Government and Sovereignty

Posted By on May 20, 2012

History is my most fickle friend, rarely does he respond to the question I ask of him. There are times when the answer I pursue is discovered easily, in the most obvious of places. Then there are those times when the search takes months and years. At other times I go looking for one answer only to discover another unexpected treasure. Finally, there are those frustrating times when history remains silent on a major question in my mind, nothing is more frustrating to me. Yesterday was one of those unexpected times of discovery while researching another question.

For those of you who have followed this blog for any length of time, you are aware of my frequent citation of St. George Tucker from his Tucker’s Blackstone, first published in 1803. (Please see “The English Government of the 1700’s” for more information on Mr. Tucker.) Yesterday I was searching for information, or descriptions regarding local, or municipal governments in the colonies or early states, so I turned once again to the pages of Tucker’s Blackstone. Tucker’s “Note B – OF THE SEVERAL FORMS OF GOVERNMENT” appeared to be just the resource to enlighten my search. A quick search revealed no hits, undaunted I proceeded to take in the 39 pages of information. Little did I know the treasures I was about to discover.

A few weeks ago, “The Federalist Papers” user on facebook, posted the following:

To the Constitution of the United States the term sovereign, is totally unknown. There is but one place where it could have been used with propriety. But, even in that place it would not, perhaps, have comported with the delicacy of those, who ordained and established that Constitution. They might have announced themselves ‘sovereign’ people of the United States: But serenely conscious of the fact, they avoided the ostentatious declaration. – Justice James Wilson, separate opinion in Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. (2 Dallas) 419, February 18, 1793; Works: Vol. 1, Part I

That, my friends, is a very interesting statement. Nowhere in the historic record of the Constitutional Convention, or the early history of these united States do we ever read of someone discussing the “sovereignty” of the Federal Government. NOWHERE! We find numerous discussions on States sovereignty, and the sovereignty of the individual, but – again – NEVER for the Federal Government.

I was remembering the above as I was reading Tucker last night. As I read, all I could think of was, “oh, I can use this,” “Ooo, this is awesome,” “wow, why haven’t we heard this before?” Highlighting as I read became difficult. Why? Because every paragraph contained something of importance, often it was the entire paragraph. Looking at the pages I printed from the website, most of them are well over 75% highlighted, and that was after I began forcing myself to limit myself. The level of knowledge and wisdom expressed by Tucker are truly visionary, and painfully demonstrate just how far we have come from those early days of the republic. So, let’s take a look at a few of his comments regarding sovereignty and the government.

This unlimitable power, is that supreme, irresistable, absolute, uncontrollable authority, which by political writers in general, is denominated the SOVEREIGNTY; and which is by most of them, supposed to be vested in the government, or administrative authority, of the state: but, which, we contend, resides only in the people; is inherent in them; and unalienable from them.

Tucker begins to introduce to us that “unlimitable power” cannot be vested in any government. Why? Because in abides in an unalienable manner in the people. Noah Webster defined “unalienable” as, ” a. Not alienable; that cannot be alienated; that may not be transferred; as unalienable rights.” (“unalienable,” American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, © 1828, retrieved online 5/20/2012 from,unalienable.) Interesting, an “unalienable” right, freedom or power “may not be transferred.”  This brings to mind the unending chain of laws and court rulings in the past 100 years which have sought to limit and usurp the unalienable rights of the citizens of these united States by extension, and of the individual States in particular.

Back to Tucker’s Note B:

As the sovereign power hath no limits to its authority, so hath the government of a state no rights, but such as are purely derivative, and limited; the union of the SOVEREIGNTY of a state with the GOVERNMENT, constitutes a state of USURPATION and absolute TYRANNY, over the PEOPLE.

What a novel concept, and one unknown in modern America, a – or the “government of a state” has “NO RIGHTS” but those that are “derivative, and limited…” Therefore a sovereign power, i.e. the people,  where the sovereign power is the result of creation, nature, or Nature’s God cannot create, or yield to a government professing to have unlimited sovereignty since that government only exists as a result of receiving a portion of authority from an unlimited source, again, the people. Also, from the above quoted portion of Tucker, when a government attempts to join itself to sovereignty, it is simply a “usurpation” (taking something that is not granted to it) and results in TYRANNY over the legitimate sovereign power of the nation, the people.

