Author Topic: Constitutional Amendments -- There Is A Pattern.  (Read 10224 times)

Offline TboneAgain

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Constitutional Amendments -- There Is A Pattern.
« on: October 14, 2014, 09:34:14 PM »
Several recent posts have brought up the subject of "bright moments" or "golden opportunities" for legislative and/or constitutional change in this country. A fairly simple review of the history of amendments to the constitution shows an unmistakable pattern, which can be used as a guide for future campaigns.

BACKGROUND

The US Constitution is the literal political backbone of the nation. Its terms, its words, its thoughts actually form the federal government under which we all exist. Amending the US Constitution is, in the obvious sense of the word, a monumental act, and it has always been meant to be so.

The Constitution is not, as the Left wants to claim, a "living document." It is quite literally permanent and restrictive, by careful and deliberate design. It was crafted by indisputably wise men to create a central government... and at the same time to limit that very same government in every way they could think of. The men who wrote and promoted the Constitution understood, in ways that most citizens of this country today cannot, the existential dangers of a strong central government. James Madison is often cited as a model of federalist thinking, but he wasn't alone. As I am wont to quote, George Washington had this to say: "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent. It is force."

Nevertheless, the men who wrote the Constitution provided for its amendment. It could be changed for reasons carefully and thoroughly considered by the people, and those changes would have to be voted on accordingly. Right out of the starting gate, at the demand of numerous of the original states, the first ten amendments were quickly adopted en bloc in 1791, just two years after the basic Constitution had been accepted. Unlike later amendments, the first ten were less literal changes to the document, and more extensions of it, and especially extensions and specific explanations of the document's limits on the new federal government. They were concise but expansive statements of what that government could NOT do. They consistently referred to the rights of "the states" and "the people" and they contained the words, "shall make no law," words specifically and directly pointed at the new national government. The Bill of Rights contains most of what people like Barack Obama refer to as "a charter of negative liberties," the most hated of which are the freedoms so eloquently described in the First, Second, Ninth, and most especially Tenth Amendments.

Amendments 11 and 12 were adopted in 1795 and 1804, respectively. They have been largely dismissed as "bookkeeping" amendments, minor corrections to the original document. Since then, the US Constitution has been amended fifteen times. Those amendments are more than rare. They are bellwethers of national thought. And they run in cycles -- they come in bunches.

POST-CIVIL WAR (RECONSTRUCTION) AMENDMENTS (1865-1870)

More than sixty years passed between the 12th and 13th Amendments. Then came three new amendments in just five years -- the 13th (abolishing slavery) in 1865, the 14th (establishing citizenship for former black slaves) in 1868, and the 15th (establishing voting rights for blacks) in 1870. It is worth noting that there was a strong movement meant to amend the Constitution to reduce the "lame duck" period between national elections and inaugurations, but it failed at that time. Argument pointed to the 4-month period between Lincoln's election and his installation in office, a period when the nation was being divided, and during which it could be reasonably argued that the will of the electorate was not being served. This issue would arise again later.

THE FIRST PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT (1913-1920)

After the Fifteenth Amendment, more than forty years passed before another was enacted, and it too was one of a series. In 1913, Amendment 16, which provided the national government with the power to tax personal incomes -- a power specifically prohibited in the original Constitution -- was ratified, and the first legal federal income tax law was signed into law by Woodrow Wilson, the first openly Progressive president. Just months later, the Seventeenth Amendment -- mandating the popular election of US senators -- was ushered in by the same man.

Before he left office, Wilson also heralded two more amendments. The Eighteenth enacted Prohibition and triggered the infamous Volstead Act. The Nineteenth, which extended voting rights to women, was greeted by Wilson in his last year in office.

THE DEPRESSION EMERGENCY/FDR (SECOND PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT) (1933-1951)

In the midst of the Great Depression, two issues grabbed public attention to the extent of generating Constitutional amendments. First, the voters did not care for the fact that, given 20th century technology, the federal government was still allowing four months for the change of governments after an election. (This was mentioned earlier.) As 1933 opened, it is fair to say that a high percentage of the voting public couldn't wait to see the backside of Herbert Hoover. The 20th Amendment, enacted in FDR's first year, provided for that change to move from March 4 to January each year. (Exact dates vary with office.)

Also enacted that year was the 21st Amendment, a landmark goal of the FDR campaign. Briefly stated, the 21st Amendment erased the 18th amendment, and Prohibition ended. Prohibition had always been hated as an extension of Victorian prudery from an earlier time, and by 1933, Prohibition had been widely recognized as one of the causes of the economic depression gripping the country.

