Reply To: On internal improvements and constitutionality


Thomas Jefferson in two of his state of the union messages and James Madison in two of his called on Congress to establish a universal network of roads, canals, and bridges. Each said in one of those messages that a constitutional amendment empowering Congress to do that would have to be ratified first. None was. Because of this, Madison in his last president act issued the Bonus Bill Veto Message, in which he explained that Congress had no such power, and so he had to veto this bill.

This last is described in my James Madison and the Making of America, and Tom Woods and I have a chapter about the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System in Who Killed the Constitution?

Why no such amendment ever was adopted is an interesting question.