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The Declaration of Independence was the promise of a representative government; the Constitution was the fulfillment of that promise. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress issued a unanimous declaration: the thirteen North American colonies would be the thirteen United States of America, free and independent of Great Britain. Drafted by Thomas Jefferson, the Decl The Declaration of Independence was the promise of a representative government; the Constitution was the fulfillment of that promise. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress issued a unanimous declaration: the thirteen North American colonies would be the thirteen United States of America, free and independent of Great Britain. Drafted by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration set forth the terms of a new form of government with the following words: "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." Framed in 1787 and in effect since March 1789, the Constitution of the United States of America fulfilled the promise of the Declaration by establishing a republican form of government with separate executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The first ten amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, became part of the Constitution on December 15, 1791. Among the rights guaranteed by these amendments are freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and the right to trial by jury. Written so that it could be adapted to endure for years to come, the Constitution has been amended only seventeen times since 1791 and has lasted longer than any other written form of government.


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The Declaration of Independence was the promise of a representative government; the Constitution was the fulfillment of that promise. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress issued a unanimous declaration: the thirteen North American colonies would be the thirteen United States of America, free and independent of Great Britain. Drafted by Thomas Jefferson, the Decl The Declaration of Independence was the promise of a representative government; the Constitution was the fulfillment of that promise. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress issued a unanimous declaration: the thirteen North American colonies would be the thirteen United States of America, free and independent of Great Britain. Drafted by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration set forth the terms of a new form of government with the following words: "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." Framed in 1787 and in effect since March 1789, the Constitution of the United States of America fulfilled the promise of the Declaration by establishing a republican form of government with separate executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The first ten amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, became part of the Constitution on December 15, 1791. Among the rights guaranteed by these amendments are freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and the right to trial by jury. Written so that it could be adapted to endure for years to come, the Constitution has been amended only seventeen times since 1791 and has lasted longer than any other written form of government.

30 review for The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the United States

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    What do I need to say? Read them, understand them, and give thanks. Also let me recommend, treasure, protect, and pray we keep them, unbroken. Please.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Holmes

    How many Americans can say they've read the Constitution? My guess is probably not many. And those that have only did it for school and have since forgotten much of what they learned. Personally, I remember having to memorize the Bill of Rights for a class, but that's about it. So I bought a copy of the Constitution for myself and began reading it. It's important now more than ever that we read and understand it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    DJ Harris

    It is nearly impossible to review such an important historical work. In my opinion this is one of the most important documents in history. It is nearly impossible to review such an important historical work. In my opinion this is one of the most important documents in history.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    Everyone including me has read this repeatedly for school. So I knew this would be bad, but I didn't know how bad until I went through it underlining everything negative and circling everything positive. Why the Cato institute publishes this, and why it is handed out at libertarian events completely escapes me. I will omit things too minor to note. Asterisks rank importance. Lets skip the declaration since its meh. Its way better than the constitution though. I'll just note that the consent of the Everyone including me has read this repeatedly for school. So I knew this would be bad, but I didn't know how bad until I went through it underlining everything negative and circling everything positive. Why the Cato institute publishes this, and why it is handed out at libertarian events completely escapes me. I will omit things too minor to note. Asterisks rank importance. Lets skip the declaration since its meh. Its way better than the constitution though. I'll just note that the consent of the governed stuff is good, but that a bunch of their complaints are retarded (like, the "you wont let us cross the appalachians and steal native american land" complaint and the "fuck quebec" complaint). Preamble: States the purpose of the constitution as establishing a "more perfect union", promoting the "general welfare" (vague and grants unlimited interpretation), and also "ordains" this constitution on the residents of the 13 states and their "posterity", which is not only bold but also very rude to the unborn masses. Article 1: ***Sec 1: establishes Congress as the firm which has a monopoly on law. ***Sec 2: decrees that direct federal taxation (theft) is aight. **Sec 3: decrees that the head of state can only be tried via mechanisms internal to the firm: Ie Senate has a monopoly on legal practice of impeachment, and severely legally constrains the limits of what the Senate may do to an impeached President. Sec 6: Senator and Representative salaries are set by law. They are also exempt from arrest during attendance in session, with the exceptions of Treason, Felony, and Breach of Peace. ****Sec 8: Grants Congress the power to tax, lay tariffs and excises for the purposes of "national defense" and "general welfare" (Grants Congress the power to steal money to do whateverthefuck they want). Grants Congress the power to borrow money, regulate commerce within the nation and with other nations, print money and establish it's value (ironically, it also monopolizes the punishment of counterfeiting), create post offices and roads, "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" via maintaining intellectual property laws (or "the exclusive right to discoveries" as the document says), declare war, grant letters of marque, raise and support armies and navies, call forth the militia to SUPPRESS INSURRECTIONS and repel invasions, to arm and organize said militia, to maintain a total legal monopoly over the Capital district, to build forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and "other needful buildings" (any building). Monopolizes the legal definitions of naturalization, bankruptcy, piracy, and felony on the high seas. Permits congress to make all laws "necessary and proper" for carrying out all of the above and all of the below. ***Sec 9: Allows Congress to suspend Habeas Corpus during REBELLION or invasion, allows them to tax (different tax this time), Sec 10: prohibits any given state from doing any of the above (as if this monopoly wasn't already abundantly clear) and forbids any state from entering into an alliance or confederation. Article 2: ***Sec 1: invests the executive power in the President, prohibits foreigners from becoming president. ***Sec 2: Establishes the president as commander in chief of the military and militia. Allows him to grant pardons, make treaties, and appoint ambassadors. Article 3: *****Sec 1: Establishes a monopoly on legal interpretation in the judiciary/"Supreme" Court. ***Sec 2: Confirms that this monopoly extends to all areas of law. ***Sec 3: defines treason as (among other things) "adhering" to America's enemies, or giving them aid/comfort. *****Article 6: Declares "This Constitution... and all laws which shall be made in pursuance thereof" to be the supreme law of the land, and binds all judges in the country to uphold it (prohibits independent judges from existing). Then the Bill of Rights is generally a lot better. No need to get into it. Given all of the above it is apparent than an unemotional reading of the constitution reveals the following: It establishes that the government has a monopoly on legal interpretation, the creation of laws, the provision of security, the production of currency, and all the basic functions of civil society. Its vague wording furthermore allows the government to invade any area of life which the above document does not already take hostile possession of. This is an explicitly authoritarian document and should be spit on by any self respecting libertarian, or dignified human being. "But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain — that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist." -Lysander Spooner

