Frases de George Mason

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George Mason

Fecha de nacimiento: 11. Diciembre 1725
Fecha de muerte: 7. Octubre 1792

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George Mason fue un político y hacendado de Virginia delegado a la Convención Constitucional de 1787 y uno de tres representantes que rechazaron firmar la Constitución federal. Sus escritos han tenido una influencia significativa en el pensamiento y los acontecimientos políticos relacionados con la fundación del país, como secciones substanciales de las resoluciones de Fairfax de 1774, la Declaración de Virginia de 1776 y sus Objeciones a esta Constitución de gobierno . La Declaración de Derechos de Virginia —de la que fue su principal autor— sirvió como base para la Carta de Derechos de los Estados Unidos, de la que es considerado su padre.

Nació en 1725, probablemente en lo que ahora es el condado de Fairfax . Su padre murió cuando era joven y su madre administró las fincas de la familia hasta que alcanzó la mayoría de edad. Se casó en 1750, edificó la mansión Gunston Hall y vivió como escudero del condado supervisando sus tierras, familia y esclavos. Sirvió brevemente en la Cámara de Burgueses y se involucró en asuntos locales, algunas veces junto a su vecino George Washington. A medida que las tensiones entre la metrópoli y las colonias norteamericanas crecían, Mason simpatizó con la causa independentista y utilizó su conocimiento y experiencia para ayudar a los revolucionarios, encontró alternativas a la ley del sello de 1765 y sirvió en la Cuarta Convención de 1775 y la Quinta Convención de 1776 celebradas en Virginia.

En 1776 preparó el primer borrador de la Declaración de Derechos y sus palabras permanecieron en gran parte del texto aprobado por la Convención Revolucionaria de Virginia. Asimismo, redactó una constitución para ese estado. Thomas Jefferson y otros intentaron imponer sus ideas en la Convención, pero se toparon con que Mason contaba con mayor apoyo. Durante la guerra, Mason participó en la cámara baja de la Asamblea General de Virginia —la Cámara de Delegados—, pero, ante el enfado de Washington y otros, rechazó servir en el Congreso Continental en Filadelfia con la excusa de que tenía compromisos familiares y de salud.

Mason fue nombrado representante de su estado a la Convención Constitucional y viajó a Filadelfia, su único viaje de larga distancia fuera de Virginia. Muchas cláusulas en la Constitución federal llevan su sello, ya que participó activamente en la convención durante meses, antes de decidir que no iba a firmarlo. En sus Objeciones, argumentó la falta de una carta de derechos más preponderante, pero también su apoyo a la abolición del tráfico de esclavos y solicitó una supermayoría para las leyes de navegación, pues estas obligarían a los exportadores de tabaco a utilizar buques estadounidenses, más caros de costear que los extranjeros. Aunque no pudo convencer a sus colegas tanto de la Convención Constitucional de Filadelfia como de la Convención Ratificadora de Richmond de 1788, su lucha para una carta de derechos llevó a James Madison a presentar un borrador durante el primer Congreso de 1789, que fue ratificado en 1791 un año antes de que Mason muriera. Después de muchos años en el olvido, Mason ahora es reconocido por sus contribuciones a los Estados Unidos y Virginia.

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Frases George Mason

„All power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; [...] magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.“

—  George Mason
Context: All power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; [... ] magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them. Article 2

„Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant.“

—  George Mason
Context: Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. They bring the judgment of heaven on a Country. As nations can not be rewarded or punished in the next world they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes & effects providence punishes national sins, by national calamities. August 22

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„As nations can not be rewarded or punished in the next world they must be in this.“

—  George Mason
Context: Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. They bring the judgment of heaven on a Country. As nations can not be rewarded or punished in the next world they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes & effects providence punishes national sins, by national calamities. August 22

„Under the present government all ranks of people are subject to militia duty.“

—  George Mason
Context: Mr. Chairman — A worthy member has asked, who are the militia, if they be not the people, of this country, and if we are not to be protected from the fate of the Germans, Prussians, &c. by our representation? I ask who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers. But I cannot say who will be the militia of the future day. If that paper on the table gets no alteration, the militia of the future day may not consist of all classes, high and low, and rich and poor; but may be confined to the lower and middle classes of the people, granting exclusion to the higher classes of the people. If we should ever see that day, the most ignominious punishments and heavy fines may be expected. Under the present government all ranks of people are subject to militia duty. June 16

