Reply To: Purpose of government


Some might say that the Constitution had always been thought of as a living, breathing document that ought to change with the times. That the government powers were not limited to a mere list in Article I Section 8, but rather their powers were elastic and could be stretched for the good and needs of the people.

TO THE CONTRARY, the founders did not believe this. Most important, the states ratifying the constitution did not believe this. They believed they were ratifying a document that gave the Federal government specific enumerated powers.

James Madison said the Federal government’s powers under the constitution were “few and defined.” Edmund Randolph, future attorney general of the U.S. at the time of the ratification campaign, said the Federal government had only the powers “expressly delegated” to it. [These are straight out of Kevin Gutzman’s Ratification campaign lecture].

I’m sure people on here will have some excellent reading recommendations, but a few that are probably good that I have not got around to reading yet are:

The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution – By Kevin Gutzman
The Founding Father’s Guide to the Constitution – By Brion McClanahan