  5. 5 out of 5

    The Celtic Rebel (Richard)

    Two very important documents in American history that I was introduced to as a child. I hope that every American has read them at least once. They are the foundation our Country was built on and the ones that we must do all we can to protect today.

  6. 5 out of 5

    ij

    These documents were part of the required reading of my American history and civics classes. While being historic they are still documents that play a major part in my everyday life.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cynda

    The Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson. (1776) The Founding Fathers and their political friends in North America and Europe maintained a dialogue. So exciting for them to live during the Age of Enlightment, to be some of leaders of Thought. And later to be recognized when the French revolutionaries took their ideas and altered them for France. _______ The Constitution of the United States of America by Founding Fathers (ratified 1788) Ideas that most stood out for in the text of the Con The Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson. (1776) The Founding Fathers and their political friends in North America and Europe maintained a dialogue. So exciting for them to live during the Age of Enlightment, to be some of leaders of Thought. And later to be recognized when the French revolutionaries took their ideas and altered them for France. _______ The Constitution of the United States of America by Founding Fathers (ratified 1788) Ideas that most stood out for in the text of the Constitution: 1. Reference to political "bands", not "bonds". Bonds require more intimacy and more effort to break. Bands can be cut. Perfect imagery for revolution. 2. The name of the confederation. Jefferson refers to "the united States of America. Only "States" and "America" are capitalized, apparently to indicate a confederation rather than a unification. As I read, I tried to connect dots from Common Sense and Declaration of Independence. How did the Constitution seek to alter the English system to make it an American system. 1. Reading the Preamble, I can determine aspects the dialogue of the revolutionaries. For example, they have been concerned with insuring domestic tranquility. That concern I can find in both Paine and Jefferson's texts I have recently read. 2. The Philadelphia Convention members perceived a tryanny in the king's ability to call and dissolve Parliament. So in Article 1, Section 1, the writers concerned themselves with the legislative powers. The writing committee choose "legislative Powers" with "Powers" being capitalized. So telling. 3. The Convention members understood the subject of slavery to ge a near dealmaker/breaker. So sensitive was the subject that "slaves" are not mentioned. In Article 1, Section 2, Point 3, slaves are referred to as "all other persons." What a misery to all. 4. Only 9 of the 13 states had to ratify the Constitition for it become the Constitution for that group of 9 states that ratify. We could have started out as 9 states. But then we could also had some Canadian states. Hahaha. 5. The name of the country changes. When the Consitution for the now-unified states was written, the text still refers to "the united States of America." It would not be sometime until after the ratification of first 10 amendments/The Bill of Rights (1791) and perhaps before the ratification of the 11th amendment (1795) that the country would be referred to as the "United States." What a Journey.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tessa

    Happy Independence Day! "We, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, Free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection betwee Happy Independence Day! "We, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, Free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved."

