Category Archives: Beginnings (1787-1801)

1787 –Liberty, Justice, and Union

National Constitution Center, March 18, 2008

“The document they produced was eventually signed but ultimately unfinished. It was stained by this nation’s original sin of slavery, a question that divided the colonies and brought the convention to a stalemate until the founders chose to allow the slave trade to continue for at least twenty more years, and to leave any final resolution to future generations.  Of course, the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within our Constitution – a Constitution that had at its very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time.”

–Barack Obama, Philadelphia, March 18, 2008

The opening … Read the rest

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1792 (Compromising for Union) James Madison

Courtesy of Wikimedia

Describing the stark choice that confronted the 55 men who met in Philadelphia during the summer of 1787, James Madison once wrote about the Constitution that “Every word … decides a question between power & liberty.”

Source:  “Charters,” The National Gazette, January 19, 1792; available in The Writings of James Madison, 1790-1802, Volume 6, Edited by Gaillard Hunt, available via Google BooksRead the rest

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