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About This Site

Federal Convention

Welcome to Read The Constitution, Stupid. The purpose of this site is to better connect you to the Founding Documents of the United States.

The Constitution is today under attack from several sources, all of which seem to take the position that it is outdated and a roadblock to their changing America. If you think otherwise, welcome. If you’re undecided, welcome. If you think the Constitution is, in fact, outdated, welcome. Our goal is to assist you to come to your own conclusion that it is the Constitution, and not the government it instantiated, that is the key to your liberty.

We believe that the Constitution is not outdated and it was, and remains, the finest political governing document to have ever been produced by the mind of humankind. We believe further that its purpose was simple…to protect your possession and exercise of the intrinsically unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as described by the Declaration of Independence. Those rights are the birthright of every human and we are fortunate to live in a country that understands that gift and has adopted a form of government that has as its purpose their affirmation and protection.

We see a deep connection between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, which is easy to understand and appreciate, but has been ignored by our educational system and politicians. Additionally, we consider it vital that a citizen understand that relationship in its original sense. Absent an appreciation of the original sense and direction of the Founding and Framing Documents, how can one argue that it is today somehow inadequate? Or, for that matter, argue in their defense?

Accordingly, we want you to explore the Founding and Framing Documents in their own milieu and in the words of the Founders and Framers. Only in that way will you be prepared to assess their contemporary value in a meaningful sense as a responsible citizen. In that vein, it’s important to understand that the role citizen is arguably the most important office in the government. Without an educated, informed, involved, and moral citizenry our government cannot work…a point the Founder’s made abundantly clear in their correspondence and conversation. And that’s our goal…to assist you to become a better citizen.

To that end, the website is set up as follows:

The Main Menu  consists of the following items and will expand over time:

Document Collection

The Constitution - A group of choices presenting the Constitution in several ways including James Madison’s Notes on the Federal Convention and Max Farrand’s Records of the Federal Convention. Explore this section to become more familiar with the Constitution.

Union - An essay, credited to the Library of Congress, on the early history and founding of the United States.

Roadmap - An overview of the various steps which led to the adoption of the Constitution

Articles - The full text of the seven Articles of the Constitution

Amendments

Bill of Rights - The full text of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.

Additional Amendments - The full text of the remaining eighteen amendments.

Annotated Versions

Constitution as Amended - An analysis of the Constitution produced by the 110th Congress.

Constitutional Analysis - The content of the CRS Annotated Constitution was prepared by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) at the Library of Congress.

Convention Notes - Offers the full text of two excellent sources for information on the Constitutional Convention: James Madison's Notes of the Federal Convention of 1787, Max Farrand's Records of the Federal Convention, and Johnathan Elliot's five volume documentary of the State Ratification debates.

Credentials - Provides the credentialing documents for the various delegates/States to the Federal Convention

Ratification

Debate - Offers access to the various debates in the State ratification assemblies.

Documents - Provides the various ratification documents from the several States.

Pre Colonial - An original document collection of the pre-colonial era

Colonial – An original document collection of the Colonial era thru the beginning of the Revolution

Revolution - An original document collection of the Revolutionary era.

Founding – An original document collection of the Founding era subdivided into the two major camps – Federalists and Anti-federalist. These documents will provide you the best insight into the meaning of the Constitution and what the Founder’s actually thought. Explore both sides and you will have a very different view than when you began.

Post Founding – An original document collection of the post-founding era.

Presidential Addresses - A collection of presidential addresses and documents. It currently contains material from the first six Presidents and will be expanded to all Presidents over time.

Library

A collection of several hundred books, in text format, from around the world, many which served as references to the Founding Fathers. Others are historical references about the Founding and American history. All are in the public domain. This section is continuously "under construction."

Goodies

A collection of miscellaneous materials we'll let you explore by yourself, including several quizzes by which you can test your knowledge...you might be surprised.

School-House

A collection of self-paced lessons and associated learning material on the Founding Documents and other related topics. You'll be able to test your knowledge of the Founding Period. This section is continuously "under construction."

Forum

A place to discuss the Founding Documents with others. You must request registration to this aspect of the website in order that we can do our bets to ensure a civil environment and honest discussion and debate.

Blog

A place for us to express our views on various topics.

We hope your time spent here results in your having a greater appreciation and respect for, and knowledge of, our Founding Documents and the Founding Fathers.

Thanks for stopping by and God Bless America.

 

Notable Quotes

Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

Ronald Reagan


Founder's Quotes

Suspicion is a virtue as long its object is the preservation of the public good....Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel.

Patrick Henry, 1788


Did You Know?

James Wilson (1742-1798), a signer of the Constitution from Pennsylvania, returned to Pennsylvania after the Constitutional Convention and played a major role in its successful ratification. He served on the United States Supreme Court (1789-1798) and as a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania. He was deeply involved in questionable land deals and soon got himself in severe financial difficulty. While visiting a fellow Supreme Court Justice, James Iredell in Edenton, North Carolina, Wilson had a nervous breakdown. He died a pauper in 1798.


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

The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms, Stephen Halbrook (Chicago, IL: Ivan R. Dee, 2008)