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chris Gordon

    The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America are two documents that every American should own or at the very least be familiar with. Drafted by our Founding Fathers, these documents led to the creation and prosperity of the greatest country in the world, and they should never be taken for granted. The Declaration of Independence outlines the various reasons why the American colonies decided it to be in their best interests to remove themselves from British The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America are two documents that every American should own or at the very least be familiar with. Drafted by our Founding Fathers, these documents led to the creation and prosperity of the greatest country in the world, and they should never be taken for granted. The Declaration of Independence outlines the various reasons why the American colonies decided it to be in their best interests to remove themselves from British rule. Their arguments clearly indicate that they were right to want to become an independent nation; the numerous ills committed against America by King George III were inexcusable and warranted drastic change. What makes this declaration particularly American is how fair and reasonable its arguments were. Rather than appealing to the emotional strife of the colonists, the Founding Fathers made logical and constructive arguments against England and its king, also pointing out how numerous of their attempts at peaceful resolution were ignored or met with more injury to the colonists. Thanks to this document and the patriotic Americans who authored it, the United States of America was born on July 4, 1776; countless generations of Americans and aspiring-Americans would be eternally grateful. The Constitution of the United States is the written law of the land, consisting of the Bill of Rights and other amendments made to the document over the years. This documents outlines the explicit powers of each of the three branches of the federal government: the legislative (Congress), judicial (Supreme Court), and executive (President) branches. The impressive way in which each of the three branches of government complement one another is set up to create a system of checks and balances, meaning no one branch has total power over the country. Thanks to this setup, America can avoid any potential tyranny from a single governmental entity, as was the case when the colonies were under the tyrannical rule of England's monarch. Perhaps the most important aspects of this document are the first ten amendments, otherwise known as the Bill of Rights. These rights are the foundation of our great country, granting its citizens the rights to free speech, peaceful assembly, freedom of press, bear arms, trial by jury, prevention of unlawful search and seizures, and other liberties most countries around the world unfortunately do not so freely allow. After these ten amendments, others were ratified to change the Constitution as necessary for the times, including allowing African Americans freedom from slavery and granting women the right to vote, among other changes. By no means is the Constitution a prefect document, and neither is America a prefect country. As is evident in the daily news, there are still many problems that plague America that have yet to be resolved or even addressed. What makes the Constitution so great is that it is a living, dynamic document, meaning it has the ability to be altered and amended along with the times and climate of the culture whilst simultaneously remaining true to the doctrine of our Founding Fathers. Nothing is set in stone, and because of that many opportunities are possible for this country to provide its citizens with the best possible life – better than anywhere else in the world. At the same time, certain inalienable rights are guaranteed by this document as being untouchable, no matter what our future holds. This delicate balance between change and tradition is what sets apart the United States of America from every other country in the world, past or present, and makes it the greatest country to have ever existed. These two documents, complete with their strengths and faults, reaffirm my love for this country and prove to me that there is no other place in the world I would rather live than in the United States of America.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Emalee Sekely

    Pretty good, but it should include women in the sequel.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dustin Cleveland

    I should confess that I am putting this copy up only to mean that I have read the Declaration and the Constitution themselves, and have copies on my bookshelf. I have not actually read this book with this particular foreword. Sorry that that isn't really a review. These foundational documents are immortal, and important beyond description. Every American should read these documents, simply so that they may know what it does and does not say.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mallory

    Can't face the future if you don't know the past.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    country bad please return to sender

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Walden

    What's to say? It's the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments, in their original forms. The only adjustment is that portions of the Constitution and amendments changed by subsequent amendments are bracketed and footnoted to indicate which amendment changed them. (So, for example, the Eighteenth Amendment [instituting Prohibition] is bracketed and noted as repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment. Have you ever noticed the alcoholic beverage What's to say? It's the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments, in their original forms. The only adjustment is that portions of the Constitution and amendments changed by subsequent amendments are bracketed and footnoted to indicate which amendment changed them. (So, for example, the Eighteenth Amendment [instituting Prohibition] is bracketed and noted as repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment. Have you ever noticed the alcoholic beverage amendments were 18 and 21? Quite the handy coincidence!) This is an excellent portable version of the original, unmodified text of these foundational documents. This booklet also includes a brief preface by Roger Pilon of the inestimable Cato Institute, which publishes this booklet. The preface lays out some of the historical background for the Declaration and Constitution, and it discusses their aims and goals. (I wish the preface had also discussed the context and purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment, given how fundamentally it altered our constitutional structure. Given a desire to keep the preface short, and the complexity of the topic, this absence is understandable. But it's still unfortunate.) Not surprisingly given its Cato provenance, the narrative presented is one of a broadly libertarian, limited government of enumerated powers. In any case it's easily ignored by the reader who disagrees with it, and it doesn't make this edition any less useful than any of the other pocket Constitutions out there.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tyler

