Is the Constitution Still Relevant? | Constitution Minute

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The U. S. Constitution is the key to securing liberty for all Americans — yet few know exactly what it says, and what freedoms it protects. These videos are meant to give a simple and quick understanding of key aspects of the U.S. Constitution.  This video message is proudly presented by Hillsdale College, dedicated to promoting civil discourse and the principles of liberty and limited government.

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In the ongoing debate over the relevance of the United States Constitution in the modern era, critics often point to its origins in the 18th century as evidence of its outdatedness. Indeed, certain passages may appear antiquated at first glance, such as the prohibition against titles of nobility outlined in Article 1, Section 9. However, upon closer examination, one realizes that these seemingly archaic provisions are rooted in timeless principles that continue to resonate today.

Consider the injunction against titles of nobility. While it may appear quaint in our egalitarian society, its underlying purpose remains as pertinent as ever: to safeguard against the concentration of power and the erosion of the rule of law. By prohibiting the government from bestowing special privileges upon certain individuals or groups based on their social status, the Constitution seeks to uphold the principle of equal treatment under the law.

In today’s context, where crony capitalism and favoritism often undermine fair competition and economic justice, the wisdom of this constitutional provision becomes strikingly evident. Crony capitalism, characterized by government intervention to benefit select businesses or individuals at the expense of others, directly contradicts the spirit of the Constitution. It fosters a system where success is determined not by merit and innovation, but by political connections and influence.

By adhering to the constitutional prohibition against titles of nobility and similar practices, the United States seeks to uphold the integrity of its democratic institutions and promote a level playing field for all citizens. In doing so, it reaffirms its commitment to the principles of fairness, equality, and the rule of law upon which the nation was founded.

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Far from being outdated, the Constitution remains a living document that continues to guide and inspire us in our pursuit of a more perfect union. Its timeless principles serve as a bulwark against the encroachments of tyranny and injustice, reminding us of the enduring value of the freedoms and liberties we hold dear.

In conclusion, while some may dismiss certain provisions of the Constitution as relics of a bygone era, a closer examination reveals their enduring relevance and importance in today’s world. As we navigate the challenges of the 21st century, let us remember the wisdom of those who crafted this remarkable document and strive to uphold its principles for generations to come.


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The prohibition against titles of nobility serves several important purposes:

  1. Preservation of Republican Values: The framers sought to establish a government based on republican principles, where power derives from the consent of the governed rather than from hereditary privilege. By prohibiting titles of nobility, they aimed to ensure that all citizens were equal before the law and that no individual or class would hold special privileges or advantages based on birth or social status.

  2. Prevention of Corruption and Influence: By forbidding government officials from accepting titles, presents, or emoluments from foreign powers without congressional consent, the Constitution aims to safeguard against corruption and undue influence. This helps to maintain the independence and integrity of government institutions and ensures that officials prioritize the interests of the American people rather than those of foreign entities.

  3. Protection of Meritocracy: The prohibition against titles of nobility reinforces the idea of a meritocratic society where individuals are rewarded based on their abilities, achievements, and contributions rather than their social status or connections. This promotes fairness, encourages innovation, and fosters social mobility by allowing individuals to rise based on their talent and hard work rather than their lineage or privileged upbringing.

In summary, Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution, specifically the prohibition against titles of nobility, reflects the framers’ commitment to republican values, integrity in government, and the principles of meritocracy. It serves as a foundational principle in ensuring equality before the law and preventing the concentration of power and privilege in the hands of a select few.

The author generated this text in part with GPT-3, OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model. Upon generating draft language, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the language to their own liking and takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.



  • Clause 8 Titles of Nobility and Foreign Emoluments
  • No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

    • ArtI.S9.C8.1  Overview of Titles of Nobility and Foreign Emoluments Clauses
    • ArtI.S9.C8.2  Historical Background on Foreign Emoluments Clause
    • ArtI.S9.C8.3  Foreign Emoluments Clause Generally
    • ArtI.S9.C8.4  Titles of Nobility and the Constitution
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views the Virginia Christian Alliance

About the Author

Virginia Christian Alliance
The mission of the VIRGINIA CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE is to promote moral, social and scientific issues we face today from a Biblical point of view. In addition we will refute and oppose, not with hate, but with facts and humor, the secular cultural abuses that have overridden laws and standards of conduct of the past. We will encourage Christians to participate in these efforts through conferences, development of position papers, booklets and tracts, radio/TV spots, newspaper ads and articles and letters-to-the editor, web sites, newsletters and providing speakers for church and civic meetings.