I'll put one more amendment into this category -- the 22nd. In 1944, Franklin Roosevelt was elected to his fourth term as president. Even before his death, public opinion was leaning toward thinking he had been in office too long. The 22nd Amendment, finally enacted in 1951, placed a two-term limit on the office of president.

THE SIXTIES/HIPPIE AMENDMENTS (THIRD PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT) (1961-1971)

Liberalism/progressivism once again asserted itself in the 1960s. One of the first things young John F. Kennedy did after taking office was to preside over the adoption of the 23rd Amendment to the US Constitution, which granted the District of Columbia a pair of electors to vote in the Electoral College. Before the decade was out, the 24th Amendment, which prohibited poll taxes, and the 25th Amendment, which revised succession procedures, became law. Finally, in 1971 the long-festering movement to empower youth gained fruition with the 26th Amendment, which dropped the voting age to 18.

CONCLUSION

Outside the timeframes specified in the four distinct periods outlined above, and recognizing that the 11th and 12th Amendments were, as generally acknowledged, "bookkeeping" corrections, only one constitutional amendment has taken place -- the 27th, ratified in 1992. And even that was a relatively "minor" act, defining how quickly Congressional salary increases can become active. (Critics then and now point out that the amendment route to this solution was massive overkill.)

The timeline of amendments to the Constitution proves that that particular mechanism is powered by two things -- national emergency and the prominence and power of liberal/progressive forces.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 09:43:07 PM by TboneAgain »
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. -- Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; IT IS FORCE. -- George Washington

Offline supsalemgr

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Re: Constitutional Amendments -- There Is A Pattern.
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2014, 03:50:33 AM »
Several recent posts have brought up the subject of "bright moments" or "golden opportunities" for legislative and/or constitutional change in this country. A fairly simple review of the history of amendments to the constitution shows an unmistakable pattern, which can be used as a guide for future campaigns.

BACKGROUND

The US Constitution is the literal political backbone of the nation. Its terms, its words, its thoughts actually form the federal government under which we all exist. Amending the US Constitution is, in the obvious sense of the word, a monumental act, and it has always been meant to be so.

The Constitution is not, as the Left wants to claim, a "living document." It is quite literally permanent and restrictive, by careful and deliberate design. It was crafted by indisputably wise men to create a central government... and at the same time to limit that very same government in every way they could think of. The men who wrote and promoted the Constitution understood, in ways that most citizens of this country today cannot, the existential dangers of a strong central government. James Madison is often cited as a model of federalist thinking, but he wasn't alone. As I am wont to quote, George Washington had this to say: "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent. It is force."

Nevertheless, the men who wrote the Constitution provided for its amendment. It could be changed for reasons carefully and thoroughly considered by the people, and those changes would have to be voted on accordingly. Right out of the starting gate, at the demand of numerous of the original states, the first ten amendments were quickly adopted en bloc in 1791, just two years after the basic Constitution had been accepted. Unlike later amendments, the first ten were less literal changes to the document, and more extensions of it, and especially extensions and specific explanations of the document's limits on the new federal government. They were concise but expansive statements of what that government could NOT do. They consistently referred to the rights of "the states" and "the people" and they contained the words, "shall make no law," words specifically and directly pointed at the new national government. The Bill of Rights contains most of what people like Barack Obama refer to as "a charter of negative liberties," the most hated of which are the freedoms so eloquently described in the First, Second, Ninth, and most especially Tenth Amendments.

Amendments 11 and 12 were adopted in 1795 and 1804, respectively. They have been largely dismissed as "bookkeeping" amendments, minor corrections to the original document. Since then, the US Constitution has been amended fifteen times. Those amendments are more than rare. They are bellwethers of national thought. And they run in cycles -- they come in bunches.

POST-CIVIL WAR (RECONSTRUCTION) AMENDMENTS (1865-1870)

More than sixty years passed between the 12th and 13th Amendments. Then came three new amendments in just five years -- the 13th (abolishing slavery) in 1865, the 14th (establishing citizenship for former black slaves) in 1868, and the 15th (establishing voting rights for blacks) in 1870. It is worth noting that there was a strong movement meant to amend the Constitution to reduce the "lame duck" period between national elections and inaugurations, but it failed at that time. Argument pointed to the 4-month period between Lincoln's election and his installation in office, a period when the nation was being divided, and during which it could be reasonably argued that the will of the electorate was not being served. This issue would arise again later.

THE FIRST PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT (1913-1920)

After the Fifteenth Amendment, more than forty years passed before another was enacted, and it too was one of a series. In 1913, Amendment 16, which provided the national government with the power to tax personal incomes -- a power specifically prohibited in the original Constitution -- was ratified, and the first legal federal income tax law was signed into law by Woodrow Wilson, the first openly Progressive president. Just months later, the Seventeenth Amendment -- mandating the popular election of US senators -- was ushered in by the same man.

Before he left office, Wilson also heralded two more amendments. The Eighteenth enacted Prohibition and triggered the infamous Volstead Act. The Nineteenth, which extended voting rights to women, was greeted by Wilson in his last year in office.

THE DEPRESSION EMERGENCY/FDR (SECOND PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT) (1933-1951)

In the midst of the Great Depression, two issues grabbed public attention to the extent of generating Constitutional amendments. First, the voters did not care for the fact that, given 20th century technology, the federal government was still allowing four months for the change of governments after an election. (This was mentioned earlier.) As 1933 opened, it is fair to say that a high percentage of the voting public couldn't wait to see the backside of Herbert Hoover. The 20th Amendment, enacted in FDR's first year, provided for that change to move from March 4 to January each year. (Exact dates vary with office.)

Also enacted that year was the 21st Amendment, a landmark goal of the FDR campaign. Briefly stated, the 21st Amendment erased the 18th amendment, and Prohibition ended. Prohibition had always been hated as an extension of Victorian prudery from an earlier time, and by 1933, Prohibition had been widely recognized as one of the causes of the economic depression gripping the country.

I'll put one more amendment into this category -- the 22nd. In 1944, Franklin Roosevelt was elected to his fourth term as president. Even before his death, public opinion was leaning toward thinking he had been in office too long. The 22nd Amendment, finally enacted in 1951, placed a two-term limit on the office of president.

THE SIXTIES/HIPPIE AMENDMENTS (THIRD PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT) (1961-1971)

Liberalism/progressivism once again asserted itself in the 1960s. One of the first things young John F. Kennedy did after taking office was to preside over the adoption of the 23rd Amendment to the US Constitution, which granted the District of Columbia a pair of electors to vote in the Electoral College. Before the decade was out, the 24th Amendment, which prohibited poll taxes, and the 25th Amendment, which revised succession procedures, became law. Finally, in 1971 the long-festering movement to empower youth gained fruition with the 26th Amendment, which dropped the voting age to 18.

CONCLUSION

Outside the timeframes specified in the four distinct periods outlined above, and recognizing that the 11th and 12th Amendments were, as generally acknowledged, "bookkeeping" corrections, only one constitutional amendment has taken place -- the 27th, ratified in 1992. And even that was a relatively "minor" act, defining how quickly Congressional salary increases can become active. (Critics then and now point out that the amendment route to this solution was massive overkill.)

The timeline of amendments to the Constitution proves that that particular mechanism is powered by two things -- national emergency and the prominence and power of liberal/progressive forces.

Point is the amendment process has served its purpose for over 200 years. In the whole scheme of things the changes were either necessary or had minimal affect. This is what drives libs crazy. Even they realize they cannot implement their insane ideas through the amendment process. Therefore, they attempt to change the constitution through unlawful Executive excess or Judicial activism.
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Offline Solar

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Re: Constitutional Amendments -- There Is A Pattern.
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2014, 05:08:46 AM »
Point is the amendment process has served its purpose for over 200 years. In the whole scheme of things the changes were either necessary or had minimal affect. This is what drives libs crazy. Even they realize they cannot implement their insane ideas through the amendment process. Therefore, they attempt to change the constitution through unlawful Executive excess or Judicial activism.
And, Or, outright PC applications of shame, which seems to have an even greater effect than the law.
#WWG1WGA

Offline Mountainshield

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Re: Constitutional Amendments -- There Is A Pattern.
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2014, 01:40:08 AM »
Very articulate, well done article.

Might as well abolish every amendment after the fifteenth amendment. Most single women and most teenagers vote left, it's a reason why the socialists wants to lower the voting age to 16 and that they always pander to single mothers with promises of welfare essentially a form of prostitution, better make the father pay 50% of his salary or welfare benefits to the mother instead of making other citizens pay for his irresponsibility, this would lower the birth rate among the poor as well without abortion. Of course all women have the right to vote now and that is not going away, most married women tend to vote conservative as well, and women are excellent conservative politicians. I don't want to fall into the trap of thinking like a liberal that the ends justifies the means by promoting voting restriction on women, but voting should not be the domain of irresponsible teenagers, raise to 21 at least.

