Duke-Jinx commented on Aubrey Lee Mason's blog post"Senate Resolution 511 (SR-511) and what it means for Americans" on Tea Party Command Center
Comment by Duke-Jinx 12 hours ago (Feb. 25)
Yes Stan, your three points are correct within my understandings and research. So, I add this treatise... ( one I'm sure you have read ) to help others end the persistent confusion.
And yes sir. McCains BC does say Colon Hospital, Panama Railroad Co.
Citations following the textual part of this article are not simply to provide you the references that support our assertions. They also provide you citations to reading material that will help you understand the 1770 period in our History. To understand our reasoning, it is important that the reader understands the Colonial people, and especially the Founders with their educational backgrounds, their political fears and the nation’s interrelationship with other nations at the time leading up to the War of Independence. In this short article we could not provide all those dimensions, but we hope the reader will study the references to fully understand the time period during which these things took place. Unfortunately there are citations to books which are not available to download online, so to get the whole picture, the reader will need to find a library to borrow the needed materials.
1. In the time frame of 1740—1790, “Natural Law” had grown from the 17th century studies of the early enlightenment philosophers (Grotius, Pufendorf, Rousseau, Locke, de Wolf) into a reason-based concept that was based on the fact that all humans have inherent animal qualities that contribute to laws worldwide that are essentially the same.
2. Emer de Vattel, a Swiss scholar, published a now world famous work titled Law of Nations in French in 1758. The Vattel work built upon the earlier philosophy of Natural Law, especially that of de Wolf. But what made Vattel’s work so famous was his adoption of a more modern and easier-to-understand format, which was written like a scientific thesis. It started out with definitions that were worked into the initial textual material in a manner very different from the heavy, incomprehensible writing style of the earlier philosophers. His work is written like a modern do-it-yourself project where he captured the entire history and essence of Natural Law but mixed it into a means to build a new nation based on a new type of constitution or a way of establishing an acceptable set of rules for running a nation in a common sense manner based on the experience of political science as it developed over the centuries.
3. The delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention understood what they were voting on when they voted unanimously on Sept. 7, 1787 to add a clause to Article 2, Section 1, Paragraph 5 of the Presidential Eligibility Requirements. They had added an eligibility clause for anyone seeking the Office of the President that requires that they be a “natural born Citizen,” which means that both of his parents had to be citizens of the U.S. on the date of his birth.
4. In the period 1750-1770, the French language had become of growing interest in the world of American politics and had been of major importance to the academic world, especially for American attorneys and in particular how it relates to Natural Law in the time period 1730 and thereafter.
5. The great majority of the delegates at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 was attorneys and at that time attorneys were primarily men from the upper classes who were typically very well educated at the few colleges and universities of merit in the U.S. For the most part the educational curricula in those schools followed the Classical Education model of Great Britain.
6. (a) After 1750, many leaders in the U.S. had become aware that the Classical Educational Model was not adequate for the times. This resulted in movements to modernize the curricula of American colleges and universities, in particular to introduce a new emphasis on the teaching of Law in the colleges and universities as opposed to the traditional apprenticeship programs being employed to qualify attorneys. Specifically, for many years prior to 1789, Thomas Jefferson, the then Governor of Virginia, had tried to pass a law in Virginia that would have placed William and Mary, an Anglican facility, in charge of the Virginia State University system and to modernize the curriculum. While his efforts were unsuccessful because of opposition from other church groups, Jefferson was instrumental in abolishing the Greek and Hebrew Professorships at William and Mary and initiating courses in Natural Law and Political Science; likewise, the College of Philadelphia (now Pennsylvania University) had initiated similar changes in the time period 1760-1780 which focused more specifically on legal areas, including Natural Law, to better prepare students to become attorneys. In the time period 1760-1780, the College of New Jersey (now Princeton) was only getting started with the new curriculum and was extremely focused on being a modern, more flexible educational facility compared to universities utilizing the Classical Model. Harvard and Yale were less rapid in modernizing in the time period 1760-1780, except that each had added the study of the French Language to their curricula.