„I ask who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers. But I cannot say who will be the militia of the future day.“

—  George Mason
Context: Mr. Chairman — A worthy member has asked, who are the militia, if they be not the people, of this country, and if we are not to be protected from the fate of the Germans, Prussians, &c. by our representation? I ask who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers. But I cannot say who will be the militia of the future day. If that paper on the table gets no alteration, the militia of the future day may not consist of all classes, high and low, and rich and poor; but may be confined to the lower and middle classes of the people, granting exclusion to the higher classes of the people. If we should ever see that day, the most ignominious punishments and heavy fines may be expected. Under the present government all ranks of people are subject to militia duty. June 16

„Why should we not provide against the danger of having our militia, our real and natural strength, destroyed?“

—  George Mason
Context: No man has a greater regard for the military gentlemen than I have. I admire their intrepidity, perseverance, and valour. But when once a standing army is established, in any country, the people lose their liberty. When against a regular and disciplined army, yeomanry are the only defence — yeomanry, unskillful & unarmed, what chance is there for preserving freedom? Give me leave to recur to the page of history, to warn you of your present danger. Recollect the history of most nations of the world. What havock, desolation, and destruction, have been perpetrated by standing armies? An instance within the memory of some of this house, — will shew us how our militia may be destroyed. Forty years ago, when the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British parliament was advised by an artful man, [Sir William Keith] who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people. That it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them. But that they should not do it openly; but to weaken them and let them sink gradually, by totally difusing and neglecting the militia. [Here MR. MASON quoted sundry passages to this effect. ] This was a most iniquitous project. Why should we not provide against the danger of having our militia, our real and natural strength, destroyed? June 14

„A few years' experience will convince us that those things which at the time they happened we regarded as our greatest misfortunes have proved our greatest blessings. Of this awful truth no person has lived to my age without seeing abundant proof.“

—  George Mason
Context: A few years' experience will convince us that those things which at the time they happened we regarded as our greatest misfortunes have proved our greatest blessings. Of this awful truth no person has lived to my age without seeing abundant proof. Your dear baby has died innocent and blameless, and has been called away by an all wise and merciful Creator, most probably from a life of misery and misfortune, and most certainly to one of happiness and bliss. Letter to his daughter Sarah Mason McCarty after the death of an infand daughter (10 February 1785), published in The Life of George Mason, 1725-1792 Vol. 2 (1892) by Kate Mason Rowland, p. 74

„Does any man suppose that one general national government can exist in so extensive a country as this?“

—  George Mason
Context: Does any man suppose that one general national government can exist in so extensive a country as this? I hope that a government may be framed which may suit us, by drawing a line between the general and state governments, and prevent that dangerous clashing of interest and power, which must, as it now stands, terminate in the destruction of one or the other. When we come to the judiciary, we shall be more convinced that this government will terminate in the annihilation of the state governments: the question then will be, whether a consolidated government can preserve the freedom and secure the rights of the people. If such amendments be introduced as shall exclude danger, I shall most gladly put my hand to it. When such amendments as shall, from the best information, secure the great essential rights of the people, shall be agreed to by gentlemen, I shall most heartily make the greatest concessions, and concur in any reasonable measure to obtain the desirable end of conciliation and unanimity… Address to the Convention (4 June 1788) http://www.wwnorton.com/college/history/archive/resources/documents/ch07_04.htm

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„No man has a greater regard for the military gentlemen than I have. I admire their intrepidity, perseverance, and valour. But when once a standing army is established, in any country, the people lose their liberty.“

—  George Mason
Context: No man has a greater regard for the military gentlemen than I have. I admire their intrepidity, perseverance, and valour. But when once a standing army is established, in any country, the people lose their liberty. When against a regular and disciplined army, yeomanry are the only defence — yeomanry, unskillful & unarmed, what chance is there for preserving freedom? Give me leave to recur to the page of history, to warn you of your present danger. Recollect the history of most nations of the world. What havock, desolation, and destruction, have been perpetrated by standing armies? An instance within the memory of some of this house, — will shew us how our militia may be destroyed. Forty years ago, when the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British parliament was advised by an artful man, [Sir William Keith] who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people. That it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them. But that they should not do it openly; but to weaken them and let them sink gradually, by totally difusing and neglecting the militia. [Here MR. MASON quoted sundry passages to this effect. ] This was a most iniquitous project. Why should we not provide against the danger of having our militia, our real and natural strength, destroyed? June 14

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