free to refuse all arrangement, but on their own terms, and the public not free, on such refusal, to employ any other bank. …”
“…It may be said that a bank whose bills would have a currency all over the States, would be more convenient than one whose currency is limited to a single State. So it would be still more convenient that there should be a bank, whose bills should have a currency all over the world. But it does not follow from this superior conveniency, that there exists anywhere a power to establish such a bank; or that the world may not go on very well without it.
Can it be thought that the Constitution intended that for a shade or two of convenience, more or less, Congress should be authorized to break down the most ancient and fundamental laws of the several States; such as those against Mortmain, the laws of Alienage, the rules of descent, the acts of distribution, the laws of escheat and forfeiture, the laws of monopoly? Nothing but a necessity invincible by any other means, can justify such a prostitution of laws, which constitute the pillars of our whole system of jurisprudence. Will Congress be too strait-laced to carry the Constitution into honest effect, unless they may pass over the foundation-laws of the State government for the slightest convenience of theirs ? …”
Mortmain: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortmain (remember, it is Wikipedia, so….)
More History of Mortmain: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10579a.htm