Letter: My perspective on Article XIV

Dear Editor,

Before George Washington was inaugurated as president in 1779, leading minds of the Revolutionary rebellion were dissatisfied with the existing “Present Confederation to Preserve the Union”. Three of these leaders included Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison, who wrote (1787-1788) what is known as the “FEDERALIST PAPERS’’.

The Federalist Papers undoubtedly served as a major reference providing critical ideas and varying perspectives for the writers of the Constitution who were debating what should be included, as to protect the rights and freedoms of the citizens as well as the balance between State and Federal governments.

I would like to quote from Alexander Hamilton’s FEDERALIST No. 9 The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection written for the Independent Journal on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 1787, under the pen name PUBLIUS.  

“A FIRM Union will be of the utmost moment to the peace and liberty of the States, as a barrier against domestic faction and insurrection. It is impossible to read the history of the petty republics of Greece and Italy without feeling sensations of horror and disgust at the distractions with which they were continually agitated, and at the rapid succession of revolutions by which they were kept in a state of perpetual vibration between the extremes of tyranny and anarchy.”

Hamilton goes on to talk about sedition and advocates of despotism as forms of government, but against the very principles of civil liberty.

Article XIV clearly states that any officer of the United States who has previously taken an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and having engaged in insurrection or rebellion shall not be eligible to hold any office.


Marty Borko

Waverly, N.Y.

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