6. (b) John Jay, subsequently the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, had written a letter on July 25, 1787, to George Washington, who was then the President of the Constitutional Convention, which was in session. In this letter, John Jay expressed a fear for the nation if the office of the President should fall into the hands of a person with an allegiance to a foreign power. To reduce the chance for this from occurring Mr. Jay recommended including the provision in the President’s Eligibility Requirements that the President must be a “natural born Citizen” in addition to the other age eligibility and term of residency requirements that would suffice to adequately protect the nation from a person with a foreign allegiance from ever becoming President.
6. (c) From the floor of the Constitutional Convention on Sept. 4, 1787, a delegate voiced an objection to the then proposed language for Article 2, the Presidential Eligibility Requirements, and Article 2 was sent back to the committee for further consideration. On Sept. 7 the Presidential Eligibility Requirements issue of Article 2 was again brought to the floor, was brought to a vote and unanimously approved. It included the “Natural Born Citizen” requirement initially proposed by John Jay.
7. As noted above, the vast majority of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention were attorneys. They had attended the very best colleges and universities in the U.S., which had modernized their curriculum and that some of the delegate attorneys had attended British universities, which, in the time period-1770, also included the concepts of Natural Law in their Philosophy curricula.
8. Three copies of the 1775 version of the book Law of Nations, written in French by Emer de Vattel in 1758, had been sent to Ben Franklin by its publisher. Mr. Franklin had sent one copy to the Library Company of Philadelphia (LCP). In that same year, Mr. Franklin had sent a letter to the publisher informing him that he had been often loaning his copy to other congressman and they were in admiration of Vattel. The LCP was located on the 2nd floor of the Constitutional Convention building in 1787, and arrangements had been completed to provide library membership rights in the LCP on the second floor to all the Constitutional Convention delegates. The 1775 French version of Law of Nations was in the LCP catalog (titled in French: Les Droit des gens), as well as the Law of Nations, 1760 English version. The catalog was also an inventory of the books on the shelf in 1789 which encompass the dates of the 1787 Constitutional Convention.
9. (a) We contend that it is inconceivable that 53 of the most able and highly educated gentleman in the United States, including 33 attorneys educated at the finest universities, as a group would not understand the meaning of the term, “natural born Citizen” before they would have cast a unanimous vote to include the term “natural born Citizen” in the President’s Eligibility Requirements. Further it is our contention that the delegates understood that the term “natural born Citizen” had a connection to Natural Law at the time the convention delegates voted unanimously to include the “natural born Citizen” language in Article 2.
9. (b) The preamble of the Declaration of Independence issued by the majority of the Congressmen of this nation on July 4, 1776 made reference to Natural Law and was based on the Natural Law concepts as set forth by Vattel, Wolf and Pufendorf.
Thomas Jefferson, who authored the Declaration of Independence, had been previously responsible for writing the then new Constitution for the State of Virginia which was also based on the Natural Law principles of those same philosophers. In addition, shortly after the 1787 Constitutional Convention completed its work, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, then President of the College of William and Mary, in 1789 significantly changed that college’s Educational Model by eliminating the Greek and Hebrew requirements and created a new regime involving Natural Law and Political Science as the new curricula elements. James Madison had been the instructor for these courses prior to the 1789 educational regime change.
Thus, the concepts of Natural Law, set out in the Declaration of Independence, in the U.S. Constitution and in the State of Virginia Constitution, had never before in the history of the World been employed in the establishment of a representative republic. It was the first time that a colony of a ruling power had set forth in a declaration to the sovereign that the sovereign had violated the Natural Rights of the colonists.
10. During the period that followed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 the principles of Liberty and Natural Law, as mentioned in the Preface of said Declaration, were frequently addressed by the American congressmen and that any interpretation of the term “natural born Citizen” at the time of the Signing of the Constitution in 1787 would be the position taken by Justices Fuller and Harlan in their dissent in the Wong Kim Ark 169 U.S. 715 case in which they wrote, “Considering the circumstances surrounding the framing of the Constitution, I submit, it is unreasonable that ...Natural Born Citizen applied to (just) anybody.” These Supreme Court Justices clearly meant that the Court must refer to a meaning under Natural Law because it cannot be that just any child born in the U.S. would become a citizen by birth here because that would not address the danger they then feared of persons with an allegiance to a foreign power could become citizens.
