Constitution Day and Citizenship Day - September 17: Constitution Day
Celebrate Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, 2023
September 17 is designated as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787.
The Constitution of the United States of America by Mark TushnetThis book provides a critical introduction to the history and current meaning of the United States' Constitution. It is organised around two themes: Firstly, the U.S. Constitution is old, short, and difficult to amend. These characteristics have made constitutional 'interpretation', especially by the U.S. Supreme Court, the primary mechanism for adapting the Constitution to ever-changing reality. Secondly, the Constitution creates a structure of political opportunities that allows political actors, including political parties, to pursue the preferred policy goals even to the point of altering the very structure of politics. Politics, that is, often gives meaning to the Constitution. Deploying these themes to examine the structure of the national government, federalism, judicial review, and individual rights, the book provides basic information about, and deeper insights into, the way the U.S. constitutional system has developed and what it means today.
The Framers' Coup by Michael J. Klarman"Based on prodigious research and told largely through the voices of the participants, Michael Klarman's The Framers' Coup narrates how the Framers' clashing interests shaped the Constitution--and American history itself. ... Not only does Klarman capture the knife's-edge atmosphere of the convention, he populates his narrative with riveting and colorful stories. ... The Framers' Coup is more than a compendium of great stories, however, and the powerful arguments that feature throughout will reshape our understanding of the nation's founding. Simply put, the Constitutional Convention almost didn't happen, and once it happened, it almost failed. And, even after the convention succeeded, the Constitution it produced almost failed to be ratified. Just as importantly, the Constitution was hardly the product of philosophical reflections by brilliant, disinterested statesmen, but rather ordinary interest group politics. Multiple conflicting interests had a say, from creditors and debtors to city dwellers and backwoodsmen. The upper class overwhelmingly supported the Constitution; many working class colonists were more dubious. Slave states and nonslave states had different perspectives on how well the Constitution served their interests. Ultimately, both the Constitution's content and its ratification process raise troubling questions about democratic legitimacy. The Federalists were eager to avoid full-fledged democratic deliberation over the Constitution, and the document that was ratified was stacked in favor of their preferences. And in terms of substance, the Constitution was a significant departure from the more democratic state constitutions of the 1770s. Definitive and authoritative, The Framers' Coup explains why the Framers preferred such a constitution and how they managed to persuade the country to adopt it. We have lived with the consequences, both positive and negative, ever since." -- Publisher's website
The Origins of the American Constitution by Michael Kammen (Editor)Contains fundamental documents needed to understand the genesis and evolution of the United States Constitution—from the exploratory notions concerning the nature of constitutions in 1776, the Articles of Confederation in 1777, and various constitutional plans proposed at the Philadelphia Convention in 1787, to the advocacy position of “Publius” in the 21 most important Federalist papers and contrasting views offered by leading Anti-Federalist dissenters.