Property Rights Basic
When the U.S. Constitution was drafted in Philadelphia, John Rutledge of Southern Carolina reminded the delegates that property was the principal object of society.
The framers all believed that respect for an individual's property rights lay at the heart of the social contract, and built institutional safeguards into the document to protect those rights. Also, the founders did not intend these protections to extend only to land or discernible assets, but to all rights inherent to property, real or personal, tangible or intangible.
Without property rights, no other liberties could exist. The people created government to protect their lives, liberty and estates, that is, their property. Since the right to own and enjoy property derived from natural law, government existed to safeguard property and the liberties that flowed from it.
The laws of the land are so constituted that every individual is secure in the enjoyment of property. John Adams declared in 1790, "Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist." The New Hampshire constitution of 1784 stated that all men have a certain natural, essential and inherent right, among which are the defending of life and property. In a word, of seeking and obtaining happiness.
No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. The due process clause essentially says that Congress cannot pass such laws, because they violate the spirit that animates the entire constitutional arrangement, the protection of individual liberties, including property rights.
History is filled with examples of corrupt or dictatorial government using legislation to steal people's wealth and restrict their liberties, claiming they were doing nothing more than following the law. It's still going on today. There's no longer a "sweet land of liberty."
More like this story