Monday, September 17, 2007

We the People

Sept. 17, 1787: The Constitution of the United States is signed by 39 men after a summer of debate. It is then sent to the states for ratification.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Some cool Constitution-related websites:

National Constitution Center

Library of Congress

From the "coincidence or not?" department:

Sept. 17, 1796: President George Washington delivers his "Farewell Address" to the press before concluding his second term in office.


Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

A great day, indeed. Although, it should be mentioned that the representatives from Georgia walked out and refused to sign it, although the state did end up ratifying it later (after the required number of states had done so and Georgia was forced in to the Union). The reason? Why, slavery! Specifically, the 3/5ths clause - they wanted slaves counted fully. It is ironic that the slave-holders only considered them human beings for the purposes of the census, while the northern states, some of which had already outlawed it, did not want them counted at all.

Unknown said...

I enjoyed learning about this while studying for citizenship. There was so much I didn't know. It was a good opportunity to broaden my understanding by searching further. Fascinating.

Charles D said...

The Constitution is truly one of the greatest achievements of our nation. It is a great pity that we have strayed so far from Constitutional government. In the last 6 years, we've lost many of our rights and as our forefathers knew too well, rights are difficult to gain but easy to lose.

Like all human creations, the Constitution is flawed but through the generations brave men and women have fought to correct those flaws and extend the benefits of freedom to all of our people.

Now we must decide whether the central values of our Constitution can continue - separation of powers, the limited Executive, the Bill of Rights - in the face of strong pressure against them from the Executive Branch and weak defense from the Legislative.

Unknown said...

Love it. More of this nation needs to learn of our true history and the strength and courage of the men who fought and died so they can be the blithering idiots they are today. Thanks for posting about this.

Cameron said...

Georgia was the 4th state to ratify the Constitution, and one of only three that did so unanimously.

Rhode Island was the final state to ratify, coming much after everyone else and after the country had been pretty much established and running for some time.

Here is an interesting discussion on slavery and the constitution, including the 3/5 clause.

The Constitution and the events surrounding its creation and ratification are fascinating. There were powerful forces lined up for and against it for various reasons, but in the end an incredible document was produced.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Along with The Federalist Papers, a good read is the collection of Anti-Federalist Papers, of whom one of the authors was Patrick Henry.

Rebecca Talley said...

Great post. I need to study the Constitution more so I can understand it better. Thanks for the links.