U.S. Constitution

Madison's Music: On Reading the First Amendment

Submitted by FHMaster on Fri, 01/20/2017 - 13:22

" Are you sitting down? It turns out that everything you learned about the First Amendment is wrong. For too long, we’ve been treating small, isolated snippets of the text as infallible gospel without looking at the masterpiece of the whole. Legal luminary Burt Neuborne argues that the structure of the First Amendment as well as of the entire Bill of Rights was more intentional than most people realize, beginning with the internal freedom of conscience and working outward to freedom of expression and finally freedom of public association.

The Framers' Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution

Submitted by FHMaster on Sat, 01/14/2017 - 23:49

"Americans revere their Constitution. However, most of us are unaware how tumultuous and improbable the drafting and ratification processes were. As Benjamin Franklin keenly observed, any assembly of men bring with them "all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests and their selfish views." One need not deny that the Framers had good intentions in order to believe that they also had interests.

The First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington, and a Group of Extraordinary Men Invented the Government

Submitted by FHMaster on Sat, 01/14/2017 - 11:40

"The little known story of perhaps the most productive Congress in US history, the First Federal Congress of 1789–1791.

The First Congress was the most important in US history, says prizewinning author and historian Fergus Bordewich, because it established how our government would actually function. Had it failed—as many at the time feared it would—it’s possible that the United States as we know it would not exist today.

Democracy Reborn: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Fight for Equal Rights in Post-Civil War America

Submitted by FHMaster on Tue, 01/10/2017 - 15:03

"A riveting narrative of the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, an act which revolutionized the U.S. constitution and shaped the nation's destiny in the wake of the Civil War

Though the end of the Civil War and Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation inspired optimism for a new, happier reality for blacks, in truth the battle for equal rights was just beginning. Andrew Johnson, Lincoln's successor, argued that the federal government could not abolish slavery. In Johnson's America, there would be no black voting, no civil rights for blacks.

The Debate on the Constitution Part Two: Federalist and Antifederalists Speeches, Articles, & Letters During the Struggle over Ratification, January to August 1788

Submitted by FHMaster on Fri, 01/06/2017 - 20:15

"The Debate on the Constitution charts the course of the bloodless revolution that created the government of the United States and the world’s oldest working political charter. Here, on a scale unmatched by any previous collection, is the extraordinary energy and eloquence of our first national political campaign.