It seems to me that the only way to do away with the damage the liberals and socialist have done to your country is the amendment process, with that sort of legislative power being able to unlawfully override the constitution can abolish 99% of the unlawful laws that has been enacted with a single amendment, terminate the 18th amendment and restoring power to the states, terminate the 16th amendment and the other that are unneeded/harmful. A Constitutional Amendment Process can open up for more tyrannical amendments but it seems to be the only peaceful way of restoring government and abolishing the magnitude of hundred of thousands of unlawful laws that has been enacted. If you are not willing to try and fight, then you have already lost in any case.

So what are the arguments against a constitutional amendment process to restore government?


Offline TboneAgain

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Re: Constitutional Amendments -- There Is A Pattern.
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2014, 04:19:01 AM »
Point is the amendment process has served its purpose for over 200 years. In the whole scheme of things the changes were either necessary or had minimal affect. This is what drives libs crazy. Even they realize they cannot implement their insane ideas through the amendment process. Therefore, they attempt to change the constitution through unlawful Executive excess or Judicial activism.

My point was almost exactly the opposite. I meant to illustrate what has, over our history, engendered constitutional amendments, and I found them to be largely the products of progressive convulsions. In fact, liberal/progressives ARE implementing their nutball ideas, one at a time, through the amendment process.

Three of the four amendments enacted during Wilson's presidency, for example, were certainly unnecessary and had lasting detrimental effects. The only one of the four I'd classify as either necessary or minimal in effect would be the Nineteenth, which gave women the right to vote -- it was necessary, given the times, but certainly not of minimal impact. The Sixteenth, which directly countermanded the express intention of the framers and empowered the government to collect income taxes, is probably the single most damaging act the nation has ever inflicted on itself. The Seventeenth, which altered the process for electing Senators to the popular vote, probably runs a close second in lasting harm. It was a blow aimed directly at weakening the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, its sole purpose being to dilute the influence of the states in federal matters.

Possibly the third most damaging amendment -- and one custom tailored to achieve Leftist objectives -- was the last of the "hippie amendments," the 26th, which dropped the voting age nationwide to 18, thereby placing the power of the ballot within the reach of high school students. I was a high school student when that one was enacted, and all I heard from my teachers was how I should support school levies and George McGovern. And I should go home and tell my parents that they should support the same things.

If the amendment process has served its purpose, I think that it has done so by making constitutional amendments pretty hard to get done. I'm sure the framers intended it that way. The willingness to amend that document is certainly one of the sharpest differences between us and the Lib/Progs, as is shown by the timeline I presented.
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Offline Mountainshield

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Re: Constitutional Amendments -- There Is A Pattern.
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2014, 12:34:24 AM »
My point was almost exactly the opposite. I meant to illustrate what has, over our history, engendered constitutional amendments, and I found them to be largely the products of progressive convulsions. In fact, liberal/progressives ARE implementing their nutball ideas, one at a time, through the amendment process.

Three of the four amendments enacted during Wilson's presidency, for example, were certainly unnecessary and had lasting detrimental effects. The only one of the four I'd classify as either necessary or minimal in effect would be the Nineteenth, which gave women the right to vote -- it was necessary, given the times, but certainly not of minimal impact. The Sixteenth, which directly countermanded the express intention of the framers and empowered the government to collect income taxes, is probably the single most damaging act the nation has ever inflicted on itself. The Seventeenth, which altered the process for electing Senators to the popular vote, probably runs a close second in lasting harm. It was a blow aimed directly at weakening the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, its sole purpose being to dilute the influence of the states in federal matters.

Possibly the third most damaging amendment -- and one custom tailored to achieve Leftist objectives -- was the last of the "hippie amendments," the 26th, which dropped the voting age nationwide to 18, thereby placing the power of the ballot within the reach of high school students. I was a high school student when that one was enacted, and all I heard from my teachers was how I should support school levies and George McGovern. And I should go home and tell my parents that they should support the same things.

If the amendment process has served its purpose, I think that it has done so by making constitutional amendments pretty hard to get done. I'm sure the framers intended it that way. The willingness to amend that document is certainly one of the sharpest differences between us and the Lib/Progs, as is shown by the timeline I presented.

I'm sorry I have to ask again, if the amendment process is so powerful then why doesn't the Conservatives or Republicans use it?

Offline supsalemgr

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Re: Constitutional Amendments -- There Is A Pattern.
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2014, 04:23:54 AM »
I'm sorry I have to ask again, if the amendment process is so powerful then why doesn't the Conservatives or Republicans use it?

It takes 2/3 approval in the senate and there is no way with the current makeup any amendment would have a chance. In fact, right now it would not even be brought to the floor for consideration. If the GOP takes the senate some amendments could be presented and then there would be pressure on dems to either support of reject.
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Offline TboneAgain

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Re: Constitutional Amendments -- There Is A Pattern.
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2014, 04:32:42 PM »
I'm sorry I have to ask again, if the amendment process is so powerful then why doesn't the Conservatives or Republicans use it?

Conservatives shy away from the amendment process because, in principle, we are generally opposed to changing the fundamental structure of the nation, as embodied in the Constitution.

Liberals and Progressives, on the other hand, resort to the amendment process whenever they can manage it, for exactly the same reason Conservatives oppose it -- the changes wrought are far-reaching and almost guaranteed to be permanent. Consider that only one of the 27 amendments has ever been overturned or reversed, and that reversal took another amendment ordeal to accomplish. You will never hear a true conservative refer to a "living Constitution," but Libs and Progs just can't shut up about that when constitutional debates arise.
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. -- Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution

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Offline ChristopherABrown

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Re: Constitutional Amendments -- There Is A Pattern.
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2014, 09:25:00 AM »
It takes 2/3 approval in the senate and there is no way with the current makeup any amendment would have a chance. In fact, right now it would not even be brought to the floor for consideration. If the GOP takes the senate some amendments could be presented and then there would be pressure on dems to either support of reject.

If 3/4 of the states conduct their own conventions proposing and ratifying each others proposals, 2/3 of the senate is not needed.

Offline supsalemgr

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Re: Constitutional Amendments -- There Is A Pattern.
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2014, 11:42:41 AM »
If 3/4 of the states conduct their own conventions proposing and ratifying each others proposals, 2/3 of the senate is not needed.

That is even more unlikely in today's world.
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Offline Mountainshield

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Re: Constitutional Amendments -- There Is A Pattern.
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2014, 03:18:16 AM »
Conservatives shy away from the amendment process because, in principle, we are generally opposed to changing the fundamental structure of the nation, as embodied in the Constitution.

Liberals and Progressives, on the other hand, resort to the amendment process whenever they can manage it, for exactly the same reason Conservatives oppose it -- the changes wrought are far-reaching and almost guaranteed to be permanent. Consider that only one of the 27 amendments has ever been overturned or reversed, and that reversal took another amendment ordeal to accomplish. You will never hear a true conservative refer to a "living Constitution," but Libs and Progs just can't shut up about that when constitutional debates arise.

I understand, but the damage has already been done. The constitution has been changed through the amendment process, if the Republicans(or constitutionalists) are not willing to use the same tools to undo/repair the damage and instead will focus on new legislation to counter legislation upon legislation until everything becomes obligatory and everything becomes illegal instead of using a process that could fix everything in one attack then what chance or options is there to undo the laws enacted by the liberals and restore the constitution?

Offline ChristopherABrown

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Re: Constitutional Amendments -- There Is A Pattern.
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2014, 05:59:52 AM »
That is even more unlikely in today's world.

Agreed, but only because freedom of speech is abridged.  Of course that becomes circular.  However, the reason for that resides mostly with our information gathering habits or fears gained from them.

Some of those fears are unconscious.  For example the fear of knowing something perceived as dangerous that no one else knows.  Cognitive dissonance sets in.

To counter the problems this creates when a group does it, individuals that understand the consequences need to join together and demonstrate that the knowledge is not only good to know, but healthy and conducive to greater security.

Offline AlfredDrake

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Re: Constitutional Amendments -- There Is A Pattern.
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2014, 07:50:17 AM »
Several recent posts have brought up the subject of "bright moments" or "golden opportunities" for legislative and/or constitutional change in this country. A fairly simple review of the history of amendments to the constitution shows an unmistakable pattern, which can be used as a guide for future campaigns.

BACKGROUND

The US Constitution is the literal political backbone of the nation. Its terms, its words, its thoughts actually form the federal government under which we all exist. Amending the US Constitution is, in the obvious sense of the word, a monumental act, and it has always been meant to be so.

