top illustration:

Indian at the bus stop.

Grant Park, Michigan at Randolph, Chicago, Illinois.

Laurel Lee (illustrator)

Ancient cities were tiny compared to Chicago and other major cities of the modern world.  They were the capitols of imperial homelands and the outlying provinces they conquered.

Imperialists conquered and empires grew for two purposes.  The secondary purpose was to enlarge the area of trade over which a specific group of profiteers had a monopoly.  Trade is risky and the profits of it small.  The larger the area, the larger the number of points between debits and credits.  The primary purpose of empires was, and still is to collect tribute from the conquered people.  Taxes are a synonym for tribute.

You pay taxes.  Do the math.  You're paying tribute to an empire that can't make up its mind if it wants to brag all over or hope you don't figure it out.

Imperial societies are often called pyramidal societies in homage to old Egypt, which controlled the future site of the Suez Canal so important to modern world trade, and stories of which tickled a lot of fancies.  But an imperial society looks a lot more like a pancake with an air bubble than a triangular pile of blocks with an apex on top.

When formal education in Europe and the American colonies was limited to the children of rich and powerful men, teachers obsessed on Ancient Greece and Rome and extolled their virtues far beyond reason.  With no other model for education, and with an eye on the bottom lines of their ledgers, middle class men at the production, banking and shipping domains of trade forced their sons to learn Latin and Greek so they could learn how the ancient generals conquered foreign lands and imperial legislatures kept the empires running.

The fundamental documents of the American Empire include the word Democracy rarely, if ever, but throw in the word Republic wherever possible.  Republic is not a synonym for Democracy.  Republic denotes pancake societies in which almost the entire population is slaves, and their owners have a private club and clubhouse where they meet from time to time to decide which next steps will be to their advantage. 

Each of the three key words of pancake societies have many synonyms, depending on time and place.  Slaves have been called serfs, peons, labor and middle management, and lots of other words, including slave.  Slaveowners have been called CEOs, directors, lords, nobles, patricians, and their equivalents in the many languages of the world.  The slaveowners' clubhouse has been named Court, Senate, Parliament, etc.

The alleged source or foundation of power that keeps the pancake society bubble from bursting is various.  Some imperialists bank on the power of war machines.  Some prefer architecture; and they commission the construction of huge edifices to overawe the people.  Some invent a powerful and punitive god or gods, commission the construction of a huge edifice to house the gods and their priests, and furnish the god's house with luxuries the slaves can never have for themselves.  The unattainable beauty in churches is the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down.  If a despot gets his power from religion, he'll kill everyone who doesn't believe in it,   People will pretend to believe to save their lives; and go to a church even if it's ugly.

Many experts think the true source of empires and enslavement is the cowardice and stupidity of slaves, but it's difficult to place blame accurately for ignorance and gullibility and the ease with which slaves can be beguiled.

The men who founded the United States retained legal terminology that the English used at the time though it was forced on them by Norman imperialists on behalf of the old pagan Roman Empire reconstituted as the new Holy Roman Empire.  The terms are confusing.  Post revolution, the people got a government Republican In Form, though they'd just waged a slave revolt.  Revolutionary leaders said government got its power from the people, and not from the machines of war, big buildings, or religion.  Then the leaders built government offices that paid homage to the most famous imperial buildings of Greece and Rome.  The leaders put a pyramid on their paper money, much of which they'd take back in Taxes after they printed it and put it into circulation.  They rode out with the machines of war to punish people who complained about taxes.

Oddly, the religions most popular with Americans originated in the birth of a child  at a time his parents were greatly inconvenienced by a long trip to pay tribute they couldn't afford to their Roman conqueror.  The conqueror couldn't care less that the child's mother had to give birth like an animal on a bed of straw in a stall.

Because the battle cries of the American Revolution ruled out Taxation; and because the allegation of Independence ruled out Tribute, there was no reason for Americans to have cities.  Cities had existed historically solely to make the collection of Taxes and Tribute easier for the Collector.  .

The concept of US government as a Federation of States is too jerry-built to hold up.  The idea is silly that each of 13 rebellious English colonies could be or was an Independent Nation-State with all the sovereign powers of the world's big and well established countries.  Nonetheless, revolutionaries drafted the 1774 Articles of Association, 1781 Articles of Confederation, and 1787 (September) Constitution as if they were international treaties like SEATO, OPEC, and EU.

Despite its fundamental silliness, the 1787 Constitution doesn't grant the so-called Federal Government a power to create and charter cities.  The 1787 Constitution also doesn't imply such a power for current and future so-called States.

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Tutorials are pdfs of Powerpoint presentations in notes page view.  Please click 'fit page' in your pdf reader.

Dartmouth v Woodward

US Supreme Court (1819)

0.6 mb

Corporation of Town of Detroit 1802-1805

Burton, CM & Detroit Trustees (1922)

2.2 mb

Massachusetts statutes revised

Commissioners & legislators of the Commonwealth (1835)

74.9 mb

Municipal corporation laws of England

Arnold, T.J. (1875)

18.2 mb

National Land System 1785-1820, volume 3

Treat, P.J. (1910)

5.9 mb

Municipal history of Boston

Quincy, J. (1852)

16.1 mb

New York City Charter

Kent, C & Common Council (1836)

12.40 mb

Books identified by author and publication date

are from Google and other internet libraries


Municipio Sassacorvaro, Marcha, Italy (2008).  www.flickr.com/photos/24437979@N08/2800256429

Baldwin, J.  The Mayor.  in Wonderful Piper.  in Baldwin's Readers, Third Year (1897).

Lund, A.G.  Stuyvesant and counsel prepare New York charter 1652.  www.digitalgallery.nypl.org

Thwing, A.H.  Hancock Tavern.  The crooked & narrow streets and alleys of the town of Boston 1635-1822 (1920).

ibid.  Liberty Tree.

Sanford, J. 1828 copy 1735 plan of New York, detail.  www.georgeglazer.com

Plan of Detroit 1831  Library of Congress Maps item ASP 10604.  American State Papers: Public Lands.

Materials are presented for educational purposes only.

I'm not a licensed attorney and  don't intend the materials presented here

to replace the services of licensed attorneys

I work alone on a small, fixed personal  income.  If you appreciate my work,

take advantage of it, and are able, please make a financial contribution.

Laurel Lee

Time For Democracy

Box 477235

1704 N. Milwaukee

Chicago, IL  60647-7235


practical applications