Compact is more than a Theory
August 1, 2022 | View PDF
Recent Supreme Court rulings have stirred up a “hornet’s nest,” especially the Dobbs abortion decision on June 24, 2022. Roe vs. Wade created a so-called right to abort an unborn child, presumably traced back to Margaret Sanger--the “progressive” ultra-racist, eugenicist, authoritarian--and her ilk in Planned Parenthood. The latest ruling actually mirrors the way federalism is supposed to work, i.e., abortion is not a federal issue (enumerated in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution); it is a Tenth Amendment issue reserved to the States. Thus, a State such as Massachusetts may allow abortion whereas a State such as Alabama may disallow it. The citizens of the respective States through their representatives will decide. The other recent case involving the 2nd Amendment right to defend oneself (reflected in most State constitutions) is a God-given or natural right whereas termination of a pregnancy (or whatever verbiage one uses) is not. All federal gun laws are unconstitutional—that is a State issue.*
American schools have done a poor job teaching about the creation of our federal republic. The 1783 Treaty of Paris recognized the States as the sovereigns. Jefferson’s 1798/1799 Kentucky Resolutions and Madison’s 1798 Virginia Resolution also touched on State sovereignty, largely as a rebuttal of the draconian conditions within the 1798 Alien & Sedition Acts. The constitution was sold as a “federal” document—a few duties were delegated to the general government and the majority remained with the States. Since there “is not/never was” a so-called “American people,” this structure allowed for the differences in various regions of the country. Thus, “compact” was pivotal to the constitution’s passage, especially in light of the nationalist theory pushed by many Federalists.
“Nationalists” such as Daniel Webster, Joseph Story, John Marshall, and later Abraham Lincoln contended the people as a whole--not the individual States--created and/or agreed to the constitution, a claim made despite massive evidence to the contrary. They also alleged the States did not “accede” to the constitution; therefore, they could not “secede” from it. If the intention was to create a “Soviet-styled” government, their contentions make sense; however, the intention was to create a voluntary federal republic (“If you can keep it.” As Ben Franklin stated.)
A compact is a voluntary agreement between two or more parties. The original compact, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, was not literally perpetual since the States seceded from it. The Articles were used as a launching point for a “more perfect” union that only required nine States to join to make it valid--it was a voluntary agreement or compact among the States that joined.
How did the Founders and other supporters describe the creation of the U.S. Constitution? Meticulous research by Albert Taylor Bledsoe (Was Davis a Traitor?), reveals the following:
• Alexander Hamilton said the constitution would “be in fact and in theory, an association of States, or a confederacy.” (77)
• Thomas Jefferson said “The States entered into a compact, which is called the Constitution of the United States.” (27)
• Writing to Edward Everett of Massachusetts, James Madison described the constitution as “a compact among the States in their highest sovereign capacity.” And referenced the States as “the parties to the Constitutional compact.” (17)
• John Quincy Adams expressed, “Our Constitution of the United States and all our State Constitutions, have been voluntary compacts, deriving all their authority from the free consent of the parties to them.” (18)
• Governor Edmund Randolph articulated, “the accession of eight States reduced our deliberations to the single question of union or no union.” (13)
• Patrick Henry stated, “If it (the constitution) be amended, every state will accede to it.” (13)
• Elbridge Gerry proclaimed he “was opposed to a partial confederacy, leaving other states to accede or not to accede…” (13)
• Nationalist Justice Joseph Story said, “Rhode Island did not accede to it, until more than a year after it had been in operation.” (14)
• George Washington stated: “If these, with the States eastward and northward of us, should accede to the federal government…” (14)
• In 1787, Benjamin Franklin referenced eleven States had joined the constitution “and the accession of a twelfth is soon expected.” (14)
• Judge St. George Tucker called the constitution “a compact between the States.” (26)
• Edmund Pendleton said “This is the only Government founded in real compact.” (26)
• Gouverneur Morris said the constitution is “a compact…between the United States, each enjoying sovereign power.” (75)
Other than the views of the Nationalists, it is clear the U.S. Constitution is a voluntary compact among the States. Bledsoe’s book was cited as one of several reasons Jefferson Davis was not brought to trial, i.e., the U.S. government was not willing to chance that a jury would validate the reality of a voluntary compact of sovereign States.
Sources: Was Davis a Traitor? by Albert Taylor Bledsoe [Using the Internet Archive version, page numbers are in parentheses by each quote.]; “Restoring the Compact Theory: Vital to Restoring the Constitution,” by Tim Dunkin, Published Sep 3, 2015; “Jefferson’s Views on the Union as a Compact Among the States,” Tenth Amendment Center, by Gennady Stolyarov II, Published Apr 8, 2009; “Compact or Collectivism,” by Al Benson, Jr., October 19, 2014. * Republicans created the first “federal” gun laws when they treasonously forced the Southern States back into an “involuntary union.”