The Constitution is not, as the Left wants to claim, a "living document." It is quite literally permanent and restrictive, by careful and deliberate design. It was crafted by indisputably wise men to create a central government... and at the same time to limit that very same government in every way they could think of. The men who wrote and promoted the Constitution understood, in ways that most citizens of this country today cannot, the existential dangers of a strong central government. James Madison is often cited as a model of federalist thinking, but he wasn't alone. As I am wont to quote, George Washington had this to say: "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent. It is force."

Nevertheless, the men who wrote the Constitution provided for its amendment. It could be changed for reasons carefully and thoroughly considered by the people, and those changes would have to be voted on accordingly. Right out of the starting gate, at the demand of numerous of the original states, the first ten amendments were quickly adopted en bloc in 1791, just two years after the basic Constitution had been accepted. Unlike later amendments, the first ten were less literal changes to the document, and more extensions of it, and especially extensions and specific explanations of the document's limits on the new federal government. They were concise but expansive statements of what that government could NOT do. They consistently referred to the rights of "the states" and "the people" and they contained the words, "shall make no law," words specifically and directly pointed at the new national government. The Bill of Rights contains most of what people like Barack Obama refer to as "a charter of negative liberties," the most hated of which are the freedoms so eloquently described in the First, Second, Ninth, and most especially Tenth Amendments.

Amendments 11 and 12 were adopted in 1795 and 1804, respectively. They have been largely dismissed as "bookkeeping" amendments, minor corrections to the original document. Since then, the US Constitution has been amended fifteen times. Those amendments are more than rare. They are bellwethers of national thought. And they run in cycles -- they come in bunches.

POST-CIVIL WAR (RECONSTRUCTION) AMENDMENTS (1865-1870)

More than sixty years passed between the 12th and 13th Amendments. Then came three new amendments in just five years -- the 13th (abolishing slavery) in 1865, the 14th (establishing citizenship for former black slaves) in 1868, and the 15th (establishing voting rights for blacks) in 1870. It is worth noting that there was a strong movement meant to amend the Constitution to reduce the "lame duck" period between national elections and inaugurations, but it failed at that time. Argument pointed to the 4-month period between Lincoln's election and his installation in office, a period when the nation was being divided, and during which it could be reasonably argued that the will of the electorate was not being served. This issue would arise again later.

THE FIRST PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT (1913-1920)

After the Fifteenth Amendment, more than forty years passed before another was enacted, and it too was one of a series. In 1913, Amendment 16, which provided the national government with the power to tax personal incomes -- a power specifically prohibited in the original Constitution -- was ratified, and the first legal federal income tax law was signed into law by Woodrow Wilson, the first openly Progressive president. Just months later, the Seventeenth Amendment -- mandating the popular election of US senators -- was ushered in by the same man.

Before he left office, Wilson also heralded two more amendments. The Eighteenth enacted Prohibition and triggered the infamous Volstead Act. The Nineteenth, which extended voting rights to women, was greeted by Wilson in his last year in office.

THE DEPRESSION EMERGENCY/FDR (SECOND PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT) (1933-1951)

In the midst of the Great Depression, two issues grabbed public attention to the extent of generating Constitutional amendments. First, the voters did not care for the fact that, given 20th century technology, the federal government was still allowing four months for the change of governments after an election. (This was mentioned earlier.) As 1933 opened, it is fair to say that a high percentage of the voting public couldn't wait to see the backside of Herbert Hoover. The 20th Amendment, enacted in FDR's first year, provided for that change to move from March 4 to January each year. (Exact dates vary with office.)

Also enacted that year was the 21st Amendment, a landmark goal of the FDR campaign. Briefly stated, the 21st Amendment erased the 18th amendment, and Prohibition ended. Prohibition had always been hated as an extension of Victorian prudery from an earlier time, and by 1933, Prohibition had been widely recognized as one of the causes of the economic depression gripping the country.

I'll put one more amendment into this category -- the 22nd. In 1944, Franklin Roosevelt was elected to his fourth term as president. Even before his death, public opinion was leaning toward thinking he had been in office too long. The 22nd Amendment, finally enacted in 1951, placed a two-term limit on the office of president.

THE SIXTIES/HIPPIE AMENDMENTS (THIRD PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT) (1961-1971)

Liberalism/progressivism once again asserted itself in the 1960s. One of the first things young John F. Kennedy did after taking office was to preside over the adoption of the 23rd Amendment to the US Constitution, which granted the District of Columbia a pair of electors to vote in the Electoral College. Before the decade was out, the 24th Amendment, which prohibited poll taxes, and the 25th Amendment, which revised succession procedures, became law. Finally, in 1971 the long-festering movement to empower youth gained fruition with the 26th Amendment, which dropped the voting age to 18.

