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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

Notable Quotes

To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.

Attributed to Calvin Coolidge, the White House, December 12, 1924. Unverified.


Founder's Quotes

No government can flourish unless it be founded on the affection of the people

Patrick Henry, Foreign Wars, Civil Wars, and Indian Wars—Three Bugbears, June 9, 1788


Did You Know?

Benjamin Franklin was so stricken with gout in his old age that he had to be carried to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 on a divan chair by inmates of a nearby jail.


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

From Parchment to Power: How James Madison Used the Bill of Rights to Save the Constitution, Robert A. Goldwin (Washington: American Enterprise Institute, 1997)