Quaker Influences On The Constitution
“When the Founding Fathers met in the latter part of the 1700's to write the Constitution that would design the government of the United States, they turned to William Penn's Frame of Government for Pennsylvania. If they had turned to Puritan New England for their model there would have been an established state church. If they had turned to aristocratic Virginia for their model there would have been a privileged class. Most of the rights and freedoms that we take for granted as a part of our way of life in America today were originally set forth in Penn's Charter of Liberties for his colony. Friends were the original architects of the free society that we enjoy.”
The Quakers endured persecution in the New World and the not so Friendly Puritans of Massachusetts saw fit to hang a few of them in the Commons, but this horrible tale lead to the William Penn prototype of a free society.
I'm interested in this nugget of history that later plays out again when the Maine Constituion is drafted.
So how is this relevant to the religion section of AMG? I can attempt to tie the Quaker model of government that hade heavy religious faith to one section of the Constitution of Maine.
Article I Section 2. Power inherent in people. All power is inherent in the people; all free governments are founded in their authority and institute for their benefit; they have therefore an unalienable and indefeasible right to institute government, and alter, reform, or totally chance the same, when their safety and happiness require it.
I don’t know too many people that are “happy” with the way government runs. That being said, one of the root causation may be that too many people look to governments to make them happy, when in fact true happiness is not something that can be found in the intuition of government. To prove this all one need to ask is one simple question: If the Maine Constitution gives the people the authority to chance the government, what would you change in the government to make you happy?
Liberals will answer with: Government will “serve me” better by doing more.
Conservative will answer with: Government should get out of my life so that I can be more happy.
No one will be happy without god, but I would be more happy with less govenment. I think the Quakers would agree.