While the foundation of Americanism is in the Declaration of Independence, the key to Americanism is the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution is an agreement between the Sovereign States. The Sovereign States, by ratifying the U.S. Constitution, created the Federal Government and delegated to it certain specific powers. That the States and people jealously guarded their rights and reserved to themselves all power not specifically relinquished, is obvious in Amendments IX and X, of our Bill of Rights. These read as follows:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. [Amendment IX]
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. [Amendment X]
It was the strict limitation of governmental power, by our Constitution, that accounted for the tremendous amount of freedom, enjoyed by individual Americans. It has been said that America became great not because of what government did, but because of what government was prevented from doing. The States, by ratifying the Constitution, delegated to the federal government only the powers needed, to protect the people and states and negotiate with foreign governments, on behalf of the States. Thomas Jefferson makes the purpose of the Constitution clear with this statement, “In matters of Power, let no more be heard of confidence in men, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” This hands-off approach by government, on domestic matters, allowed our free market economy to become the envy, of the world. The people kept the fruits of their labor. When that happens, only laziness or lack of imagination can slow down economic prosperity.
Another important part of the Americanist philosophy is the form and quantity of government, our founders gave us. In regard to quantity, our founders limited the amount of government to the size and power necessary to protect our God-given rights.
As to the form of government, contrary to popular myth, our founders did not give us a democracy. They gave us a republic, and they understood the difference. I will go into this more, in future posts. Let’s say for now that the Americanist philosophy of liberty is found in the truths asserted in the Declaration of Independence, the limitation of government in our Constitutional Republic, with the resulting free market economy, and is supported by a religious and moral people.
George Washington wrote,
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.
Alexis deTocqueville said,
America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.
The freedom exercised, by the American people, must be tempered by morality and strong religious convictions. This is true liberty. The Americanist political and economic system must be supported, by religion and morality, or it will decay and fall. This is the direction our nation has been going, for quite some time.
Only if our people will repent and turn back to God, can we hope to save our nation and rebuild the greatest political and economic system ever devised, by man.
The video at the following link, “Overview of America” narrated by John McManus at the John Birch Society is an excellent summary of Americanist principles. I encourage everyone to watch – it is less than a half hour in length: