“Let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America the law is King. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be King; and there ought to be no other.” – Thomas Paine
Category Archives: Will & Consent of the People
In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, defender of the Faith, etc.
Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.
In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England,
France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, 1620.
The ‘dread sovereign’ referred to in the document used the archaic definition of dread—meaning awe and reverence (for the King), a reverent and holy fear. Also, as noted above, the document was signed under the Old Style Julian calendar, since England did not adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1752. According to the Gregorian calendar, the Mayflower Compact was signed aboard ship on November 11, 1620 by the Pilgrims.
We the People…
“We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around… Our government has no power except that granted it by the people…
“Why is the Constitution of the United States so exceptional?
“Well, the difference is so small that it almost escapes you, but it’s so great it tells you the whole story in just three words: We the people. In those other constitutions, the Government tells the people of those countries what they’re allowed to do. In our Constitution, we the people tell the Government what it can do, and it can do only those things listed in that document and no others. Virtually every other revolution in history has just exchanged one set of rulers for another set of rulers. Our revolution is the first to say the people are the masters and government is their servant.” – Ronald Reagan
“The natural cure for an ill-administration, in a popular or representative constitution, is a change of men.” — Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 21, 1787
“We must make our election between economy and Liberty, or profusion and servitude.” — Thomas Jefferson (1816)
“Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories.” — Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XIV, 1781
“Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.” — John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776