Even though September 17 is not a national holiday, it should be. On that day, in 1787, delegates from the 13 original states were in Philadelphia for the Constitutional Convention and our United States Constitution was created.
It is the best document ever written regarding governing a free people and nation.
The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was the first constitution of the United States, created during the Second Continental Congress. It was drafted on November 17, 1777, and was ratified on March 1, 1781, as war raged in our young nation. However, our Founders soon came to realize that the Confederation Congress, as it was called, had no real enforcement power.
Thus the need for a Constitutional Convention.
The purpose of the new convention was intended to "render the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of government and the preservation of the Union."
On September 8, a "Committee of Style and Arrangement" was appointed (Alexander Hamilton, William Samuel Johnson, Rufus King, James Madison, and Gouverneur Morris) in order to prepare a final draft. From the original 23 approved articles the committee paired it down to seven, along with a preamble and closing statement.
The document as presented was embraced by those who wanted a strong central government, led by the Federalists, including Hamilton, Madison (known as the "Father of the Constitution"), and John Jay, who published "The Federalist Papers" supporting their position.
As Madison proclaimed, "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce."
However, there were Founders who would not approve our Constitution without something added to guarantee rights of the states and the people and to actually limit the government. These people were known as Anti-Federalists and included Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson (principal author of our Declaration of Independence), Samuel Adams and George Mason ("Father of the Bill of Rights").
A battle of words, written and spoken, ensued, each side putting forth their arguments.
By June 21, 1788, our US Constitution was ratified with the minimum nine states needed. All 13 eventually voted yes on May 29, 1790, with Rhode Island being the final state to approve.
Perhaps Founder Benjamin Franklin summed it up best when he said, that he would accept the Constitution, "because I expect no better and because I am not sure that it is not the best."
In the end our Bill of Rights did become reality. The 10 amendments were created on September 25, 1789, and ratified on December 15, 1791.
It is more than worthwhile for all Americans to know and understand this vital document, thus arming yourself with the most powerful weapon to protect your rights and freedom...knowledge of our US Constitution and our Constitutional Republic (not Democracy).
Obtaining a copy of the award-winning Constitution movie, In Search of Liberty, and hosting a Constitution Day celebration on Tuesday, September 17, would be an ideal way to help educate and inform family and friends in a very entertaining way. If that day is inconvenient, make it happen on the weekend, as Constitution Week starts on the 17th and continues through the 23rd.
In the movie, a captivating statesman from America’s past takes a modern-day family on a series of wild adventures. With a spicy mix of humor, magic and logic, he opens their eyes to the origins and importance of our US Constitution, the degree to which it is under attack today and what can and must be done to save it.
Other relevant and important educational materials include The Federalist Papers and The Anti-Federalist Papers, both of which provide insight into the mindset of our Founders. As well, for more in-depth study you can enroll in a one-day Constitution Boot Camp from Building Blocks for Liberty or consider joining KrisAnne Hall's Liberty First University.
We must stay true to our US Constitution in order to safeguard freedom and liberty in America for ourselves and our posterity.
by Scott D. Welch, Patriot
Direct descendant of 8 Americans who fought in the Revolutionary War
Cousin of Patrick Henry