CONCLUSION

Outside the timeframes specified in the four distinct periods outlined above, and recognizing that the 11th and 12th Amendments were, as generally acknowledged, "bookkeeping" corrections, only one constitutional amendment has taken place -- the 27th, ratified in 1992. And even that was a relatively "minor" act, defining how quickly Congressional salary increases can become active. (Critics then and now point out that the amendment route to this solution was massive overkill.)

The timeline of amendments to the Constitution proves that that particular mechanism is powered by two things -- national emergency and the prominence and power of liberal/progressive forces.

This is really interesting and well written.  I don't know much about what is currently going on with amendments.  Do you have a link or can you tell me how many pending amendments there are and who has proposed them?  Are they all repeals or are there proposed additions?

Offline AlfredDrake

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Re: Constitutional Amendments -- There Is A Pattern.
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2014, 09:43:19 AM »
This is really interesting and well written.  I don't know much about what is currently going on with amendments.  Do you have a link or can you tell me how many pending amendments there are and who has proposed them?  Are they all repeals or are there proposed additions?

Sorry I meant to say proposed and not pending. In the mean time I found a list of 15 proposed this century.  I don't know if it's complete or if there's more.  Two of the amendments are repeals.

21st century[edit]
A balanced budget amendment, in which Congress and the President are forced to balance the budget every year, has been introduced many times.[8]
School Prayer Amendment proposed on April 9, 2003, to establish that "The people retain the right to pray and to recognize their religious beliefs, heritage, and traditions on public property, including schools."[9]
God in the Pledge of Allegiance – declaring that it is not an establishment of religion for teachers to lead students in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance (with the words "one Nation under God"), proposed on February 27, 2003, by Oklahoma Representative Frank Lucas.[10]
Every Vote Counts Amendment – proposed by Congressman Gene Green on September 14, 2004. It would abolish the electoral college.[11]
Continuity of Government Amendment – after a Senate hearing in 2004 regarding the need for an amendment to ensure continuity of government in the event that many members of Congress become incapacitated,[12] Senator John Cornyn introduced an amendment to allow Congress to temporarily replace members after at least a quarter of either chamber is incapacitated.[13]
Equal Opportunity to Govern Amendment – proposed by Senator Orrin Hatch. It would allow naturalized citizens with at least twenty years' citizenship to become president.
Seventeenth Amendment repeal – proposed in 2004 by Georgia Senator Zell Miller. It would reinstate the appointment of Senators by state legislatures as originally required by Article One, Section Three, Clauses One and Three.
The Federal Marriage Amendment has been introduced in the United States Congress four times: in 2003, 2004, 2005/2006 and 2008 by multiple members of Congress (with support from then-President George W. Bush). It would define marriage and prohibit same-sex marriage, even at the state level.
Twenty-second Amendment repeal – proposed as early as 1989, various congressmen, including Rep. Barney Frank, Rep. Steny Hoyer, Rep. José Serrano,[14] Rep. Howard Berman, and Sen. Harry Reid,[15] have introduced legislation, but each resolution died before making it out of its respective committee. The current amendment limits the president to two elected terms in office, and up to two years succeeding a President in office. Last action was On January 4, 2013, Rep. José Serrano once again introduced H.J.Res. 15 proposing an Amendment to repeal the 22nd Amendment, as he has done every two years since 1997.[16]
On January 16, 2009, Senator David Vitter of Louisiana proposed an amendment which would have denied US citizenship to anyone born in the US unless at least one parent were a US citizen, a permanent resident, or in the armed forces.[17]
On February 25, 2009, Senator Lisa Murkowski, because she believed the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009 would be unconstitutional if adopted, proposed a Constitutional amendment that would provide a Representative to the District of Columbia.[18]
On November 11, 2009, Senator Jim DeMint proposed term limits for the U.S. Congress, where the limit for senators will be two terms for a total of 12 years and for representatives, three terms for a total of six years.[19]
On November 15, 2011, Representative James P. McGovern introduced the People's Rights Amendment, a proposal to limit the Constitution's protections only to the rights of natural persons, and not corporations. This amendment would overturn the United States Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.[20]
On December 8, 2011 Senator Bernie Sanders filed The Saving American Democracy Amendment, which would state that corporations are not entitled to the same constitutional rights as people. It would also ban corporate campaign donations to candidates, and give Congress and the states broad authority to regulate spending in elections. This amendment would overturn the United States Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.[21][22]
Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. backed the Right to Vote Amendment, a proposal to explicitly guarantee the right to vote for all legal U.S. citizens and empower Congress to protect this right; he introduced a resolution for the amendment in the 107th,[23] 108th,[24] 109th,[25] 110th,[26] 111th[27] and 112th,[28] all of which died in committee. On May 13, 2013, Reps. Mark Pocan and Keith Ellison re-introduced the bill.[29]

