All people who have lived in the United States or who were born in that country know something about the United State’s Constitution. Many of us think of it with pride, although many of us do not know the history surrounding it or the full significance of the document. We are correct to think of it as important; the U.S. Constitution is the foundation of the country’s government. It is the blueprint for this nation and was designed with a specific purpose in order to create a very specific form of government. If you have a chance to read it I highly recommend it. While it may seem somewhat difficult, much of the document is quite straightforward. It offers a window onto life in the eighteenth century, but it also suggests a great deal about life in the United States today. As you envision the founding fathers of the United States thinking about this document, never forget that it is more than just a piece of history. It continues to shape the country in interesting ways. The debates regarding the constitution are endless, but there are some definite things you can learn about the document. Here are some basic facts:
1. The U.S. Constitution divides the government into its three branches: the legislative, judiciary, and the executive. It describes the different powers allotted to each of these branches and talks about how they are supposed to relate and help each other. The constitution made sure that no single branch of the government could have too much power, like czarsâ€”it spread the power around to avoid the dictatorship of a single person or group.
2. The Constitution also outlines the procedures for going to war. It states that the President becomes the commander and chief of the country’s armies in a time of war.
3. The amendments or changes to the United State’s Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights, a very important document in United State’s government. The first ten amendments to the Constitution are what we call the Bill of Rights, although there have been a total of twenty seven amendments.
4. The actual United State’s Constitution was adopted on September 17th, 1787 in Philadelphia at the National Convention. The father of the Constitution was a man named James Madison.
5. An interesting and less known fact is that the Constitution actually had a clause that stated that slavery would be abolished in twenty years after its signing. The fact that this issue was not quickly resolved might have led to the civil war.
Just looking at these basic facts should help you to see just how important the United State’s Constitution really was and is to this day. That group of men in Philadelphia made a remarkable change in world history that still affects our lives greatly. The Constitution is a fairly complicated document that has given rise to tremendous debate and argument. There were some fairly vague parts that have been worked out over the years. The document began by stating that “We the people”, suggesting that it was indeed for the people and by the people. It was a fairly radical document given the historical situation at the time. The fact that we can argue about it and discuss it as average Americans helps to show that the government it created truly was for the people and by the people. Just reading the Constitution can be fun because it is both clearly and beautifully written, and because it clearly outlines the structure of the country. Take some time to read it soon.
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I am bothered by a number of statements on this page. The inaccuracies are disturbing. The president is the commander-of-chief all the time, not just during wartime. Oddly history gives much credit to Madison, but I would credit others more. George Washington is commonly known as the “father” of the country, not just for being the first president but also because of the significant role he played in the eight-year war with Britain and in his push to amend the Articles of Confederation and turn us from a confederation of states into the centralized nation we still struggle with today. Governor Morris, one of the delegates to the congressional convention of 1787, took many pages of writings and honed them down to the basic form of the adopted constitution. Regarding slavery, the clause just banned the importation of slaves in 20 years, not the end of slavery.
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