The Hidden History of the US Constitution

towards an american revolution

Toward an American Revolution: Exposing the Constitution and other Illusions

by Jerry Fresia

South End Press (1988)

Book Review

This book is a great follow-up for people wanting to know more about the secret machinations behind the US Constitution after watching the film Plutocracy.

I knew virtually nothing about the framing of the Constitution when I first read Toward an American Revolution in the mid-nineties. Fresia reveals how the first Constitutional Convention was actually a secret meeting of rich property owners and merchants whose business interests (expanded trade and personal wealth) were threatened by farmers who had seized control of legislatures in twelve out of thirteen states.

The clear intent of Washington, Hamilton, Madison and the other businessmen and plantation ownders who wrote the Constitution was to transfer power from relatively autonomous state assemblies to a centralized federal government. Most agreed from the outset that they wanted a system of government more like Britain’s, ie one in which the business elite could use government authority to enhance their economic interests.

According to Fresia, the true purpose of constitutional “checks and balances” (ie the three branches of government) was to insure that moneyed interests enjoyed a greater voice than ordinary people. The Senate, a distinctly unrepresentative body, plays a major role in minimizing popular input. The Senate, in which a tiny state like Rhode Island has the same number of votes as an a big state like California, is given sole authority to approve treaties and presidential appointees. Their longer terms (six years) mean senators are less accountable to voters than congress people (who have two years terms). Until 1913, senators were still chosen by the electoral college (as opposed by direct vote) as the president is.

In 2015, more than 200 years after the Constitution was first written, Americans are still denied the right to vote directly for President.

Toward an American Revolution also describes the dirty tricks the founding father used to get 9 legislatures to ratify the Constitution, despite overwhelming opposition from the majority of enfranchised American voters.

The second half of the book fast forwards to the twentieth century to demonstrate how the US has continued to be ruled by a secret political elite. The latter have a specific agenda of suppressing democracy when it interferes with their business interests.

The examples given include America’s “secret police” force under the FBI’s Cointelpo operation, the role played by President Herbert Hoover and US industrialists (represented by Wall Street lawyer Allen Dulles) in financing the rise of Hitler, the subsequent appointment of Dulles to head the most powerful secret police apparatus in history (the CIA), his incorporation of Nazi war criminals into US intelligence networks, the role of “secret government” in the assassination of JFK, the corruption of our democratically elected representatives by corporate lobbyists and Reagan’s illegal war in Nicaragua.

Fresia has kindly made excerpts of this book available at

19 thoughts on “The Hidden History of the US Constitution

  1. I already know all I need to now about the Constitution. It does not pertain to my Black ass! It never has and it never will. I is still considered to be ignorant property. Please excuse my lack of grammatical skills. I weren’t allowed tuh reed and rite!


  2. I would agree that the Constitution is a plutocratic document serving the interests of the moneyed class. However, the first eight amendments afford citizens the greatest rights from government tyranny in history. The anti-federalists knew that a powerful and ultimately tyrannical cabal would develop in the federal government. The Bill of Rights served as a charter of negative liberties forcing a powerful government to respect individual rights. The fact that both federalists and anti-federalists were propertied slave owners does not mitigate against the fact that the rights afforded by the Bill of Rights are a potent antidote to federal tyranny. The fact that these rights are under attack by all branches of government are proof that they (like the Weimar Constitution before them) have to made to become nugatory before the police state is fully implemented.


  3. “The fact that both federalists and anti-federalists were propertied slave owners does not mitigate against the fact that the rights afforded by the Bill of Rights are a potent antidote to federal tyranny.”

    Oh, I think it does! The fact that people were dragged to America against their will and had no rights and were not even considered to be totally human speaks volumes. My ancestors were people, regardless of what the law stated at the time and yet they had NO rights and yet you stated that “the Bill of Rights are a potent antidote to federal tyranny.” How so when the federal government was behind the labeling of the slaves as less than human and denied them the rights that were enjoyed by those who were not slaves? Slaves had no individual rights afforded to them on the federal level. That’s not tyranny? They weren’t living under a tyrannical government?

    As a descendant of African slaves, I am still fighting for the rights that as an American citizen, I should automatically have. In the 60s, we were still protesting for the ‘right’ to drink from any water fountain, to walk inside a restaurant and not be sent to the back door, for the right to sit down on a bus and not have to give up our seat, to vote and on and on it goes, but now you feel that your ‘rights are under attack’. Good! Now, where is your protest sign because at least you had rights that you feel are now ‘under attack’ whereas we’re still fighting for the rights that according to you are soon to be revoked with the implementation of a police state? Well, at least, I can’t miss what I never had. The police are already murdering Black people with impunity. The prisons are filled with Black people on bullshit charges. The school-to-prison pipeline is all about sending inner city Black youth straight from the classroom into juvenile detention centers and then into prison because they are receiving no education. A Black man is murdered and the whole world can view it because he sold some loose, untaxed cigarettes and yet Wall Street bankers that collapsed an entire economy never saw the inside of a jail cell.

