Why is there a Washington DC?

Just Like Washington D.C. This Doberman was
specifically bred for guard duty.

Washing D.C. is the Seat of Power for a Federation of Independent Sovereign States, referred to as the ‘Several States.’  DC is also the headquarters to the 50 administrative bodies which via their never ending maze of departments, policies and regulations, provide government services and thereby gain jurisdiction over virtually every American throughout the several states and territories.

DC is not a state. It is not sovereign, it is a creation of the several states and derives its authority from those several states. It is the psychotic guard dog of the union, and it performs its duties spectacularly. In my opinion, Washington DC is far more successful than the Founders ever imagined. Originally designed to have jurisdiction over a small select part of the population, it has become so successful that hundreds of millions voluntarily submit to its ‘exclusive jurisdiction whatsoever.’  

Washington DC is the manifestation of an idea created to actually limit a necessary beast of federal government to within specific boundaries or borders, its cage so to speak.

Outside its jurisdiction, this organ of government has little or no power. Inside its jurisdiction is a different story however. Inside its jurisdiction this entity of government is all powerful. Humans are property, equal to other animals, and viewed like all property in its jurisdiction, solely owned by the state.

But why would the founding fathers even create such a monster? If your interested in learning how to put the beast back in the box, I think it helps to know why it exists. The answer goes back to a story that occurred between the end of the shooting part of the Revolutionary War and the formal peace treaty with the King.

After Cornwallis surrendered, the King still had tremendous resources of well trained professional soldiers stationed just 60 miles south of Independence Hall. Congress had met at Independence Hall during the course of the war, and was protected by the same security forces that protected state government.

Congress, in its infinite wisdom, failed to see the forest from the trees and had it not been for the high moral character of the soldiers who rebelled, the entire war effort would have been lost to the British from an uprising commonly called “The Mutiny of the Pennsylvania Line.”

Standing guard between the King’s men, and the entire Continental Congress was a group of battle hardened veterans. These men enlisted, often for less than a $20 signing bonus, to a war contract with a service period defined as “3 years or the duration of the war.” These men of the Pennsylvania Line are heroes who’s efforts contributed to our freedom, they displayed bravery on the battle field and helped to defeat the most powerful army on earth at the time.

No other group of men was more qualified to protect Congress from the British soldiers quarantined just a few hours ride away. These Revolutionary soldiers certainly had the capacity to maintain absolute intimidation over the King’s men until the treaty was signed. In other words these were some bad ass American Patriot dudes, these boys definitely Kicked ass and served honorably throughout the revolution.

Now pulling baby sitting duty of the kings men, these soldiers were bored. They had served their 3 years listed in the contract, Cornwallis surrendered and the treaty of Paris was about to be signed. These men were now ready to go home and wanted to be honorably discharged or paid for the extra time they served babysitting the Kings men.

The government had another opinion, they said that since the treaty had not yet been signed, the war was still technically in effect, the Kings men were still armed, and the contract was for “3 years or the duration of the war” whichever was longer.

Adding insult to injury, these battle hardened men were stationed in poorly provisioned and primitive quarters, they remained in the same camp for many months, and the Pennsylvania Line was the only significant organized defense between the Kings men and Independence Hall when Congress was in session.

Congress, failing to see the forest from the trees, passed laws that paid up to $1,000 for new soldiers as a sign on bonus, but failed to deal with the demands of the men of the Pennsylvania Line. Most of the men originally received $20 or less for sign up bonus, and hadn’t seen a single note, coin or other form of currency payment in over a year. While these veterans were stuck watching the King’s men in poorly conditioned quarters, new soldiers were out spending their $1,000 bounty and sleeping in warm bunks many miles from the danger.

By June, the soldiers had enough, they mutinied. This wasn’t a normal run of the mill mutiny, nor was it peaceful. Men died.

When Congress got word that a ruckus had started with the men of the Pennsylvania Line, they paid no attention and quickly followed up with no real effort to consider compensation or otherwise address the complaints of the soldiers wanting to be released from duty.

The situation changed rapidly however, and the next day more soldiers from the surrounding area abandoned their post and joined the mutiny. These were veteran soldiers who knew how to conduct war.  In no time, tremendous amounts of stored weapons and ammunition supplies were in the complete control of the men of the Pennsylvania Line.

