1789

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God is in His Heaven and a New Government is in America

"We are in a wilderness without a single footstep to guide us." --James Madison, June 1789

The Constitution of the United States is now law in 11 states. North Carolina and Rhode Island are still debating. Elections are held and it is George Washington vs. 14 other candidates. (Guess who wins?) According to the Constitution, the loser with the most electoral votes becomes Vice-President. That is John Adams. Believe it or not, the old Continental Congress cannot get a quorum to dissolve itself so two members meet in a tavern, adjourn and fade away. The 1st Congress of the United States meets in the recently renovated Federal Hall in New York. Church bells ring. There are no political parties but some representatives self-identify as "Federalists". Although George Washington is sympathetic with the Federalists, he avoids any Party affiliation. The Anti-federalists want a Bill of Rights and James Madison made a campaign promise to propose changes to the Constitution. Few people want to touch the founding document so Madison's proposal is sent to committee and after much wrangling, a final draft of 10 Amendments, a Bill of Rights, is approved and sent to the states for ratification. No one was punched in the nose. (That was a real possibility.) [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
With fear and trembling I point out that the Continental Congress never formally dissolved itself. Therefore, it is possible (but unlikely) that it could reconvene for a special session in the future. While the new Congress was at work on the Bill of Rights, the new Senate was deciding on how to address the President. John Adams pushed for "His Highness." Others suggested "His Excellency" which was the title Washington used during the War. They settled on "Mr. President." Lest anyone think that the debate was frivolous, the next time you visit the US Capital Building Rotunda, look up. God is in His Heaven, and so is George Washington! The fresco is entitled "The Apotheosis of Washington," (ah-pah-thee-OH-sis) meaning the deification of Washington. It was completed in 1863. I recall a controversial painting portraying President Obama as Jesus on the Cross. This is nothing new. It is just new to this generation. We will survive. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]

Storming the Bastille (bass-STEEL)

There are riots in the streets of Paris. No one knows it yet, but it is the beginning of a revolution. Encouraged by the successful transition of the United States from a monarchy to a republic, Lafayette has introduced his own version of the Declaration of Independence to the Assembly. King Louis the 16th has called for a meeting of the Three Estates where they will hash out France's financial crisis. The Third Estate (the commoners) want to meet with the King, but the King's son, the heir apparent, has died of tuberculosis. The King dithers as he always does. The Queen can no longer assert herself in politics. It is believed that she has sent all of France's money to her brother, the Holy Roman Emperor. (In fact, a great deal of France's money supported the American Revolution in the hope of opening new trade markets. That idea didn't pan out.) Then the Third Estate declares itself to be a National Assembly and it is writing out a Constitution! The King tells them to leave but they refuse. Then the bayonets come out and it gets real ugly. The next day the people believe that they need weapons to defend themselves (true enough) and they believe (erroneously) that they can find those weapons in the Bastille. When the dust settles, 100 lay dead and 70 wounded. The gates of the Bastille are open. 7 prisoners walk out. [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK. The confusion about the Bastille was caused by press propaganda. As Mark Twain once remarked, "Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel." The Bastille was a prison for high-class offenders. You could even bring a servant along. The King had been locking up satirists and journalists for bad-mouthing the Queen, so they wrote essays on the abuses they suffered and the many prisoners the King had locked up. (Remember. There were 7.) Frankly, the King was depressed and just going through the motions. Coupled with the financial crisis and crop failures, the people no longer felt secure in their lives or their property. When the government is no longer able to handle a crisis, the people will do anything to make the crisis go away, even if it is the WRONG thing, and most often, it is the wrong thing if they haven't thought it through. [17]

In Other News

  • Thomas Jefferson is named Secretary of State. He is in France right now and doesn't realize that he is now part of the Washington Administration. [18]
  • Mad King George the 3rd recovers from his mental illness. By 1810 he will become ill again and suffer from dementia. [18] [19]
  • Mutiny on HMS Bounty: Mr. Christian and the mutineers settle on the Pitcairn Islands. Captain Bligh is set adrift in a boat. He will make it back to England. [18] [20]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1789, Wikipedia.

