Contact  |  About us

General Welfare Clause

The "general welfare clause" of the United States Constitution is found in Article I Section 8, which begins:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

The debate soon began over the limits which should be imposed on the Constitution's intent for the term "general welfare." James Madison, debated the question of a "bounty" (which today would probably be called a subsidy) to be paid to fishermen that would effectively reverse a tariff on salt that they needed. He said:

If Congress can apply money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may establish teachers in every State, county, and parish, and pay them out of the public Treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may undertake the regulation of all roads, other than post roads.

Madison's examples were intended to astonish his readers. In the subsequent two centuries, the federal government has interpreted the general welfare clause to permit it to do every one of the items Madison mentioned, to one degree or another.

Off-site search results for "General Welfare Clause"...

Siege of Detroit
... with knives and scorched with fire, floated down on the pure waters of the Detroit, whose fish came up to nibble at the clotted blood that clung to their ghastly faces. "The Indians, fearing that the other barges might escape as the first had ...
http://www.adena.com/adena/usa/im/im003.htm

Index of /al/detroit
Index of /al/detroit Name Last modified Size Description Parent Directory 11-Mar-2004 21:10 - 00-Tigershistory.gif 26-Mar-2006 09:47 8k 00-Tigerslogos.gif 07-Apr-2006 17:48 9k 00-Tigerspics.gif 07-Apr-2006 17:48 28k 10-Tigersbanner.gif 26-Mar ...
http://www.sportsecyclopedia.com/al/detroit

The Hair Buyer of Detroit
... Work Projects Administration During the American Revolution, the very name of Detroit was enough to send a shudder through every American patriot. That was when the settlement's British governor, Henry Hamilton, was known as 'the Hair Buyer ...
http://www.adena.com/adena/usa/im/im004.htm

privacy policy