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Re: Constitutional Amendments -- There Is A Pattern.
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2014, 09:57:48 AM »
Sorry I meant to say proposed and not pending. In the mean time I found a list of 15 proposed this century.  I don't know if it's complete or if there's more.  Two of the amendments are repeals.

21st century[edit]
A balanced budget amendment, in which Congress and the President are forced to balance the budget every year, has been introduced many times.[8]
School Prayer Amendment proposed on April 9, 2003, to establish that "The people retain the right to pray and to recognize their religious beliefs, heritage, and traditions on public property, including schools."[9]
God in the Pledge of Allegiance – declaring that it is not an establishment of religion for teachers to lead students in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance (with the words "one Nation under God"), proposed on February 27, 2003, by Oklahoma Representative Frank Lucas.[10]
Every Vote Counts Amendment – proposed by Congressman Gene Green on September 14, 2004. It would abolish the electoral college.[11]
Continuity of Government Amendment – after a Senate hearing in 2004 regarding the need for an amendment to ensure continuity of government in the event that many members of Congress become incapacitated,[12] Senator John Cornyn introduced an amendment to allow Congress to temporarily replace members after at least a quarter of either chamber is incapacitated.[13]
Equal Opportunity to Govern Amendment – proposed by Senator Orrin Hatch. It would allow naturalized citizens with at least twenty years' citizenship to become president.
Seventeenth Amendment repeal – proposed in 2004 by Georgia Senator Zell Miller. It would reinstate the appointment of Senators by state legislatures as originally required by Article One, Section Three, Clauses One and Three.
The Federal Marriage Amendment has been introduced in the United States Congress four times: in 2003, 2004, 2005/2006 and 2008 by multiple members of Congress (with support from then-President George W. Bush). It would define marriage and prohibit same-sex marriage, even at the state level.
Twenty-second Amendment repeal – proposed as early as 1989, various congressmen, including Rep. Barney Frank, Rep. Steny Hoyer, Rep. José Serrano,[14] Rep. Howard Berman, and Sen. Harry Reid,[15] have introduced legislation, but each resolution died before making it out of its respective committee. The current amendment limits the president to two elected terms in office, and up to two years succeeding a President in office. Last action was On January 4, 2013, Rep. José Serrano once again introduced H.J.Res. 15 proposing an Amendment to repeal the 22nd Amendment, as he has done every two years since 1997.[16]
On January 16, 2009, Senator David Vitter of Louisiana proposed an amendment which would have denied US citizenship to anyone born in the US unless at least one parent were a US citizen, a permanent resident, or in the armed forces.[17]
On February 25, 2009, Senator Lisa Murkowski, because she believed the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009 would be unconstitutional if adopted, proposed a Constitutional amendment that would provide a Representative to the District of Columbia.[18]
On November 11, 2009, Senator Jim DeMint proposed term limits for the U.S. Congress, where the limit for senators will be two terms for a total of 12 years and for representatives, three terms for a total of six years.[19]
On November 15, 2011, Representative James P. McGovern introduced the People's Rights Amendment, a proposal to limit the Constitution's protections only to the rights of natural persons, and not corporations. This amendment would overturn the United States Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.[20]
On December 8, 2011 Senator Bernie Sanders filed The Saving American Democracy Amendment, which would state that corporations are not entitled to the same constitutional rights as people. It would also ban corporate campaign donations to candidates, and give Congress and the states broad authority to regulate spending in elections. This amendment would overturn the United States Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.[21][22]
Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. backed the Right to Vote Amendment, a proposal to explicitly guarantee the right to vote for all legal U.S. citizens and empower Congress to protect this right; he introduced a resolution for the amendment in the 107th,[23] 108th,[24] 109th,[25] 110th,[26] 111th[27] and 112th,[28] all of which died in committee. On May 13, 2013, Reps. Mark Pocan and Keith Ellison re-introduced the bill.[29]
Alfred, you need to link all posts where you quote the content. Copyright laws and all that.
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