George Mason: In His Own Words eLesson

May 28th, 2013 by

George Mason: In His Own Words Although your school year might be winding down, at this time in 1787 the Founders were just getting started at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.  Learn more about Founder George Mason in this week’s eLesson. George Mason’s ideas helped to shape the Founding documents of the United States, but Read more…

Learn More About Gouverneur Morris eLesson

April 30th, 2013 by

Learn More About Gouverneur Morris eLesson Our latest eLesson is now available.  Sign up to have our eLessons emailed directly to you! Though James Madison has been given the title, “Father of the Constitution,” a case could be made that Gouverneur Morris was second in importance only to the Virginian in shaping the final version Read more…

James Madison and the Power of Judicial Review

July 19th, 2012 by

James Madison and the Power of Judicial Review This guest blog post was written by Dr. Jeffrey Broadwater, Professor of History at Barton College in Wilson, North Carolina. We think of judicial review—the power of a court to set aside a law as unconstitutional– as the primary means of enforcing the United States Constitution.  At Read more…

Washington’s Copy of the Constitution

June 14th, 2012 by

Washington’s Copy of the Constitution In 1789, the United States Constitution went into effect and George Washington was elected as the first leader of the country. If you know your early American history, you’ll remember that Washington was the president of the Constitutional Convention as well. Even though he was in attendance for much of Read more…

Countdown to the Constitution – Virginia Plan Debated

June 1st, 2012 by

Philadelphia – The end of May saw the Convention responding to the Virginia delegation’s bold plan. The Virginians had proposed replacing the Articles of Confederation – a task far beyond what many Convention delegates thought they were authorized to do – with a powerful national government. When proponents of this plan failed to win agreement Read more…

Anniversary of Benjamin Franklin’s Birth

January 17th, 2012 by

I am lucky enough to share a birthday with Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, and I wanted to make sure to remember him on this special day over 300 years after his birth. Franklin was born on January 17, 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts.  Although he was the old sage of the American Revolution and the Founding Read more…

Delaware: The First State

December 7th, 2011 by

On December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the new United States Constitution.  Delaware was concerned about their small size and lack of economic viability and decided that ratifying the Constitution would be in their best interest. . Because the Articles of Confederation did not provide an effective national government, a Constitutional Read more…

Countdown to the Constitution – Brearly Committee – Executive Branch

September 9th, 2011 by

It has become evident to the delegates that they cannot make the decisions about the executive independent of a conversation that discusses the executive’s election, term, powers, and removal in a holistic way. Thus the Brearly Committee is tasked with such a conversation. The result – Article II of the Constitution. Read on for some Read more…

Countdown to the Constitution – Reviewing Committee of Detail Report

August 29th, 2011 by

Philadelphia—The delegates, having now tackled topics as challenging as representation in Congress and several issues related to slavery, are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. But decisions remain related to the separation of powers between the three national branches, as well as to federalism: the assignment of powers between the Read more…

Countdown to the Constitution – Slavery

August 22nd, 2011 by

Philadelphia – When the Convention began their work in earnest in the spring of 1787, its delegates must have known that the complex issue of slavery would be a “make-or-break” matter for the new republic.  Indeed, the volatile issue would wait a full three months into the Convention before being tackled with any level of Read more…