Multi-national unions of republics are uncommon, usually brief and seldom voluntary. America has had three of them, but we only got it right the second time. Uncertain why we succeeded when many others failed, we remain skeptical of changing the rules. The Europeans, on the other hand, are uncertain whether they want to follow the Confederate States of America toward extinction, or the United States of America toward world domination. When deeply considered, it is a hard choice.
- Articles of Confederation The Articles of Confederation were written by John Dickinson, modified by others. Officially unratified for five years, the country was ruled under them in Philadelphia, for thirteen. They taught many lessons, which we sometimes forget we had experienced.
- Confederation Congress, 1781-1789 New topic 2012-08-06 12:22:08 description
- ...Pre-Convention Events We had a varsity team, but we needed a plan.
- ..The Constitution Our Constitution was not a proclamation written by a convention. It was a negotiated contract for uniting thirteen sovereign independent states. Nothing like that had ever been done voluntarily, and few nations have matched it in two hundred years, even with the use of force.
- ..Tax and Fiscal Issues in the Constitution, Morris (1) For some founding fathers, monetary issues were all that mattered.
- ...Ratification, Bill of Rights and Other Amendments The 1787 Constitution lacked a Bill of Rights. Few except Madison himself were opposed to adding one, but many other delegates would have failed election without promising it. Negotiations at the Convention had proved so excitingly innovative that time ran out before the Convention had to adjourn with only a promise of a Bill of Rights, first thing.
- ..Constitution and Court Forget all those lawyer jokes you hear. The American legal profession can rightly be proud of the Federal Court System, an achievement of the whole profession. America may be legalistic and overlawyered, but that reflects the rule of law dominated by lawyers. Curiously, the leader of this creation, John Marshall, was not so much a legal theoretician as a relentless Federalist lawyer, determined to reshape the legal profession to be worthy of power.
- ...Pending and Later Amendments New topic 2012-08-01 19:06:55 description
- Unwritten Constitutional Modification It is so difficult to amend the Constitution, we mostly don't do it. Our system is to have the Supreme Court migrate slowly through several small adjustments, watching the country respond. Occasionally we have imported new principles, sometimes not entirely wise ones, adopted without the same seasoning.
- ...Potential New Constitutional Amendments New topic 2012-08-01 18:50:35 description
- ...Trying Out the New Constitution George Washington's first term as President was much like a continuation of the Constitutional Convention, with many of the same participants.
- The European Union New topic 2013-11-19 21:20:53 description
- ...Authorship of the Constitution There were seventy invited delegates to the Constitutional Convention. Fifty-five attended the sessions, and thirty-nine signed it. We believe the main contributions were made by seven or eight men. But you can never tell, for certain.