    I would have given our founding documents a five-star review, except that the Founding Fathers left that tiny bit about slavery ("all other persons"; "that peculiar institution") in the Constitution. Despite today's conservative politicians exalting the Founding Fathers to the status of demigods, the fact that they gave in and compromised to keep slavery instead of standing by their principles to end the institution once and for all shows they were, in fact, mortal after all--they gave in to bot I would have given our founding documents a five-star review, except that the Founding Fathers left that tiny bit about slavery ("all other persons"; "that peculiar institution") in the Constitution. Despite today's conservative politicians exalting the Founding Fathers to the status of demigods, the fact that they gave in and compromised to keep slavery instead of standing by their principles to end the institution once and for all shows they were, in fact, mortal after all--they gave in to both economic and social pressure. *(And yes, I know the Southern delegations to the Constitutional Convention threatened to walk out if slavery was not expressly protected and this could have unraveled the Union before it began, but come on. It seems like it would have been easier to abolish slavery at the Convention than to face 70+ years of struggle and fight the bloodiest war in our nation's history.)

  16. 5 out of 5

    David L

    Only the foundation of our daily lives, the lives of our grandparents and our great grandchildren. Its worth reading. Try to find the place where certain classes of people are not protected. Go on, it's fun. Check those Beautiful Amendments out. How bout that - who do they apply to? Citizens, legal immigrants, illegal immigrants? The plot twist in the 2nd Amendment is riviting. I don't want to be a spoiler but the part about a Well regulated Militia being necessary - WOW!!! Quiz to follow. PS - Wh Only the foundation of our daily lives, the lives of our grandparents and our great grandchildren. Its worth reading. Try to find the place where certain classes of people are not protected. Go on, it's fun. Check those Beautiful Amendments out. How bout that - who do they apply to? Citizens, legal immigrants, illegal immigrants? The plot twist in the 2nd Amendment is riviting. I don't want to be a spoiler but the part about a Well regulated Militia being necessary - WOW!!! Quiz to follow. PS - While pain stakingly written and wonderfully phrased - the immortal words of the Pre-Amble, are sadly not considered part of the Constitution. Supreme Court Justices are not bound by the pre-amble in any way. Sad.

  17. 4 out of 5

    David

    Essential reading for any American. So many who use the words "unconstitutional" to support their agendas have never actually read the document, but get their understanding from other people who have never read it. Read it yourself. That rating should be 4.5 stars if Goodreads would allow it, which would include a perfect 5-star rating for the Declaration of Independence and most of the Constitution, with a slight deduction for the ruinous experiment of outlawing liquor (thankfully repealed) and Essential reading for any American. So many who use the words "unconstitutional" to support their agendas have never actually read the document, but get their understanding from other people who have never read it. Read it yourself. That rating should be 4.5 stars if Goodreads would allow it, which would include a perfect 5-star rating for the Declaration of Independence and most of the Constitution, with a slight deduction for the ruinous experiment of outlawing liquor (thankfully repealed) and the amendment most responsible for permanently altering the makeup of our government - the introduction of the federal income tax. But while no document is perfect, it's the best we have, and you should read it firsthand.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mario García

    Essential reading for any sentient being capable of -actual- reading. The development of the American empire affects most of the world. Yet, it was almost a provision of American thinkers not to fight tyranny itself but rather fight a small portion of the tyrants before becoming as such. It is almost an historical contradiction that some years later United States of America found itself fighting terror, instead of a single terrorist. If History is not read correctly (about who is who and what is Essential reading for any sentient being capable of -actual- reading. The development of the American empire affects most of the world. Yet, it was almost a provision of American thinkers not to fight tyranny itself but rather fight a small portion of the tyrants before becoming as such. It is almost an historical contradiction that some years later United States of America found itself fighting terror, instead of a single terrorist. If History is not read correctly (about who is who and what is what) the cycle just continues. Quite a theme for an Orwellian novel. Animal Farm came to my mind. A beautiful document indeed. It is sad that some people feels so above it because they learned to read at School. ...How sad is that?

