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Monday, September 17, 2007

U S Constitution - September 17, 1787

Today is Constitution Day here in the USA. Parent Dish has an interesting post on teaching the Constitution in our schools.

I posted about this last year - how many of us have ever read the entire thing? How many kids know the first ten Amendments comprise the Bill of Rights? How many know what our rights are?

Here's a start.


We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Bill of Rights

The Preamble to the Bill of Rights:

(Ignore that strange little "edit". I don't want to delete any of Wikipedia's code.)

Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.
ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.[27]

[edit] Amendments

  • First Amendment – Freedom of religion, speech, press, and peaceable assembly as well as the right to petition the government.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
  • Eighth Amendment – Prohibition of excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
  • Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.


Gina said...

I think our president needs to read this.

Janice Seagraves said...

Hi Ann,

I had no idea that was today I'm glad you posted it.

I have read the consitution before and helped my daughter memorize the preamble two years ago for the eighth grade.


ipm said...

I learned the preamble via Schoolhouse Rock, and the kids followed as well...

ta love!

The Future Was Yesterday said...

I had an "awful" eighth grade teacher who insisted that be all we studied, for an entire marking period (six weeks).

I can not thank him enough.

Michael said...

We dont have a UK constitution but our government keep squabbling about introducing one, I think the main thing is the number of foreigners entering our country.
With regards to the bank, well I dunno if you get uk news over there but one of our banks got into a bit of trouble, the media heard about it then fed the story resulting in so far nearly 3 billion being withdrawn in order to restore faith in the UK banking system our chancellor has underwritten all the customers money, but the queues are still continuiing today

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Ann.
I think its interesting to note the diversity of the United sates, from what I can gather you have much more separation than we have here in Australia, eg say between California and Texas where you would need a separate insurance licence, schooling would be under different rules and so forth . Our Constitution is a rather small document and we do not have a bill of rights, rights are recognised under the body of “common law”.

Best wishes

Anonymous said...

I love the Constitution and had no idea it had its own day. Thanks!

Ditto Gina.

mreddie said...

It would be a good thing if we were to memorize at least this portion of it - at the very least we can appreciate it. ec

Michael said...

Hi Granny,
The government promise seems to have done the trick with regards to the bank over here, yes they have a simular scheme which protects deposits in the UK, the first £2000 is 100% guaranteed and up to £35000 is 90% guaranteed but after that there is no guarantee, this is what everyone was worried about since some had over £1million in there accounts.
Ive written a ghost story on my blog today, nott many wagons in today and all the bosses are away at meetings so well I figured while the cats away the mice will play...

HORIZON said...

Nice to see you continue to blog even with all that you have to cope with lately Ann. You are a dear lady and l am sorry to hear that Ray hasn't been feeling so well.
Thanks for stopping by to visit. My daughter Melissa is in the campus dorms, my son did that at uni. last year but this year he has grouped up with friends to rent a flat nearby. They all have a room each in the flat and share the common areas and bills/rent too.
Hope your girls are doing fine- they will be missing you much.
hugs and bests x

Unknown said...

I try to read the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence each once a year. Thanks for reminding me I have had not yet read the latter this year.

Ava said...

I can remember taking all of the tests on this in school. We had to know it pretty well at that time.

Rosa said...

I didn't know it was constitution day! What a bad American I am! I remember my son having to memorize parts of this. Better him than me!!