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Welcome

    • ConstitutionOn every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning can be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one which was passed.
  • Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823

 Welcome to Read The Constitution, Stupid and, no, the title of the website isn't aimed at you personally. The original idea was to orient the site to members of the federal government as a sort of put-on. However, over the recent past it has become clear that the problem is not simply one of poorly educated politicians, but rather includes the general body politic. This seems to be a result of an educational system that ignores the role of the Founders and the documents and discussion associated with the establishment of the Republic. Accordingly, Aristotle's fourth century BC admonition that the least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold is precisely what Jefferson was warning against. In order to understand our Founding documents, we must understand their meaning as originally intended and not what we, with a considerably different grammar and dictionary, believe them to mean. And the only way to attain that end is to familiarize oneself with their arguments, in their words, and with the meanings intended at the time. Absent such an understanding we will have lost our government of laws and replaced it with a government of wants and desires.

Read more: Welcome

Who Were The Founders?

The 55 delegates who attended the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia were a distinguished body of men who represented a broad cross section of 18th-century American political, military, and civil leadership.

Read more: Who Were The Founders?

A Miracle in Philadelphia

Between 1781 and 1785 there were attempts to correct the perceived weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation, but they all  failed to secure the required unanimous consent of the state legislatures.

Read more: A Miracle in Philadelphia

A Quick Question & Answer

Do you have questions about the Constitution, The Founders, or the history of the founding? This Q&A, taken from Sol Bloom's, 1937, The Story of the Constitution, may have the answer in a handy short form.

Read more: A Quick Question & Answer

Founder's Quotes

Every measure of prudence, therefore, ought to be assumed for the eventual total extirpation of slavery from the United States.... I have, throughout my whole life, held the practice of slavery in... abhorrence.

John Adams, letter to Evans, June 8, 1819


Did You Know?

Of the spelling errors in the Constitution, “Pensylvania” above the signers’ names is probably the most glaring.


A Government of Laws...

In the government of this Commonwealth, the legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or either of them; the executive shall never exercise the legislative or judicial powers, or either of them; the judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them; to the end that it may be a government of laws and not of men.

Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, A.D. 1780


Term Limit Congress
Do you support a Constitutional amendment to term limit members of the Senate and House of Representatives?
Do you support a Constitutional amendment to term limit members of the Senate and House of Representatives?
You must select at least one item to vote!

A Book You Should Read

Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican, Walter Harwell Bennett, ed. (Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama, 1978)