Monday 20 October 2014
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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

There can be no prescription old enough to supersede the Law of Nature and the grant of God Almighty, who has given to all men a natural right to be free, and they have it ordinarily in their power to make themselves so, if they please.

James Otis, Jr., The Rights of British Colonies, 1764


Did You Know?

Of the Founding Fathers who became president, only George Washington did not go to college. John Adams graduated from Harvard, James Madison graduated from Princeton, and Thomas Jefferson attended the College of William and Mary.
 


A Government of Laws...

Article V - Amendment Process - United States Constitution

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.


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?
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A Book You Should Read

English Constitutional and Legal History, Colin Rhys Lovell (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1961)