paragraph of the Treaty, conceded thatrnthe former colonies were now not onlyrnwhat they claimed to be in the Declarationrnof Independence, “Free and IndependentrnStates,” but were now “Free,rnSovereign and Independent States.”rnWhen the war ended, relations betweenrnthe states soon deteriorated. Theyrnexercised their sovereignty as individualrnnations by, for example, raising tariffrnbarriers against each other’s importedrngoods. By 1786 relations between thernstates were so chaotic that it becamernobvious to many that if peace or stabilityrnwere to be maintained, something mustrnbe done.rnIn fact, as early as 1782, AlexanderrnHamilton had asked his own state. NewrnYork, to adopt a resolution calling for arnconstitutional convention, but the otherrnstates would not support it. After Hamiltonrnwas elected to Congress in 1783, herncampaigned for such a convention, butrnCongress would not listen. As W. CleonrnSkousen relates in The Making of America,rn”When Washington discovered thatrnsome of his officers were planning tornabandon the Articles of Confederationrnand set up a monarchy with Washingtonrnas ruler, he vehemently denounced thernplot and sent a letter to every state in thernUnion pleading with them to call a conventionrnas soon as possible. Nothingrnhappened.”rnOn March 28, 1785, Washington invitedrnhis own state, Virginia, and Maryland,rnto send delegates to meet with himrnat his home at Mount Vernon. A compactrnwas written and ratified by bothrnstates. A trade conference took place atrnAnnapolis in September 1786, but delegatesrncame from only five states. Nothingrnhappened, but it was agreed thatrnthey should campaign for a constitutionalrnconvention.rnOn February 21, 1787, Congress sentrnan invitation to each of the states to sendrndelegates to Philadelphia on May 14.rnCongress said the convention was “forrnthe sole and express purpose of revisingrnthe Articles of Confederation.” Becausernof latecomers, the convention finallyrnopened on May 25, 1787. Rhode Islandrnrefused to send delegates.rnOn September 17, the convention finishedrnits work, and 39 of the remainingrn42 delegates signed their approval ofrnwhat would become an experiment withrna new government by a confederation ofrnnations, should the required number ofrnstates called for in the proposal, nine, actuallyrnratify it. With the approval of thernninth state. New Hampshire, the oldrnUnion under the Articles of Confederationrnwas dissolved and the nine states secededrnfrom the remaining four. Whatrnhas been known ever since as the Constitutionrnof the United States not onlyrnformed our present government, but wasrnthe most subtle secession in the history ofrnthe world. So subtle, in fact, that fewrnAmericans, even yet, realize or comprehendrnthe silent revolution which tookrnplace on June 21, 1787. Nor have contemporaryrnstates’ rights advocates discoveredrnthe power and authority byrnwhich Founders made the Constitutionrneffective. The last paragraph of ArticlernVII says: “The ratification of the conventionsrnof nine States, shall be sufficient forrnthe establishment of this constitutionrnbetween the States so ratifying thernsame.”rnBecause the Founders’ experimentrnwith a new government had lasted such arnshort time under the Articles of Confederation,rnin spite of the fact that thosernArticles had declared in four places thatrnthe 13 states were a “union in perpetuity,”rnno mention of perpetual unionrnwas made in the Constitution. ThernFounders realized the foolishness of theirrnfirst mistake and refused to repeat it.rnAnd even if they had declared the presentrnConstitution as binding us in a perpetualrnunion, they knew that one generationrncannot bind the next to its laws andrnconstitution.rnVirginia, which came into the newrnunion only four days after New Hampshire,rnwas not about to take any chancesrnon anybody claiming “perpetuity” of thisrnnewest and latest experiment in government.rnShe reserved the right to secede inrnher written ratification of the Constitution.rnSo did the 11th state. New York,rnand the 13th, Rhode Island, as they followedrnVirginia’s lead. Rhode Island didrnnot bother to join the new experiment inrngovernment for almost two years, wellrnover a year after George Washington becamernPresident, and then only by a 32-30rnvote of her delegates. Rhode Island, inrnother words, remained outside the newrnUnion under the Constitution and operatedrnas an independent nation.rnThe above sketch of history is crucialrnto understanding the right of states tornform a second confederacy in violationrnof the requirement of the first compact.rnThe Articles of Confederation could bernamended only by unanimous consent,rnand they also required that the union ofrnthe former colonies be perpetual. Notrnonly did the present Constitution violaternthese two requirements, but it delegitimizedrnany future claim, such asrnPresident Lincoln’s during the Civil War,rnto the perpetuity of the union.rnThe single rule that made the proposedrnConstitution effective, to bring itrnto life and make it binding on the ratifyingrnstates, was its last paragraph. ArticlernVII. It simply said that if, or when, ninernstates adopted the proposal, those ninernwould have formed a new government,rnregardless whether the remaining fourrnstates in their current union ever joined.rnIt is this article that can give states’rnrightists the best chance of reestablishingrnthe Constitution as the Supreme Law ofrnthe Land and eliminating the innumerablernbad treaties and entangling alliancesrnand agreements with other nations. InrnLIBERAL ARTSrnONE MAN’S ART IS ANOTHER MAN’S . . .rnThe Albuquerque journal reported on January 18 that a municipal anti-graffiti crewrnmistook a mural for graffiti, failed to notice an inscription identifying it as part of arnpublic arts program, and painted over it. “We didn’t intentionally go out there to wipern, out a piece of art,” said Mike Trujillo, who oversees the city’s Graffiti Removal Services.rnThe cost of the mural was estimated at $ 15,400.rnMAY 1997/49rnrnrn