Daily Ritual - September 17

Limited Government

Time to Think:

The federal “government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all members of the republic . . . The [state] governments . . . can extend their care to all those other objects which can be separately provided for, will retain their due authority and activity.”  

~James Madison, Federalist Paper No. 14. 

Take a few minutes to contemplate by yourself or discuss with a friend the meaning of this quote.  Why were the Founding Fathers concerned about limiting the power of the federal government?  How does dividing authority between the federal and state governments preserve liberty? Is it working today?

Action Activities:

  1. Short: Review the 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution.  If you don’t already know, determine who your local (city/township mayor/council), county (executive/commissioner), state (representative/senator/governor), and federal (congressman, senators, president) elected officials are, and vow to vote in all levels of elections.

  2. Medium: Read Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (Amendments 1-10), out loud with family or friends, and discuss what you have learned.

  3. Long: Read either Federalist Paper No. 41 written by James Madison or Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address.  Write about it and how it applies today in social media, to a newspaper, and an elected official.

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