Constitution Day Trivia Tidbits

constitutionSeptember 17 marks Constitution Day, the day in 1787 on which delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the United States Constitution. Yesterday, the ABA Journal posted an interesting article to celebrate. The article contains 10 lesser-known facts about our Constitution, including these:

  • Most voters today would not have had the right to vote under the original Constitution. Voting rights were limited to propertied white males.
  • The word “God” never appears in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. The source of all government power is in “the People.”
  • The word “democracy” never appears in the Constitution or Bill of Rights. James Madison and Alexander Hamilton claimed in the Federalist Papers that democracies were a disaster.
  • The First Amendment was not originally first. It started out as the third. For that matter, the Second Amendment was not originally the second. The original first and second amendments dealt with the size of Congress and with issues relating to Congress’s pay.

See here for the rest of the facts, and test your knowledge of the Constitution with the short quiz How well do you know the U.S. Constitution at the bottom of the page. It’s not as easy as you’d think! Next week, I’ll post on Professor Chad Oldfather’s interesting Constitution Day presentation on constitutional interpretation.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Patrick O'Keefe

    I would argue that the Constitution not only mentions God, but specifically names Jesus as God in the ratification clause: “in the Year of Our Lord.” This usage is indicative of the deism that was so ingrained, and assumed, in the days of our forefathers.

    That being said, I concede, the premise that the power of governance belongs to “the People” may yet be a more challenging, and evasive concept.

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