With enough soldiers left behind to keep an eye on the British troops The mutiny, lead by a former British soldier marches to Independence Hall. The only armed force standing between thousands of British soldiers and our newly formed government is now itself marching on Congress.

Local authorities stood silent as the mob of soldiers surrounded Independence Hall demanding to be either paid for serving beyond three years, or receive the advertised $1,000 bonus and serve another term. The soldiers initially blocked the doors and refused to allow any of the members of congress to leave until they had met their demands.

Alexander Hamilton met with and convinced the soldiers to allow Congress to meet later and address their concerns. The soldiers maintained complete control of the munitions and weapons in the local area, and fully surrounded Congress but allowed them to peacefully adjourn. Later that evening, a small committee headed by Hamilton met to draft a letter to ask the local authorities to protect Congress.

Meanwhile, the British commander had gotten word of the mutiny and dispatched two envoys to meet with the former British soldier leading the revolt. The envoys brought with them an offer of a full pardon and land ownership to the men if they were to turn over the munitions and Congress to the Commander’s men. The men of the mutiny could have known riches, and it was feared they might hand Congress to the King.

At this moment the fate of our nation rested in the hands of a former British soldier leading a locally popular mutiny. Had he taken the lavish gifts of prestige and wealth offered, the entire war may have been lost. The Founding Fathers would have all been executed, and our fledgling nation would have been decapitated. Fortunately that didn’t happen, and we inherited a Republican form of Government independent of the King.

Alexander Hamilton’s letter thinly veiled the threat that if the local Executive Council (Pennsylvania’s local executive government, which had the authority to call up the local militia and order the uprising put down) did not act, Congress would have to move locations. No order was ever given for the militia to put down the uprising, even if it was I doubt the leaders or fighting men of the militia would have followed them.

The response by the Pennsylvania Executive Council was to delay. Congress, fearing for their lives and realizing the incredibly dangerous military situation, fled on horseback that night to meet in Princeton New Jersey. The Mutiny of the Pennsylvania Line is the reason George Washington was administered the Oath of Office in New York.

Even though Congress left town, the mutiny did not end. Many days later the British envoys were turned over to the Pennsylvania Line commander and subsequently hung. Some time later, the same Commander sent food and other supplies to the soldiers, who were still in mutiny.

Years later it was recorded that the Commander and former British soldier who led the uprising met to speak about the events during the mutiny. The soldier said to the commander that if the King had acted up or threatened the cause of liberty, the entire mutiny would have been placed on hold and the kick ass American Soldiers would once again force the King’s men to capitulate with extreme prejudice. Only then would they get back at the squabble over pay and war contracts. At no time was the cause of Liberty in jeopardy by the mutiny, even the American Commander recognized how skillfully the soldiers threaded the needle between use of force and treason. Ultimately, the soldiers were pardoned for their mutiny and paid for their services.

As a result of the Mutiny of the Pennsylvania Line, it was obvious that the federal level of government needed a safe place to conduct business and have its own security forces. The Founding Fathers had created this level of Government to be such a weak creature among the People, it could not muster its own security forces for protection even while in session. The surrounding States then ceded an area of ten miles square (about 100 square miles) and granted exclusive jurisdiction whatsoever to the Federal Government in the Constitution.

Physically inside the boundaries of DC the federal branch of government, those in office and by constitutional authority, wield absolute power, or ‘exclusive jurisdiction whatsoever.’ Outside the physical boundaries of Washington DC, the legal power behind their jurisdiction of the federal government remains, however it is significantly limited by the brilliant works of the Founding Fathers. The People are the ones vested with the power to limit government, not the residents.

This theory is supported by the wording of the Constitution, Vattell’s Law of Nations, and by the voluntary nature of how more than 99% of all Americans identify themselves via political contracts, licenses, government benefits and pledging.

Originally, the founders put the Federal Government in its own district box of ten miles square, In this fashion the Federal Government was protected from local politics by having the ability to provide its own security. Concentrating all this power into a relatively minor physical area of the country meant the Founding Fathers likely never imagined that the vast majority of Americans would consider that their home, domicile or jurisdiction by which they recognize their ‘legal presence.’

Recognizing that your legal presence is located in this ‘exclusive jurisdiction’ zone is the first step to arm yourself with the knowledge necessary to engage productively with a troublesome servant and fearful master.

Continue the Conversations on Saturday mornings with Corey Eib and Todd McGreevy on Common Sense Revisited.


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