Ours was the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words: 'We the People.' 'We the People' tell the government what to do; it doesn't tell us. 'We the People' are the driver; the government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world's constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which 'We the People' tell the government what it is allowed to do.
'We the People' are free.
declaration of independence 1776
The significant aspect of the Declaration of Independence is that it changed the American "rebellion" against Great Britain into a "revolution." From April 19, 1775 until July 2, 1776 the war was being fought so the colonists could regain their rights as Englishmen that had been taken away by the British from 1763-1775. On July 2, 1776 the Second Continental Congress approved the resolution by Richard Henry Lee from Virginia that "these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved ......." This was truly a revolutionary statement.
ArTicles of Confederation 1781
The Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the United States, on November 15, 1777. However, ratification of the Articles of Confederation by all thirteen states did not occur until March 1, 1781. The Articles created a loose confederation of sovereign states and a weak central government, leaving most of the power with the state governments. The need for a stronger Federal government soon became apparent and eventually led to the Constitutional Convention in 1787. The present United States Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation on March 4, 1789.
The U.S. CONSTITUTION 1787
The U.S. Constitution is one of the most influential legal documents in existence. Since its creation some two hundred years ago, over one hundred countries around the world have used it as a model for their own. And it is a living document. It is one of the world's oldest surviving constitutions. And, while the Supreme Court continually interprets the Constitution so as to reflect a rapidly changing world, its basic tenets have remained virtually unchanged since its inception, and unchallenged as well. People quarrel over its interpretation, but never do they question the wisdom of its underlying principles. Imagine creating a document that governs your grandchildren's grandchildren's grandchildren! That's what the men of the 1787 Constitutional Convention did.
The Federalist Papers 1788
Beginning on October 27, 1787 the Federalist Papers were first published in the New York press under the signature of "Publius". These papers are generally considered to be one of the most important contributions to political thought made in America. The essays appeared in book form in 1788, with an introduction by Hamilton. Subsequently they were printed in many editions and translated to several languages. The pseudonym "Publius" was used by three man: Jay, Madison and Hamilton. The papers were meant to be influential in the campaign for the adoption of the Constitution by New York State. But the authors not only discussed the issues of the constitution, but also many general problems of politics.
U.S. CONSTITUTION AMENDMENTS 1789,1791,1992
On September 25, 1789, Congress transmitted to the state legislatures twelve proposed United States amendments of which the first two dealt with Congressional representation and Congressional pay. Numbers three through twelve were adopted by the states to become the Bill of Rights in 1791. So, in effect U.S. amendment number three of the proposed twelve is our First Amendment. There is normally a seven year time limit (with the possibility of an extension) for an amendment to be approved by three-fourths of the state legislatures (38 states) and to become a part of the Constitution. However, there were no time limitations set for the first twelve proposed amendments. Michigan became the thirty-eighth state to ratify the second proposed amendment that dealt with Congressional raises on May 7, 1992. Thus, two hundred and three years after it was introduced, the proposal placing restrictions on congressional pay raises became our twenty-seventh United States amendment and most immediate change to the Constitution.
Bill of Rights 1789
The first 10 amendments to the Constitution make up the Bill of Rights. Written by James Madison in response to calls from several states for greater constitutional protection for individual liberties, the Bill of Rights lists specific prohibitions on governmental power. The Virginia Declaration of Rights, written by George Mason, strongly influenced Madison. One of the many points of contention between Federalists and Anti-Federalists was the Constitution’s lack of a bill of rights that would place specific limits on government power. Federalists argued that the Constitution did not need a bill of rights, because the people and the states kept any powers not given to the federal government. Anti-Federalists held that a bill of rights was necessary to safeguard individual liberty. The Bill of Rights is a list of limits on government power.
The declaration of independence
The Articles of Confederation
The Articles of Confederation
The Bill of Rights- The First 10 Amendments
Principles of the Constitution
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