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Abraham Lincoln Lives James Madison's Nightmare

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by Beth Doughty on 18 November 2013

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Transcript of Abraham Lincoln Lives James Madison's Nightmare

"Mutual Guardians of Their Mutual Happiness"
Abraham Lincoln Suffers
The Nightmare of James Madison - a Prezi by Beth Doughty

A Constitution Adopted Without Resolved Sovereignty
Through Federalist #14, Madison attempts to show the citizens of America the glory of its potential,
if they stand together in true union...
or the despair of the nightmare that will become America, if its citizens fail:
In 1787-1788, a series of articles and essays (The Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers) were written to influence the citizens of America. The goal of the Federalist Papers was to gain support for ratifying the Constitution by addressing its benefits and negating the criticisms of opponents.
The Federalist Papers
Although it was not publicized at the time, James Madison, using the pseudonym Publius, was one of the principle authors of the Federalist Papers
One of these essays, now known as Federalist No. 14, was published on Friday, November 30, 1787. It was written to address "Objections to the Proposed Constitution from the Extend of Territory Answered"
Federalist #14
The Articles of Confederation, which had been hastily written by the Continental Congress in 1777 to help guide the country during the war were now clearly not working.The new country needed direction, and answers...
James Madison voiced one of the main questions that desperately needed to be settled:
Was the United States "a league of sovereign powers... [or] one sovereign power?"
Federalist #14, Paragraph 1:
"WE HAVE seen the necessity of the Union, as our bulwark against foreign danger, as the conservator of peace among ourselves, as the guardian of our commerce and other common interests, as the only substitute for those military establishments which have subverted the liberties of the Old World, and as the proper antidote for the diseases of faction..."
Federalist #14, Paragraph 1:
This paragraph leads to the strongest themes of #14 - conserving peace among Americans, and guarding against the disease of division.

Of all of the Federalist Papers, #14 seems to be the most prophetic, foreseeing the events that led to Abraham Lincoln protecting the Constitution and the Union of the American states...
Federalist #14, Paragraph 11:
"Hearken not to the unnatural voice which tells you that the people of America, knit together as they are by so many cords of affection, can no longer live together as members of the same family; can no longer continue the mutual guardians of their mutual happiness; can no longer be fellow citizens of one great, respectable, and flourishing empire..."
Federalist #14, Paragraph 11:
"Hearken not to the voice which petulantly tells you that the form of government recommended for your adoption is a novelty in the political world; that it has never yet had a place in the theories of the wildest projectors; that it rashly attempts what it is impossible to accomplish."
In 1789 the United States had a new Constitution that included enough rights to satisfy the Federalist and Anti-Federalist fears and complaints, yet it also had some glaring, problematic omissions, namely the words "slave" or "slavery."
It also did not clearly define what was meant by "We the People" - were the new citizens one people?
The Framers knew that these issues of sovereignty and slavery must be resolved, at some point, but left them unsettled...
Although there is no record of Abraham Lincoln commenting directly on the Federalist Papers, and their influence on him, Lincoln made many comments on the Constitution and his beliefs on how the country should exist under his understanding of Constitutional theory.
Lincoln's Fragment on the Constitution, circa January, 1861
"Without the Constitution and the Union, we could not have attained the result; but even these, are not the primary cause of our great prosperity. There is something back of these, entwining itself more closely about the human heart. That something, is the principle of ``Liberty to all'' ---the principle that clears the path for all---gives hope to all --- and, by consequence, enterprize, and industry to all...."
James Madison's Hell
Lincoln was forced to endure the Civil War, the direst of Madison's predictions for what would be if the Constitution failed:
"the people of America, knit together as they are by so many cords of affection, can no longer live together as members of the same family; can no longer continue the mutual guardians of their mutual happiness; can no longer be fellow citizens of one great, respectable, and flourishing empire."
I
t was Abraham Lincoln's legacy to be the man who was the savior and defender of the Constitution when the agitating issues left unanswered by the Founding Fathers came to a head under his tenure as President...
Lincoln's Fragment on the Constitution,
circa January, 1861
"...No oppressed, people will fight, and endure, as our fathers did, without the promise of something better, than a mere change of masters.
The assertion of that principle, at that time, was the word, ``fitly spoken'' which has proved an ``apple of gold'' to us. The Union, and the Constitution, are the picture of silver, subsequently framed around it..."
Lincoln & The Constitution
Lincoln's Fragment on the Constitution,
circa January, 1861
"The picture was made, not to conceal, or destroy the apple; but to adorn, and preserve it. The picture was made for the apple --- not the apple for the picture.
So let us act, that neither picture, or apple shall ever be blurred, or bruised or broken.
That we may so act, we must study, and understand the points of danger."
Abraham Lincoln - Constitutional Defender/Decider
Southern Perspectives on State Sovereignty
John C. Calhoun clearly expressed the prevailing Southern sentiments regarding National Vs. State Sovereignty that led to the Civil War: "The Constitution was made by the States... it is a federal union of the States, in which the several States still retain their sovereignty." Ultimately, Calhoun argued, in "all its parts-including the federal as well as the separate State governments, [its power] emanated from the same source-the people of the several States." (1849)
Faced with the secession of Southern States and impending Civil War upon his election, Lincoln could not equivocate on his Constitutional beliefs. He clearly affirmed his belief in the Union of the States, supreme to State Sovereignty - and vowed to keep the people of America united... which is seen in the excerpts and audio below...
Lincoln's 1st Inauguration,
March 4, 1861
"…I hold, that in contemplation of universal law, and of the Constitution, the Union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments.
I therefore consider that, in view of the Constitution and the laws, the Union is unbroken..."
Click on image above to listen to the words of Lincoln's 1st Inaugural Address (from: housedivided.dickinson.edu)
"Happily for America, happily, we trust, for the whole human race, [the leaders of the American Revolution] pursued a new and more noble course. They accomplished a revolution which has no parallel in the annals of human society. They reared the fabrics of governments which have no model on the face of the globe. They formed the design of a great Confederacy, which it is incumbent on their successors to improve and perpetuate." (Federalist #14, 1787)
James Madison's Message to the Future...
"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. "
(First Inaugural Address, 1861)

Abraham Lincoln's Response...
See the full transcript