Inspire Me – Convention of States

Eye of the Beholder - Inspire Me - Convention of States

We the People. Three of the most inspiring words the world has ever known.

Declaring Independence from all forms tyranny.

A Convention of States soon followed.

Did you know that the Founders of the USA had grave concerns about a strong central government? For 10 years, 1781-1791, our Constitutional Framers debated this point in the original Convention of States as they developed the Articles of Confederation, the Bill of Rights, and the 12 Amendments that formed the basis of the new Republic on December 10, 1791.

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Convention of States

Although George Washington, the hero of the Revolution, recognized the need for a stronger central government in order to keep the young Republic stable, he shared the Founders’ concerns about an overarching Federal authority.

Brilliant minds like James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Ben Franklin, collaborated with over 50 other delegates to address these concerns. What emerged was Article V, the Convention of States.

Simply put, Article V provides a procedure for Congress, or the States, to organize a convention where the Constitution can be changed. After a hard-earned Revolution against the world’s superpower of the time, and an entire decade of debate to establish a new government, why would the Framers want to empower the States with the ability to circumvent their work?

I think there’s a good answer to that question when considering 3 main points on the subject …

1 – Constitutional Consistency Convention of States

The idea is consistent with the whole concept of the new government they had just formed. The system of checks and balances, and the separation of powers they conceived were designed to limit the central government from acquiring too much power.

Eye of the Beholder - Inspire Me - Convention of States
Image courtesy of the BBC.

The three-branch model of government (Executive, Judicial, Legislative) divides power among the three and provides each branch with the ability to keep the others in check.

Similarly, providing States with the ability to override Congress removes their sole authority for Constitutional Amendments.

If Congress refuses to act in the Nation’s best interest, then the States can hold them accountable.

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2 – Constitutional Flaws Convention of States

The original authors who debated for 10 years on what the Constitution would be knew very well that the document was an imperfect work. A quote from James Madison lives on to this day inside the Federalist 43, Powers Delegated to the General Government: III, capturing the essence of this point …

Eye of the Beholder - Inspire Me - Convention of States
Image courtesy of

It guards equally against that extreme facility which would render the Constitution too mutable; and that extreme difficulty which might perpetuate its discovered faults. It moreover equally enables the general and the state governments to originate the amendment of errors as they may be pointed out by the experience on one side or on the other.” [emphasis added]

Since the original Twelve-Amendment version was signed in 1791 there have been 15 more Amendments to the Constitution, for a total of 27 changes since its inception. As times change and Constitutional experience is tested, societal wisdom is gained.

Eye of the Beholder - Inspire Me - Convention of States
I visited D.C. in 2017. The Jefferson Memorial was one of my favorite stops.

No one said it better than Thomas Jefferson himself, forever inscribed on the Southeast Portico of the 3rd President’s Memorial

I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind.

As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times.

We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as a civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.

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3 – They Just Lived It Convention of States

The Revolution was still fresh in the minds of these Patriots. Just 8 years after the war ended in 1783 these men were signing into effect the 1791 document. Their first-hand experience with the British monarchy validated all concerns on how a governmental single entity could subject the nation’s people to arbitrary and oppressive action.

It wasn’t merely brilliant foresight of the Framers to conceive of a future where Citizens and States might need to hold the central government accountable. They knew this because they had just lived it. Countless lives were changed over it. Families uprooted. Livelihoods ruined.

Throughout the course of the Revolutionary War, an estimated 6,800 Americans were killed in action, 6,100 wounded, and upwards of 20,000 were taken prisoner. Historians believe that at least an additional 17,000 deaths were the result of disease, including about 8,000–12,000 who died while prisoners of war.

Eye of the Beholder - Inspire Me - Convention of States
An iconic image, “Spirit of 76“, by Archibald Willard.

The horrors of war, perhaps more than any other reason, is why they wanted a way for the States to push back on an all-too-powerful central government.

The more I read and learn about the personal stories and attitudes of those brave ancestors who made a stand against tyranny so long ago, the more inspired and proud I become as a free American.

I believe this is the essence of who we are as a people. This is just as true in 2022 as it was in 1776. Whether a corrupt King George oppressing us from across the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, or an overreaching career politician in Washington pushing exorbitant taxes and freedom-crushing regulations, we will find a way to say, “No more!

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If you agree with me on this, then I want to ask you to join me in the present-day movement to organize a Convention of States. This is happening right now! As I write this, there are already 19 states that have approved the motion to join a Constitutional Convention. Thirty-four are required to make this a reality.

Modern day American Patriots are following in the footsteps of the Founders by standing firm, saying, “No More!” I encourage you to visit the COS official site and learn more about this for yourself.
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As you educate yourself on the subject, please remember that Article V was put into place over 220 years ago. It’s not a new idea being funded by special interests or right wing conservatives. It is a fundamental principle of the US Constitution.

Wouldn’t it be great to tell Congress they now have term limits and they can no longer vote themselves a pay raise? There are countless misdeeds that politicians and bureaucrats have gotten away with for decades. The time has come to hold them accountable.

A great man once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” What will you do today?

Psalm 94

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Steve Coryell