Tucker Note B:

Since the union of the sovereignty with the government, constitutes a state of absolute power, or tyranny, over the people, every attempt to effect such an union is treason against the sovereignty, in the actors; and every extension of the administrative authority beyond its just constitutional limits, is absolutely an act of usurpation in the government, of that sovereignty, which the people have reserved to themselves.

This can best be expressed by referring to the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. Ninth Amendment to the US Constitution (Emphasis added)

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE. Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution (Emphases added)

Dare I now express the obvious, as written by Tucker and in reference to the last two amendments of the Bill of Rights? Any legislative act, law, Executive Order or judicial ruling which is contrary to the express limitations of the Constitution are acts of “treason against the sovereignty” of the people and the several States. Dare I delve into un-Constitutional usurpations of power by the Federal government? Dare I mention the EPA, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of Transportation, Federal control over oil rights and drilling, President Obama’s Executive Order mandating insurance coverage for contraceptives, nationalized Healthcare, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, limitations on the number of representatives making up the House of Representatives, the FBI, the ATF, the DEA, Welfare, Food Stamps, the Department of Agriculture; I could go on, and on, and on. All constitute acts of treason by the federal government according to Tucker.

Finally, for this post, back to Tucker and Note B:

It is easy to perceive that a government originally founded upon consent, and compact, may by gradual usurpations on the part of the public functionaries, change its type, altogether, and become a government of force. In this case the people are as completely enslaved as if the original foundations of the government had been laid by conquest.

Our government has gradually changed “its type, altogether and become a government of force.” Business operates in America today burdened by excessive regulations and taxes to the extend there is great fear in even the possibility of violating a federal mandate or law. Every year the citizens, yes, the law abiding citizens of this nation are tormented by the fear of the IRS. Our government has “become a government of force.” Thank you, Mr. Lincoln for beginning the transformation! (sarcasm) We have become enslaved and conquered by our own government which is GUILTY of treason of the most egregious level.

It is time for us to become educated in our history, our unalienable rights and our unlimited sovereignty as expressed by our founding fathers, that generation and Mr. St. George Tucker in particular. It is time we conduct our next revolution at the ballot box and replace the traitors who occupy the seats of power in Washington, DC.

Finally, (part 2), and lastly from Tucker. I will allow him to state what I have been endeavoring to proclaim for the past three years of this blog:

From hence it will appear that the nature of any government DOES NOT depend upon the checks and balances which may be provided by the constitution, since they respect the form of the government, only; but it depends upon the nature and extent of those powers which the people have reserved to themselves, as the Sovereign

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4 Responses to “Government and Sovereignty”

  1. David Bozarth says:

    Peter, in Virginia writes:

    Admittedly, you lost me with this one:

    • Inseparably connected with this distinction between limited and unlimited governments, is the responsibility of the public functionaries, and the want of such responsibility. Every delegated authority implies a trust; responsibility follows as the shadow does its substance. But where there is no responsibility, authority is no longer a trust, but an act of usurpation. And every act of usurpation is either an act of treason, or an act of warfare.

  2. David Bozarth says:


    Without a doubt late 18th and early 19th Century English is much different than that of today. This is a direct quote from St. George Tucker who was a Law Professor at William and Mary and published the book from which this was taken in 1803. This is basically stating that there is a major difference between an unlimited government and a limited government like that established by the US Constitution. That difference being that an elected official (public functionary, i.e. Congressman, Senator, President, Judge) is given a trust from those who elected him, or her. With that trust comes responsibility to adhere to the Constitution which both establishes the government and the office, and limits the power and authority of that government. Then where those public officials shirk that responsibility, trust no longer remains and every act contrary to the Constitution, and the trust of the citizen, is a usurpation (a taking of something that is not rightfully theirs). As Tucker states so eloquently, and with hard to understand English, the unlimited sovereignty within these united States rest in the people, the citizens, and final authority for the government rests in them. When an elected, or appointed official violates their responsibility, thus negating the trust given them, and acts in ways contrary to the sovereign power (i.e. the citizens) as stated within the Constitution, then the official has committed treason against the citizen and the Constitution; and by extension this is an act of war against the very foundation of the government (i.e. the Constitution) and the citizen. (His words made modern.)

  3. David Bozarth says:

    Peter writes, back,

    You learn something every day

  4. David Bozarth says:

    I know, isn’t it fun?

    This man (Tucker) is phenomenal. I’m working with another gentleman to publish the portion of that old book from which the quote was taken. I hope to get it into a small booklet format.

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