Remembering Who We Are (M.E. Bradford)

by M.E. Bradford

Remembering Who We Are PDF

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Author
Title
eBook formatHardcover, (torrent)En
PublisherUniversity of Georgia Press
File size3.7 Mb
ISBN978-0820307664
Release date 01.09.1985
Pages count178
Book rating4.25 (4 votes)
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Bradford is a strict constitutionalist, and these essays and papers serve to illustrate the historical fallacies, government intrusion and outright myths that have undermined what started out as a confederation of independent states. This was an outstanding book that is meant to be read slowly and thought over, as many will agree or disagree with Bradford’s points, but all are well argued. This is a book that needs to be read more than once, because even a superficial understanding of Bradford’s main points is impossible to achieve with one reading. The essay that left the strongest impression was “Not So Democratic: The Caution of the Framers”.In this essay, Bradford examines the nature of the government that the framers left us, and he begins by examining “…the nature of man and the possibility of creating a perfect commonwealth for him to inhabit…” The framers were familiar with Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu and Hume, but only as these thinkers applied to the historic rights of Englishmen. They maintained that Man’s natural state was as a social being, not as an individual. In this essay, Bradford traces the process of providing proportional representation in the new government and why those processes were put into place. Discussing the electoral college and the desire of some to get rid of it, Bradford states, “Simple plebiscitary democracy as proposed in some suggestions that we abolish the electoral college goes against the tenor of the United States Constitution as a whole, and makes this mistake precisely because its proponents imagine that equality of individual political rights was the regnant abstraction in the political lexicon of the Fathers.” Further into the essay, he discusses the “enthusiasm” for equality, which he shows does not exist as we conceive it today.He points out that Framers such as George Mason expected states to provide a property qualification as a condition to vote, “…for it was their consensus that a man should have a stake in the society before he was given the right to have an influence over its future.” He also examines the intent of the 1st Amendment and the intent to have the state legislatures elect senators. His point was to show that this leveling concept of equality was abhorrent to the Framers, contrary to what our current myths express.Many of the other essays in this book also explode some of the myths we take for granted regarding the intent of the Framers, and the footnotes are helpful in tracing his research and aid in discovering how he reached his conclusions.He also presents two good essays on the Agrarians, one of which examines the development of the thought of Richard Weaver.
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