See Also

References

  1. George Washington - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 12 May 2016. “Washington presided over the Constitutional Convention in 1787, which devised a new form of federal government for the United States. Following unanimous election as president in 1789, he worked to unify rival factions in the fledgling nation. He supported Alexander Hamilton's programs to satisfy all debts, federal and state, established a permanent seat of government, implemented an effective tax system, and created a national bank. In avoiding war with Great Britain, he guaranteed a decade of peace and profitable trade by securing the Jay Treaty in 1795, despite intense opposition from the Jeffersonians. Although he remained nonpartisan, never joining the Federalist Party, he largely supported its policies.”
  2. Bordewich, Fergus M.. First Congress, First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington, and a Group of Extraordinary Men Invented the Government, The, Simon & Schuster. “Its secretary, Charles Thomson, buttonholed members on the street, when he could find them, and dragged them into his office so that he could claim in his records that they had, technically, "assembled." The old Congress, though not formally dissolved, was literally homeless, having been ejected from its meeting rooms in what was now being called Federal Hall on Wall Street, which was being remodeled for the new Federal Congress under the direction of the French-born engineer Peter L'Enfant.” 
  3. Federal Hall - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 18 May 2016. “In 1788, the building was remodeled and enlarged under the direction of Pierre Charles L'Enfant,[2] who was later selected by President George Washington to design the capital city on the Potomac River. This was the first example of Federal Style architecture in the United States. It was renamed Federal Hall when it became the first Capitol of the United States under the Constitution in 1789. The 1st United States Congress met there on March 4, 1789, to establish the new federal government, and the first thing they did was count the votes that elected George Washington as the first President of the United States. He was inaugurated on the balcony of the building on April 30, 1789.”
  4. Adjournment sine die - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 18 May 2016. “It can be used in reference to United States legislatures whose terms or mandates are coming to an end, and it is anticipated that this particular body will not meet again in its present session, form, or membership. A legislative body adjourned in this way may be called back into special session, a reason why sine die adjournment rather than dissolution may be preferred in some cases.”
  5. Apotheosis - definition of apotheosis (2016). Retrieved on 18 May 2016. “(Theology) the elevation of a person to the rank of a god; deification”
  6. The Apotheosis of Washington - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 18 May 2016. “The Apotheosis of Washington depicts George Washington sitting amongst the heavens in an exalted manner, or in literal terms, ascending and becoming a god (apotheosis).”
  7. Obama as Jesus painting slammed 4 years ago goes on display in Boston. Daily Mail Online (27 November 2012). Retrieved on 18 May 2016. “A painting that depicts President Barack Obama as Jesus Christ on the cross is on display in Boston.”
  8. Obama Worship Goes Into Overdrive as 100-Day Mark Approaches. Newsbusters (April 25, 2009). Retrieved on 18 May 2016. “This is not a spoof picture from The Onion or any other satirical website. The image you see to the right (larger version below the fold) is a painting by artist Michael D'Antuono called 'The Truth' that will be officially unveiled at Union Square in New York City on April 29 to mark President Barack Obama's hundreth day in office.”
  9. Mr. President (title) - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 18 May 2016. “Others favored the variant of Electoral Highness or the lesser Excellency, the latter of which was vociferously opposed by Adams, who contended that it was far beneath the presidential dignity, as the executives of the states, some of which were also titled 'President' (e.g. the President of Pennsylvania), at that time often enjoyed the style of Excellency; Adams said that the President 'would be levelled with colonial governors or with functionaries from German princedoms' if he were to use the style of Excellency.”
  10. Bordewich, Fergus M.. First Congress, First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington, and a Group of Extraordinary Men Invented the Government, The, Simon & Schuster. “Popular writers commonly called him the nation's "deliverer" and "savior" and occasionally even likened him to Jesus Christ.” 
  11. Bastille Key · George Washington's Mount Vernon. mountvernon.org (2016). Retrieved on 12 May 2016. “The Bastille main prison key was turned over to Lafayette shortly after the Bastille was stormed on July 14, 1789 by angry citizens rioting in the streets of Paris. Long a symbol of royal despotism, the Bastille was a natural target when violence erupted after severe shortages of bread led the populace into the streets. Lafayette was optimistic about the fate of the revolution when he prepared to ship the Bastille key to George Washington in March of 1790.”
  12. Bastille - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 12 May 2016. “Under Louis XV and XVI, the Bastille was used to detain prisoners from more varied backgrounds, and to support the operations of the Parisian police, especially in enforcing government censorship of the printed media. Although inmates were kept in relatively good conditions, criticism of the Bastille grew during the 18th century, fueled by autobiographies written by former prisoners. Reforms were implemented and prisoner numbers were considerably reduced. In 1789 the royal government's financial crisis and the formation of the National Assembly gave rise to a swelling of republican sentiments among city-dwellers. On 14 July the Bastille was stormed by a revolutionary crowd, primarily residents of the faubourg Saint-Antoine who sought to commandeer the valuable gunpowder held within the fortress. Seven remaining prisoners were found and released and the Bastille's governor, Bernard-René de Launay, was killed by the crowd.”
  13. Fraser, Antonia. Marie Antoinette. N.A. Talese/Doubleday. ISBN 038548948X. “The Lambesc Affair certainly did great harm to the royal reputation with the idea that the king's troops were deliberately assaulting his people. It was only a portent of the trouble to come. The following day the great prison fortress, the Bastille, was stormed by a determined crowd who wanted the weapons and powder that they believed were stored there, in order to arm themselves against the depredations of the state.” 
  14. Storming of the Bastille - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  15. Lafayette Square, Washington, D.C. - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  16. Tadeusz Kościuszko - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  17. Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.. BrainyQuote (2016). Retrieved on 18 May 2016. “Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.”
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 366-367. 
  19. George III of the United Kingdom - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 18 May 2016. “In late 1810, at the height of his popularity[100] but already virtually blind with cataracts and in pain from rheumatism, George III became dangerously ill. In his view the malady had been triggered by stress over the death of his youngest and favourite daughter, Princess Amelia.[101] The Princess's nurse reported that 'the scenes of distress and crying every day ... were melancholy beyond description.'”
  20. Mutiny on the Bounty - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 18 May 2016. “The mutiny on the Royal Navy vessel HMS Bounty occurred in the south Pacific on 28 April 1789. Disaffected crewmen, led by Acting Lieutenant Fletcher Christian, seized control of the ship from their captain Lieutenant William Bligh and set him and 18 loyalists adrift in the ship's open launch. The mutineers variously settled on Tahiti or on Pitcairn Island. Bligh meanwhile completed a voyage of more than 3,500 nautical miles (6,500 km; 4,000 mi) in the launch to reach safety, and began the process of bringing the mutineers to justice.”

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