New York City activist

December 24, 2007

“United States corporation” and the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871 – more anti-“banker” misinfo (disinfo?)

Recently, someone urged a bunch of us to Google “United States corporation.” Supposedly, we would thereby learn about some horrible legislation, passed by Congress back in 1871, which somehow managed to nullify the U.S. Constitution by changing “Constitution for the United States” to “Constitution of the United States.”

Offhand, it doesn’t seem likely to me that a law passed by Congress could change the wording of the Constitution itself. That would require a Constitutional amendment. When I asked for more details about the alleged law, the person who had brought it up said he hadn’t yet researched it in detail himself, but he urged us all to Google it ourselves anyway. He seemed to think it was terribly important that we all learn about this horrible betrayal of the American Republic.

Okay, here goes. I Googled it. To make my search more specific, I Googled “United States corporation 1871.”

The “Act of 1871” is the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871.

Most of the hullabaloo is about the word “corporation,” which is taken by some people to mean “private business entity.” For example, the top listed website screams, “The United States Isn’t a Country — It’s a Corporation!” Similarly, a website called GARKO has a page which points to the word “corporation” in horror, after quoting a page in Cornell University Law School’s U.S. Code collection as saying:

(15) “United States” means—

(A) a Federal corporation;

(B) an agency, department, commission, board, or other entity of the United States; or

(C) an instrumentality of the United States.

Supposedly the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871 turned the U.S. federal government into an incorporated private business venture owned by, guess who, “international bankers.” Some websites come right out and claim that it’s owned by the ubiquitous Rothschilds, while others talk more coyly about British bankers.

In fact, the words “corporation” and “incorporate” do have other meanings besides “private business entity.” They can refer not just to businesses and other private organizations, but also to governments. See, for example, the Wikipedia articles on Municipal corporation and incorporated town. For some examples of this usage, see also:

An online dictionary page for the word corporation gives, as the first definition: “An association of individuals, created by law or under authority of law, having a continuous existence independent of the existences of its members, and powers and liabilities distinct from those of its members.” Clearly this definition can apply not only to incorporated private businesses but also to private nonprofit organizations and also to governments as well.

Anyhow, back to the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871.

One of the websites I came across was a legal self-help site called Team Law. Hoping that such a site would be run by people who have actually studied the law, I read their Historical Outline page, of which the second and third paragraphs talk about the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871. There’s also a link to a Javascript window on “the effect of the District of Columbia Act of 1871.”

The Javascript window acknowledges that there might be controversy over Team Law’s “private corporation” interpretation: “Initial review of the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871 seems like it only sets up a local government (like Chicago or Seattle); how do you get that they formed a private corporation?”

Team Law’s rambly reply begins as follows:

If you take the Act out of its historical context and, from the present looking to the past, imagine who the parties involved are, we might agree. However, by doing that you will never understand what happened; therefore, to best understand what really happened we follow our:

Standard for Review

Rule 1: To understand any relationship you must:

  1. First understand who the parties are;
    1. Always know yourself first
    2. Discover the true nature of all other parties second
  2. Then you must understand the environmental nature of the relationship; and,
  3. Only then do the actual terms of the relationship begin to have meaning and bearing on the relationship.

Rule 2: To have any hope of understanding any particular situation in any relationship you must have first applied Rule 1, only then do the details of the situation in question have any meaning; therefore, review such details in accord with Rule 1 as well.

Somehow, I get the feeling that “know yourself” and “discover the true nature of all other parties” are euphemisms for “get yourself thoroughly steeped in our political ideology.”

Team Law then goes on to review some earlier history and then, finally, gets around to saying:

Knowing the government of the District of Columbia was already “created into a government” and so formed into a municipal incorporation in 1801 under the District of Columbia Acts, we wonder, even with Congress’ constitutional authority to pass any law within the ten mile square of the District, how do you create, or incorporate, for the first time a municipal government that has already been in existence as a municipal corporation for over 60 years? The obvious answer is, “It’s impossible!” There is no way to pass an “Organic Act” when the Charter Act is already in place, because the two words (organic and charter) have the same meaning — The First Act. Even Congress cannot change history; though historians can make it appear to change by rewriting it for those unwilling to study the past from the records. The records speak for themselves only if we study them.

