Baltimore Principles 101
An overview of the book The Baltimore Principles and the concepts it presents.
Author Carl Douglas has unearthed from colonial American history some simple yet amazingly powerful principles of representational government.
He calls his discovery the Baltimore Principles after Lord Baltimore, who in 1650 established this groundbreaking form of government for Maryland.
With an effective system of both horizontal and vertical checks and balances, from the bottom up, these forgotten Baltimore Principles allowed Lord Baltimore to successfully petition Parliament to grant tax-exempt status to Maryland. Under his system, the citizens of Maryland would raise their own taxes for their own purposes and would never ask England for a cent.
Other colonies were quick to adopt aspects of the Baltimore Principles for themselves, ushering in generations of prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic.
The diagram above depicts how nationwide our levels of government could be structured today under the Baltimore Principles, with the upper house of each level of government actually being subservient to the upper house of the level beneath.
This book will empower you with an understanding of the forgotten Baltimore Principles, so you can visualize how their reapplication could begin to fix our bloated, top-heavy, broken system of government.
A brief; yet fascinating look at the history of the American colonies, focusing on colonial legislative governments. You'll learn how new liberties came to be implemented both here and abroad — the same freedoms that eventually led to Lord Baltimore's profound system of vertical checks and balances.
The good, the bad, and even the ugly are explored in this chapter, from the Pilgrims to Popham; from the splitting of the Carolinas to Oglethorpe's Georgia dream turned nightmare.
The chapter ends with Ben Franklin's rejected 1754 proposal to establish the United Colonies of America, which planted the seed for American independence just 24 years later.
Having examined their history, this chapter delves into the structural framework of the Baltimore Principles, whereby all governments, regardless of level, are held accountable to the people: where no one person, party or special interest group can ever become too powerful at any level.
You'll learn how the Baltimore Principles can rnsure that every community government has a direct voice in county government, every county government has a direct voice in state government, and every state government has a direct voice in federal government. Under this structure, any bill presented in the US Senate would filter down to every city council in the country for debate and decision. These local governments would then send a majority decision back up the legislative ladder.
No taxation without representation did not mean that American colonists were sick and tired of being taxed by the Crown that gave them no voice in Pariament. It meant that they had been taxing and governing themselves under the Baltimore Principles for generations, and that the notion of yielding to the Stamp Act or the Tea Tax was literally revolting!
Yet when independence was declared in 1776, each and every American state forgot the Baltimore Principles that had served them so well. They drafted new constitutions that granted all power to the state. Perhaps they were caught up in a new sense of perceived enlightenment, and felt they could rule their states independently and compassionately.
However, when the Constitutional Convention of 1787 was called to fix the disastrous Articles of Confederation, the delegates quite wisely turned to the tried-and-true Baltimore Principles on the federal level to give each state's legislature a voice in the US Senate. They knew that it was the only workable solution.
With the introduction of political parties came the beginning of the mess we find ourselves in today. For the next century, unscrupulous people began to chip away at the last remnants of the Baltimore Principles, culminating in 1913 with the 17th Amendment — the single worst self-inflicted wound in US history.
While this book makes a very compelling argument for the urgent need to repeal the 17th Amendment, it goes an important step further, addressing the need for America to adopt the Baltimore Principles on local, county and state levels as well.
As important as it is to repeal Amendment 17, giving the state legislatures back their voice in the US Senate, each state needs to apply the Baltimore Principles on the local, county, and state levels to fully establish vertical checks and balances nationwide.
Your next step is to buy and read The Baltimore Principles and come to understand the powerful concept of vertical checks and balances from the bottom up.
Your outlook on current events just may turn from the issues at hand to the realization that these problems may never have surfaced, had the Baltimore Principles been in place.
The monumental task of fixing our governments begins with educating the people as to what the Baltimore Principles are.