Year Three: Ratifying these Rankings
Another birthday for OKH means another year of ranking stuff.
Happy Okay History Anniversary, Everyone!
I appreciate your support. Whether you have been here since the beginning or just subscribed yesterday, I’m grateful you are here. It’s been a fun two years. Thank you.
Year Three is shaping up to be a good one. Even though it’s President’s Day, we will dive into the words written on parchment that created such an entity.
Thank you for reading Okay History. If you like my content, please consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
The United States Constitution is the law of the land that has guided the country since we messed up the first Constitution, the Articles of Confederation. In the spirit of your first marriage is your practice marriage, and your second marriage is the real deal, the 13 states divorced ourselves from such an unproductive relationship and found a prettier, kinder, and younger Constitution.
How did we get here? Well, the American Revolution was fought from 1775 until 1783. In the middle, we declared our independence on July 4, 1776, and approved the Articles of Confederation in November of the following year. That’s 1777 to Cousin Andrew, whom I found out this weekend still doesn’t open these emails. So I will keep referencing him until he does. Thank you for your service, Andrew.
The Articles were a decent attempt at governing, much like Okay History is a decent attempt at historical scholarship. The Articles are much like the Justice League from DC Comics. Both were run as friendships among members. Bigger states, such as New York and Virginia, had the most power, just like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Each had lesser-known members, like the Green Lantern, that hawk person, or the Flash, who benefited greatly from the cooler, more prominent, richer superheroes. Similarly, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Delaware filled out the billing for the states.
Unlike Okay History, the Articles were destined to fail because of that weak federal government, which didn’t allow Congress to tax, regulate important stuff like foreign trade, and couldn’t enforce things. It had to ask permission from the states and it had to be unanimous. Imagine being in a relationship where you had to get approval from thirteen different people. Perhaps you already do this in your day job.
Coming upon the seven year itch, members of Congress, guys who all looked the same and were only referred to by their full first names, got together to revise the Articles. Then, secretly, behind the back of the Articles, these powerful white men developed feelings for a stronger central government. Then they wrote a new Constitution, and in 1787 came out openly for a new relationship. Two years later, on March 4, 1789, The United States Constitution was created.
We have been married to this document ever since.
The original Constitution only had seven articles, which set up the system of government, the separation of powers between three branches of the federal government, the federal government separation of powers from the states, and finally, the method to amend. This document also denies me representation in any form of government while granting me the obligation to pay taxes. It’s awesome.
When I launched OKH, I began ranking the presidents, something I have done repeatedly through the years. I started with Trump and finished with Lincoln. In between, I made rankings that upset some people.
Last year I followed up by ranking the states for the first time ever. I started with Mississippi and ended with Montana, two states I have never been to. In between, I made rankings that upset some people.
So for Year Three – I’m ranking all of the amendments to the Constitution! Just as you had hoped! You’re welcome, friends! Prepare yourself to be upset!
For those of you that may need to learn how I rank history things, the formula is simple. I’ll provide the Good, Bad, and Ugly of each. I’ll also give you the reason for my rankings, which Anonymous will tell you will be capricious. A word I now know the meaning of.
This entire newsletter is about learning new things!
Did you know there are 27 amendments? Of course you didn’t; that’s why you have subscribed, to provide me the opportunity to explain them all to you. Here’s a list you can refresh or introduce yourself with.
Are you excited? I hope so. Year three!
Let’s get started by looking at a proposed amendment that would have easily been ranked number one had it been ratified.
District of Columbia Voting Rights Amendment
Year proposed: 1978
Year Ratified: It wasn’t. It died in 1985, like New Coke.
This amendment would have granted the residents of the District of Columbia, including yours truly, full representation in United States Congress, Electoral College, and the amendment process, along with deciding elections that were tied. It would repeal the Twenty-Third amendment, which granted the residents of DC three electoral votes in presidential elections.
DCVRA did not make the District a state. Congress still had complete authority over it but would grant it two Senators and 1 Congressperson.
The amendment ratification process had a time limit of seven years, which I don’t understand. It needed 38 states’ approval, and only 16 did.
Why wasn’t it ratified?
The 16th states that did ratify were mostly northern states. Surprisingly, Louisiana signed on in June 1984, making it the lone southern state. Most states didn’t even bring it up to vote because it likely would have allowed the cultural liberal elite to elect their radical liberal senators, voting for a leftist agenda that would ruin America and turn it into a socialist, Marxist, communist dystopia.
See, I’m already upset with these rankings and I have even started!
Okay, so Fridays in 2023 will feature the following:
Ask Me Anything – I’m rebranding Reader’s Request. Ask Me Anything sounds more proactive. So if you want to Ask Me Anything, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please take the time to ask me stuff. I have a brand for this segment, people, and I would like to use it.
Amendment Rankings – I haven’t finalized the list, so there is plenty of time to lobby me and then be upset when I rank your favorite amendment like 19th or something. Does anyone have a favorite amendment? We will find out together!
Random History Lessons – Like this one - about a guy who left the Supreme Court to run for president and then returned to the Court as Chief Justice. This one is technically a Reader’s Request, the first one in fact, but whatever. Oh, how about where I annotated a speech? That’s a pretty good example of randomness.
Finally, I’m working on another project that will expand my content into the weekends, which I hope to launch sometime this spring.
Year Three begins in earnest this Friday when I reveal the amendment that ranks last.
That’s #27, Cousin Andrew.
Comment below about which one you think will be last.
Have a great week! The Maundy Monday Newsletter returns to this space next week.