    Black people have been living under a police state since slavery in this hellhole, so soon you too can ‘enjoy’ what we’ve been ‘privileged’ to all along.


    • I tend to agree with Shelby here. To promise one group of people so-called rights at the expense of a second group is a very old divide and conquer strategy of the ruling elite. Don’t forget that neither women (who comprised half the population) nor Native Americans had rights under the Constitution.

      The idea is to divide the rabble into smaller and smaller segments, so eventually the mass of “privileged” sheeple is to small to defend their so-called rights – and they’re laughed at when they demand them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Dr. Bramhall! And I sincerely appreciate your inclusion of the Indians and women into the equation. Just as you say, neither had any rights! So-called ‘white’ males comprised the leadership of this country, the juries, the police and so forth and so on. Just as in England, women had no rights. But this person now wants to speak about their rights being under attack with the imminent implementation of a police state. Now it’s time for this person to worry about their rights when if there had been a fight all along for the same rights to be afforded to those who had no rights by those who did, maybe, just maybe, this person wouldn’t feel the need to worry about losing their rights to a coming police state.

        I think this covers it.

        “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a Socialist.

        Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

        Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a Jew.

        Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” poem written by Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)


      • Considering only about 5 percent of “white” Americans can trace their roots back to colonial days, this is a bit of an antiquated opinion. Many “white” Americans were treated as second class citizens for much of this countries history (one need look no further than the “no Irish need apply” that existed pre-WW2). However, the rest of us non blue-bloods still want to maintain our rights to free speech, privacy, etc. This argument is a little reductionist for me, in that, it seeks to throw the baby out with the bathwater.


  4. There is fourth branch of US Constitution created in secret with “checks and balances” but not the ones promoting Democracy namely the Federal Reserve where 7 dictators rule the rules that cover your every day living.


  5. In 1976, when the USA was celebrating it’s 200th “anniversary” I wrote an essay, that in a way was a manifesto. In it I called out against this country in any way being a democracy. Does this book also mention the involvement of the Bush family with the Nazi government? And we must remember the Kennedy family ascended from criminal commercial dealings. How, can anyone claim that this is a country that was built on the concept of freedom, when it took the murdering of brothers and neighbors to end legal slavery, but not economic slavery. And the sad fact is, once you read the Constitution you realize how smart those guys were – this government structure will not be changed except by the tides of time and the justice of nature. Because for all the fools with their second amendment rights, no citizen militia can defeat the biggest military power on earth. But, oh, I know there is a balance in nature and I firmly believe in karma. And the only thing that keeps this country safe is the fact that it has on it truly spiritual and giving people, from the original people, to new immigrants that create a stabilizing balance. And who knows, once the east coast and west coast fall into the ocean from global warming, a new government of the people might arise. 🙂


    • As Frederick Douglas wrote:
      “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July?
      I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.”…

      There is more, and it is a good read that reminds us all of the Great Deception and institutional fraud that continues today.

      Another current event is the revelations of Vaccines and how it smacks a similarity to the demonic Tuskegee Syphilis experiments :

      Vaccines Deadly Secrets!

      Vaccine Whistleblower Gave Congress Thousands of Documents, Claims CDC Destroyed Proof of MMR-Autism Link



    • No Skywalker, unfortunately the book doesn’t discuss the Bush family, as Bush only became president in 1988. You make an excellent point about the continuation of economic slavery even after legal slavery ended. As for Joe Kennedy’s criminal commercial dealings, his involvement in insider trading and stock scams is well-documented – his so-called bootlegging less so, despite the claims of several mob bosses that they did business with him during prohibition.


      • Even if the bootlegging rumors are true they do not diminish the Kennedy name as one of the greatest political families in modern U.S. history. The mob did not say much about Hoover because he was a blackmailed homosexual. Career FBI agent Wes Swearingen wrote in FBI Secrets that Hoover’s being blackmailed led directly to the growth of the mafia virtually off limits to the FBI. This is real criminality. As far as the Bush family, they were Nazi’s going back to Prescott Bush, and the financial backing given to Hitler by Brown Brothers Harriman where Prescott was a founding partner.


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