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View Diary: BREAKING - John Adams was pathetic and despicable (122 comments)

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  •  John Adams wrote the Massachusetts Constitution (6+ / 0-)

    that was the Modal for the U.S. Constitution.


    The Massachusetts Constitution

             The Massachusetts Constitution contains three parts: a Preamble, Part the First: A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and Part the Second: The Frame of Government.

    a. The Preamble:

    announces the purposes of government; that is, furnishing the members of the body politic "the power of enjoying, in safety and tranquility, their natural rights and the blessings of life;
    describes the "body politic" as a "social compact" whereby all agree to be governed by laws designed for the "common good;"
    provides that when government does not fulfill its obligations, "the people have a right to alter the government, and to take measures necessary for their safety, prosperity, and happiness."

    b. The Declaration of Rights
             The Declaration of Rights, which was in part derived from the Bill of Rights in several other state constitutions, sets forth many individual rights which would later be included in the federal Bill of Rights. John Adams considered individual rights so integral to the formation of government that the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights precedes the Frame of Government. (Contrast this with the United States Constitution which sets forth a frame of government, to which the Bill of Rights was added two years later, after prolonged debate.) The Declaration of Rights includes prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizure, ex post facto laws, and the public taking of private property without just compensation. Protected rights include freedom of the press, the right to petition the government, right to trial by jury, and freedom of worship.

             The Declaration of Rights also established an independent judiciary. Adams knew that a free people and a stable government required judges "as free, impartial and independent as the lot of humanity will admit," who serve "as long as they behave themselves well" and whose salaries are "established by standing laws." Article XXIX brings to fruition arguments made by Adams in Thoughts on Government and in a series of argumentative essays written in 1773 between Adams and loyalist General William Brattle. In those essays, Adams contended that colonial judges, who served at the pleasure of the Crown, were "far from independent."
             The Declaration of Rights concludes with an inspiring commitment to the creation of a balanced government of separate powers: a government of laws, not men:

    In the government of the commonwealth, the legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or either of them; the executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them; the judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them; to the end that it may be a government of laws, and not of men. (Article XXX)

    c. The Frame of Government

             The Frame of Government establishes a government of separate powers comprised of three branches: an executive, a bicameral legislature, and an independent judiciary. The structural framework adopted in Massachusetts is identical to that adopted in the United States Constitution.    

    Before you condemn John Adams take a look at his influence on the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    •  Indeed... (0+ / 0-)

      History does give him credit for both (despite what my diary says).

      "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."

      by Viceroy on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 05:04:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thomas Jefferson didn't give him the credit he (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Scoopster, dolphin777

        deserved for  the 2nd one. Althought they were rivals, they became penpals later in life. And they both died on July 4th 1826, exactly (kind of) 50 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. John Adams last words were"Jefferson lives", although Jefferson had died hours earlier.

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