I see nothing mysterious or impossible about a city’s old charter getting replaced by a new charter. Many other cities have re-written their municipal charters now and then. Does this mean that they, too, have all gotten turned into private business ventures owned by the Rothschilds?

There might conceivably be some constitutional issues involved in how one goes about changing a city’s charter, but Team Law doesn’t discuss these, other than to dismiss charter revisions as a priori “impossible” on the mere grounds that the word “charter” means “first.”

Back on the “Historical Outline” page, Team Law also claims:

Considering the fact that the municipal government itself was incorporated in 1808, an “Organic Act” (first Act) using the term “municipal corporation” in 1871 can only mean a private corporation owned by the municipality. Hereinafter we will call that private corporation, “Corp. U.S.” By consistent usage, Corp. U.S. trademarked the name, “United States Government” referring to themselves.


I don’t think I’m going to be asking Team Law for any legal advice.

Anyhow, the other alleged big deal is that the “United States corporation” which runs the District of Columbia was given, by the Act of 1871, a constitution similar to the U.S. federal Constitution except for a few small differences, such as “of” vs. “for,” and the use vs. non-use of capital letters. Supposedly these differences have vast and far-reaching legal significance. Perhaps they do, but I fail to see how these differences could affect the United States as a whole, rather than just the District of Columbia. Actually changing the federal Constitution itself would have required a Constitutional Amendment, which the Act of 1871 certainly wasn’t.

A website called Panopticon makes the following tangle of claims, anong others:

“Refer to any UNITED STATES CODE (USC). Note the capitalization; this is evidence of a corporation, not a Republic. For example, In Title 28 3002 (15) (A) (B) (C), it is unequivocally stated that the UNITED STATES is a corporation. Translation: the corporation is NOT a separate and distinct entity; it is not disconnected from the government; it IS the government — your government. This is extremely important! I refer to it as the ‘corporate EMPIRE of the UNITED STATES,’ which operates under Roman Civil Law outside the original Constitution. How do you like being ruled by a corporation? You say you’ll ask your Congressperson about this? HA!! “Congress is fully aware of this deception. So it’s time that you, too, become aware of the deception. What this great deception means is that the members of Congress do NOT work for us, for you and me. They work for the Corporation, for the UNITED STATES. No wonder we can’t get them to do anything on our behalf, or meet or demands, or answer our questions.

“Technically, legally, or any other way you want to look at the matter, the corporate government of the UNITED STATES has no jurisdiction or authority in ANY State of the Union (the Republic) beyond the District of Columbia. Let that tidbit sink in, then ask yourself, could this deception have occurred without full knowledge and complicity of the Congress? Do you think it happened by accident? If you do, you’re deceiving yourself.

The federal government and the DC government are both governments. As governments, they both are also “corporations” in the general sense of that word. They are distinct governments, though these two governments overlap because Congress has authority in both.

I won’t bother to discuss the oodles of other websites by people who think that the word “corporation” can only mean “private business entity.”

Looking now at the Wikipedia article about Washington, D.C., I find the following:

The District of Columbia and the city of Washington are governed by a single municipal government and for most practical purposes, are considered to be the same entity. This has not always been the case: until 1871, when Georgetown ceased to be a separate city, there were multiple jurisdictions within the District.[3] Although there is a municipal government and a Mayor, Congress has the supreme authority over the city and district, which results in citizens having less self-governance than residents of the states. The District has a non-voting at-large Congressional representative.

So apparently the point of the Act of 1871 was to consolidate what were once separate towns in the District of Columbia into one big city.

As I mentioned earlier, Congress has authority in both the federal government and the DC government. But this doesn’t mean that the two governments are identical. Thus it does not mean that the legal authority of the federal government is limited only to Washington, D.C., any more than it means that the Act of 1871 changes the federal Constitution for the entire U.S.A.

So there. I’ve done the requested research on this topic, as much of it as I care to. Hopefully now I can get back to researching 9/11.

I sure hope the 9/11 Truth movement doesn’t get caught up in the nonsense about the Act of 1871.

