Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Catechism on the Constitution

Many years ago, when Maid Elizabeth was just beginning her lower education, Sir Knight and I purchased a book titled, "Elementary Catechism on the Constitution of the United States, For the use of the schools" by Arthur J. Stansbury, 1828.  It is a concise little book that leads children through a simple catechism, making it better able for them to understand the magnificent document that is our Constitution.

Having always had an interest in our government in general, and thinking I knew quite a bit about the Constitution and the men who drafted this singularly spectacular treatise of human liberty, I was taken aback by the information presented in this little work.  It was simple, straightforward and easily understood, however it's pages contained an understanding of our Constitution I had never known.

Here are a few excerpts from this commanding little book.....

Q69.  May ever the President of the United States be thus impeached and punished?
A.      Yes.  In this free and happy country no man is so great as to be above the law.  The laws are supreme; to them all persons, from the President of the United States to the poorest and the meanest beggar, must alike submit.  This is our glory.  Let every youthful American exult that he has no master but the law; let him mark the man who would change this happy state of things as an enemy of his country; and above all let him remember that as soon as he himself breaks the law, he becomes himself that enemy.  Whoever violates the law helps to weaken its force, and, as far as he disobeys, does what in him lies to destroy it; but he who honors and obeys the law strengthens the law, and thereby helps to preserve the freedom and happiness of his country.  In some governments it is held that "the king can do no wrong;"  here we know no king but the law, no monarch but the constitution; we hold that every man may do wrong; the higher he is in office, the more reason there is that he be obliged to answer for his conduct; and a great officer, if treacherous, is a great criminal, so that he ought to be made to suffer a great and exemplary punishment.

Q133.  You say Congress may declare War; can they raise Armies; that is can they hire soldiers to fight for our country?
A.        They can; and pay, clothe, and feed them, at the public expense.

Q134.  Can they make a law, setting apart money enough at one time, to pay and support the army for more than two years?
A.        No, not at one time; lest a wicked Congress might, by keeping up an army, remain in power beyond the time for which they were chosen, and so destroy the liberty of their country.

Q135.  Why was the time limited to two years?
A.        Because every two years a new Congress may be chosen.

I highly encourage you to seek out this gem of a book.  You will be shocked at the wisdom of our forefathers and stunned by their desire to leave freedom to their posterity.  As a freeman, you need to know who you are, and how your government was designed - not to rule you, but to serve you.


  1. Electronic version of the book:

  2. I just picked it free from google books. Thank you for the tip.

  3. http://www.nccsstore.com/Catechism-on-the-US-Constitution/productinfo/CAT/

    Catechism on the U.S. Constitution
    Item Number: CAT
    Unit Price: $4.95
    Special Pricing
    Buy 10 for $3.00 each
    In Stock

  4. Here's another interesting item to take a look at: Locke's Two Treatises on Government. http://socserv2.mcmaster.ca/econ/ugcm/3ll3/locke/government.pdf

    Oh, and I need a recipe for chocolate cookies.

  5. This is great! Thank you for posting.