HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Everything We Tell Oursel... » Reply #29

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 03:59 PM

29. All of America is based on myth


Most Americans know that the framers met for three months in closed session, but this is generally forgiven on the grounds that the then Congress of the United States had not commissioned them to write a new Constitution, and neither revolutionaries nor counter-revolutionaries can do all their work in the open. What few modern-day Americans realize, however, is that the framers did their best to ensure that we would never know the details of their deliberations. All the participants in the convention were sworn to life-long secrecy, and when the debates were over, those who had taken notes were asked to hand them in to George Washington, whose final task as chairman of the convention was to get rid of the evidence. American's first president, it appears, was also its first shredder.

Fortunately, not all the participants kept their vows of silence or handed in all their notes. But it wasn't until 1840, a half century after the Constitution was put into effect, with the posthumous surfacing of James Madison's extensive notes, that the American people could finally read what had happened in those three crucial months in Philadelphia. What was revealed was neither divine nor diabolical, but simply human, an all-too-human exercise in politics. Merchants, bankers, ship-owners, planters, slave traders and slave owners, land speculators, and lawyers, who made their money working for these groups, voiced their interests and fears in clear, uncluttered language; and, after settling a few, relatively minor disagreements, they drew up plans for a form of government they believe would serve these interests most effectively. But the fifty years of silence had the desired myth-building effect. The human actors were transformed into "Founding Fathers." Their political savvy and common sense were now seen as all-surpassing
wisdom, and their concern for their own class of property owners (and, to a lesser, extent, sections of the country and occupational groups) had been elevated to universal altruism (in the liberal version) or
self-sacrificing patriotism (in the preferred conservative view).

The founding documents were designed to reign in the "mob" - the mob that had actually fought and won the Revolution.

Reply to this post

Back to OP Alert abuse Link to post in-thread

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 38 replies Author Time Post
xchrom Jan 2013 OP
DeSwiss Jan 2013 #1
xchrom Jan 2013 #2
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #3
xchrom Jan 2013 #5
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #19
willhe Jan 2013 #4
Flashmann Jan 2013 #7
SammyWinstonJack Jan 2013 #8
valerief Jan 2013 #10
Jackpine Radical Jan 2013 #26
Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #34
whathehell Jan 2013 #36
newfie11 Jan 2013 #6
Demo_Chris Jan 2013 #9
Delphinus Jan 2013 #20
KG Jan 2013 #11
zeemike Jan 2013 #12
Faryn Balyncd Jan 2013 #13
randome Jan 2013 #14
obamamyprez Jan 2013 #18
tama Jan 2013 #22
JCMach1 Jan 2013 #15
socialindependocrat Jan 2013 #16
obamamyprez Jan 2013 #17
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #21
GliderGuider Jan 2013 #23
JReed Jan 2013 #28
superpatriotman Jan 2013 #24
GliderGuider Jan 2013 #25
RKP5637 Jan 2013 #27
LineNew Reply All of America is based on myth
JReed Jan 2013 #29
gulliver Jan 2013 #30
OneGrassRoot Jan 2013 #31
xchrom Jan 2013 #32
Rex Jan 2013 #33
whatchamacallit Jan 2013 #35
marmar Jan 2013 #37
woo me with science Jan 2013 #38
Please login to view edit histories.