11. (a) On Sept. 4, 1787, during the consideration by the delegates of the Presidential Eligibility Requirements in Article 2, Paragraph 5, there was a very powerful OBJECTION expressed that had to have been heard and understood by the Convention. Specifically, the OBJECTION was: “NO NUMBER OF YEARS (of residence in the U.S.) COULD POSSIBLY PREPARE A FOREIGNER FOR THAT PLACE [the presidency].” Based on the widely felt fear of the damage that a foreigner could unleash on the nation if a foreigner filled the highest position of our government, a change was requested. To address this fear, the committee submitted a change to the Eligibility Requirements for the Office of the President in Article 2, Section 1, Paragraph 5, specifically that the president must be a “natural born Citizen.”
11. (b)(1) We contend that from the 6th Century B.C., known as the “Classical Period,” Greek and Roman prose literature was the basis for the Educational Model in the colleges in the American colonies during the 1740s, specifically as it related to the study of politics and nations. This field encompassed the “Natural Law”102 philosophy, and Law of Nations evolved under the influence of the Enlightenment.101
11. (b)(2) By 1760 the term “Natural Law” had become widely understood by the learned and that it had permeated to all201. So suffused203 was a concern for natural law and its intellectual origins at the time of the Revolution that, as noted above, the opening line of the Declaration of Independence makes a direct reference to the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God as the initial appeal to mankind for the justness of the American cause. Natural Law was thus the ultimate antidote to British claims of supremacy.204
11. (b)(3) By 1770 Emer de Vattel had become world renowned for his wonderful work Law of Nations and that it was the most influential treatise for the colonists.301 Specifically, he helped them in many areas including partnering302 to the exclusion of the sovereign, defensive unions with weaker states303, formation of perpetual confederation, as well as strategy for growth by association.304
There is absolutely no question but that Vattel was unrivaled in his influence on the American founders306, most all of whom were fluent in French and fully understood the French version of Law of Nations.
11. (b)(4) In view of the widespread publicity and familiarity with Natural Law, it is our contention and belief that the words “natural born,” which are part of the term “natural born Citizen,” were selected by the drafting committee because the words “natural born” indicate to any legally informed person that this is a special type of citizenship which is recognized in the Natural Law and in Vattel’s Law of Nations.
11. (b)(5) Natural Law recognizes the term jus sanguinis as a special form of citizenship in which a child’s nationality is determined by the citizenship of both of the child’s parents. This is a special form of citizenship, which is closely related to the citizenship of a child under section 212 of Vattel’s Law of Nations.
11. (b)(6) Since the term “natural born Citizen” was added to the Article 2 Presidential Eligibility Requirements of the Constitution to address the fear of those with foreign allegiances ascending to the presidency, everyone familiar with Vattel’s Law of Nations would know that Section 212 of Vattel’s Book I, Chapter 19 was involved because that section defines in French “Les naturels ou indigenes” are those persons born in a country of parents [plural] that are citizens. The complete sentence, Les naturels ou indigenes,” sont ceux qui sont nés dans le pays, de parents citoyens in French translates to “The natural or native, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.”
To further establish the relevance of Section 212, the last line of that section specifically makes it clear that this provision is directed to the special emotional relationship to the country if a child is born of parents who are citizens rather than foreigners. The last sentence states, “...if he is born there of a foreigner it will only be his place of birth, and not his country.” It is not essential to show that there was an English language translation at the date of the 1787 Convention that matches the English words, “natural born Citizen.” The committee carefully chose the English words “natural born Citizen” for the Constitution as John Jay submitted them so that the sentence would have the identical meaning as the 1758 Vattel sentence in French and to make it obvious that the term refers to the Natural Law and to Vattel’s Law of Nations.
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Comment by Stan Stanfield 1 second ago (Feb. 25)
Duke-Jinx: Thank you for this enlightening and valuable treatise. Some Obama apologists have tried to claim that the NBC term excludes only naturalized citizens, under the premise that the constitutional Framers were going by English common law; which, in any event, only talks about 'natural born SUBJECTS'. 'Subjects' the Americans no longer were; were sovereigns in their own right, creating a Constitution for sovereigns - government of, by, and for 'the people'.
Also of interest in this 'debate' is that A. Hamilton proposed at the Convention that a presidential candidate only needed to be a 'citizen' - and his proposal was SPECIFICALLY REJECTED.
All, important points for the record. (Esp. that de Vattel's book was right there in the C. Convention's building site itself. If not right at B. Franklin's side…) Thanks again for your research into the matter.