Bayern, USA, Deutschland

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

U.S. Constitution

On June 21, 1788 the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The Constitutional Convention had written the document on September 17, 1787. It took nine months for nine of the thirteen States to vote to adopt it, and it thus became law. I grew up in Maryland which was the seventh State to adopt the Constitution and I live in New Jersey which was third State to adopt it.

The Constitution replaced the ineffective Articles of Confederation that was the ruling document among the States from 1781-1788. The Federal government lacked the authority to do things that a country needs to do to run effectively.

Howard Chandler Christy painted the renowned "Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States" in 1940.

America is a hybrid of values influenced by Christianity and 18th Century Enlightenment/legal codes. Daniel Hannan's The New Road to Serfdom: A Letter of Warning to America (2010) is a delightful British commentary on America, the Revolution, and the Constitution. One of the points Hannan makes is that the Revolution was a working out of the struggle in England that England could not or would not ultimately engage in but the colonists across the pond could and did. He makes solid arguments that the Constitution is based on English law and jurisprudence.

No comments: