Wednesday, October 24, 2012
In 1810 a number of States proposed an Amendment to the US Constitution to eliminate nobels and those who could be bribed by nobels from US Citizenship. In the 1800s, Lawyers were considered minor nobels, Esquires, and for some people this implies some form of conspiracy theory. I'm not clear on why they believe it, but they think that the failure of this Amendment (which would have been the 13th, had it been ratified) somehow undermines the authority of the Federal Government.
The term "Thirteenthers" is sometimes used to refer to those who mistakenly believe this amendment was ratified or to those who would like to see ratification of this proposed amendment. The interesting thing about this story is that the Amendment was almost ratified, but in that time period, with some state legislators meeting every other year, the US kept adding states faster than they could ratify the bill. Ultimately, the amendment was forgotten, but since technically there is no limit on how long it can take to ratify, this amendment could still be put in the Constitution if the states created since 1810 were to consider it and 3/4ths of them successfully passed it.
If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain, any title of nobility or honour, or shall, without the consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office or emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the United States, and shall be incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under them, or either of them.