Several websites either carry or link to the article “The United States Isn’t a Country — It’s a Corporation!” by Lisa Giuliani, who, it turns out, was apparently one of a bunch of insensitive jerks who disrupted the Ground Zero memorial service on 9/11/2005, according to the Break For News page CIA Fakes Smear 9/11 Movement with Media, Families, which cites a Village Voice article, “9-11 Conspiracists Invade Ground Zero,” by Sarah Ferguson, September 12, 2005. Lisa Guiliani also is, or at least was, one of the hosts of Wing TV, a general far-right anti-Illuminist outfit. (Nico Haupt says she was gone form Wing TV as of Thursday, November 9, 2006.)

We need to avoid getting caught up in nonsense, especially the kinds of nonsense that are spread by Jew-haters, who are the originators of much of the anti-“banking system” folklore that pops up in too many 9/11 Truth videos. For more about this, please see the links in my post Please do NOT trust Eustace Mullins as an authority on the Federal Reserve System!. (See especially the very informative debate about the Federal Reserve System that begins on page 3 of the thread We Are Change – September threads on right wing views in the Truth Action forum.) Ditto for nonsense spread by other kinds of racists and religion-based bigots, of course, not just Jew-haters.



  1. It is easy to conclude what you have concluded when you look at it from a narrow perspective. If our government is a Corporation out of another country then international law applies. Maritime law is the law of the sea and is used by international bankers. These laws have been around for thousands of years and America has been the only county recorded history to be sovereign. Look up the word sovereign then look up the word person in a law dictionary. Also why do we need a marriage license? Its a three party contract. Everything we do today is on paper and under contract.

    Comment by advhuman — August 25, 2008 @ 4:43 pm | Reply

  2. The De Jure, (Original) Constitution is founded under the Common Law.

    It is a Declaration in Law in which We The People Declare “our” authority over our government of limited consent.

    We enumerate very specific and narrow and extremely “limited” consent to our public servants to administer Our government.

    Congress had no authority to change the De Jure Constitution without a constitutional convention.

    You should be aware that in legal land, the capitalization and precise wording of a document is critical as it can completely change its meaning and intent to the exact opposite with little effort. That is why you hire an attorney to handle your legal matterss. It takes years of study for some to fully understand the nuances involved.

    You have rationalized this event in laymans terms but unless you have actually put in an effort to seriously study Con Law these nuances will continue to escape you. I can cite several instances of supreme court and relevant case law to debate you on the issue and demonstrate my point but that goes beyond the scope of this response.

    I am not sure how you intended the racism and bigotry to apply to this so I cannot comment on that portion.

    In any case you should know there is a world of difference between a corporate charter and a Common Law Declaration.

    Comment by unionofstates — December 25, 2008 @ 4:36 pm | Reply

  3. You need to do a little more digging then that. Just because you “don’t think” that something “would have” happened just because it isw unlikely or unreasonable in your own opinion, means exactly nothing. Lawyer Gerry Spence, who is fully aware of the corporate nature of the UNITED STATES INC. (as opposed to the country created/founded by the original Constitution, the United states of America), has never lost a criminal case and has not lost a civil case since 1969. Now if this corporate UNITED STATES did not exist, how would they be able to have employees, such as governors and judges, while the actual United states of America had no offices filled? Or rather, how would those who have recently ran for such positions have actually been able to fill them?

    Comment by mewgirl723 — February 22, 2009 @ 7:09 pm | Reply

  4. You need to ask yourself “why” would they change it? This made a “citizen” subservient to Congress instead of how it nwas intended. Just look around and you can see what a Corporatized Constitution has brought us. One other point, America was bankrupt and the International banksters took full advantage. Is this a shill site?

    Comment by yuvbinduped — July 3, 2009 @ 5:29 pm | Reply

  5. If it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck….is not conclusive, it may well be another man made contrivance…cognitive dissonance may become an active factor..

    Comment by wmdcrain — July 24, 2009 @ 6:18 pm | Reply

  6. yeah, I googled the author of that “United States is not a Country It’s a corporation” article, Lisa Giuliani, not too much, maybe a facebook, linkedin account.. Thanks for your analysis.

    Comment by vrajavala — August 28, 2009 @ 9:19 pm | Reply

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