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History Question

Between the time the American War for Independence ended in 1781 (formalized in 1783) and the time that Connecticut ratified the Constitution – thereby creating the United States of America, what were those 13 places called? They could not have been colonies – that’s what they fought the war for – to stop being colonies. They were not states, because they were not yet part of a sovereign federal entity. Were the provinces? Were they independent nation-states? I really have no idea.

The question is relevant. First, since the “insert name of 13 areas here” were not recognizing a common of rules, it is apparantly the case that several of the “insert name of 13 areas here” were practicing protectionist policies toward each other. In this regard, one reason for the Constitution was to allow Congress and the Federal Government to regulate commerce across the states. My understanding (some call me a revisionist) was that the commerce clause was intended to prevent future states from taking discriminatory action against other future states. Of course, that was the intention, and now the commerce clause is simply a blank check for the Feds to regulate any and all activity – even if it has nothing at all to do with inter-state commerce.

The second reason I am curious is because I really have no understanding of how “new nations” achieve sovereignty and are recognized as such in the current political world climate. I am sure this is the subject of some political science class I did not want to take because of all the brussel sprouts I would have had to eat before getting to this yummy question – so I apologize for my question. What if I went out into international waters and dug up enough dirt to create a new island where none such existed prior. Does this original appropriation (in the Lockean sense) automatically confer sovereignty on that land? If so, then would I be able to “buy” a piece of land and all of the contents within it, and establish a new nation? This is, of course, crazy talk. I just want to understand how it all works. I am sure the folks at the Free State Project could inform me if I looked hard enough.


One Response to “History Question”

  1. Harry says:

    Your interpretation of the commerce clause is exactly correct; the founders did not want the states to impose tariffs or any other impediments to commerce. I’ve often thought of how brilliant that idea is. What genius! You and I would not be around right now, but that’s a different story.

    Of course the commerce clause has been corrupted over the years by the courts, who have in the twentieth century given government at all levels broad powers to control our lives and deprive us of our property and freedom.

    Regarding how you might establish a sovereign state, I think Locke would say you have to buy it, either with money or the sweat of your brow, and therefore he might say that Pennsylvania was never the King’s property, but rather the property of the settlers, who owned it and sold it.

    The Cayman Islands are still part of the British empire, but have sucessfully established their independence. Best to buy your land from a nation that has imperial guilt, but would still protect you.

    Therefore, buy your future state from the Obama administration. How about Kiowa, Kansas, and the surrounding 100 sections?

    This would cost money, but would be a pittance compared what your citizen/investors would make with no taxes and bank secrecy.

    It would be cheaper if you took a second wife who was a Kiowan, hired a good lawyer, and asserted your rights to the land the folks own in Kiowa, but John Locke would disapprove of that.

    Your ability to finance this project might be facilitated if you said you would permit gambling and prostitution.

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