  19. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    I'm torn between 4 and 5. This was a brilliant concept to play with, but I felt sort of bereft upon finishing, like the story wasn't complete. I also thought a lot of issues were brought up and then addressed sort of prefunctorily, like slavery and stuff--it was like, oh yeah, I forgot that part of the story, I'll finish it up really quick and then move on...but I didn't get much of a sense of resolution. SEQUEL!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank god I have health insurance, because I think I just punctured my ch I'm torn between 4 and 5. This was a brilliant concept to play with, but I felt sort of bereft upon finishing, like the story wasn't complete. I also thought a lot of issues were brought up and then addressed sort of prefunctorily, like slavery and stuff--it was like, oh yeah, I forgot that part of the story, I'll finish it up really quick and then move on...but I didn't get much of a sense of resolution. SEQUEL!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank god I have health insurance, because I think I just punctured my cheek with my tongue.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Zach

    I read it in under an hour. I wonder if Donald J. Trump can say the same!?

  21. 4 out of 5

    Juergen John Roscher

    Review on "The Declaration of Independence" Dates Read: 8-Nov- 2010 and 28-Jan-2011 I read “The Declaration of Independence” in an attempt to better understand the principles on which the United States was founded. I feel a need to be educated about its history and founding fathers philosophies to counter attack many of the revisionists that promote ideological based and at times plain un-American interpretations of America’s history and founding documents. There is no better source of understand Review on "The Declaration of Independence" Dates Read: 8-Nov- 2010 and 28-Jan-2011 I read “The Declaration of Independence” in an attempt to better understand the principles on which the United States was founded. I feel a need to be educated about its history and founding fathers philosophies to counter attack many of the revisionists that promote ideological based and at times plain un-American interpretations of America’s history and founding documents. There is no better source of understanding this great country than to read and study its great founding documents. This grand historic document states that the North American colonies have rights (given to all men from God) that have been violated by the British Government. It further enumerates the many offenses that the British government has committed against the populace of the colonies. Consequently, because of the violation of basic, human rights and the offenses committed by the English government the colonists are declaring independence from the rule of Great Britain; a formal start to the Revolutionary War and eventually to the United States of America. Reading through “The Declaration of Independence” this time, I was struck with the four references to a Supreme Being (God): (1) … Laws of Nature and Nature’s God; (2) … Endowed by their Creator; (3) … Appealing to the Supreme Judge; (4) … Protection of Divine Providence. Many comment that some of the founding fathers of this country were not Christians but Deist seems strange after reading these references in the declaration, especially “Appealing to the Supreme Judge” and “Divine Providence”. These are references to a God who is actively involved in his creation’s lives. I believe that some of these men’s beliefs in God did not fit into any particular sect so they were classified into a nebulous group called Deists. These men had studied the Bible and knew its doctrines better than most today. Another important principle taught in this document is that rights come from God and not from Government – “… that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Too many today assume that rights come from the Government and depend upon it to try to give them Happiness rather than allow for the pursuit of Happiness. Also, I found it interesting that the declaration was worded to attack the king and not the citizens of Great Britain. It enumerated the offenses that the English government had committed against the colonies and did not attribute them to English citizens. I believe this made it easier to ally the colonies against British rule rather than against British general public. I recommend reading (and studying) “The Declaration of Independence” on a regular basis for all Americans. It is critical for the survival and future success of this country that we have an educated electorate, who understands our nation’s history, historical documents, and founding principals that have guided us to be a beacon of freedom and hope in the world. Review of "The Constitution of the United States of America" Date Read: 8-Nov-2010, 1-Feb-2012 I feel with the ever increasing role of government in our lives and the upcoming election in 2012 that it is time to reflect upon what has made this country (United States of America) great for over 200 years. I believe the Constitution of the United States is the supreme factor in what has made our country great and a model of freedom and democracy throughout the world. I’ve started to develop a love for the historic documents that were such a catalyst for establishing this country, creating over 230 years of relative tranquility and prosperity, and still provide us guidance and understanding of the founding principles of this country. The “Constitution of the United States of America” should be required reading each year for U.S. citizens. The best hope for this country is an educated and active electorate, who can respond to the misguided and fight against the corrupt in the government. The Constitution of the United States is the keystone to the greatness and goodness of our country. It’s the foundation upon which our country was created and is now maintained. It enumerates the role and power of government and the God-given rights that we have as citizens. I am always amazed how a group of farmers, merchants, soldiers, and other common men were able to craft such an inspiring and lasting document. It’s a commendation of their education system, lifestyle, and education pursuits that these simple men were able to create a document that has been universally praised and copied by so many other countries. I feel that these men were prepared by God for this purpose. Is the Constitution perfect? Of course not, it was written by man. The writers and signers of the Constitution had to make compromises to get the required supported needed to get approval. However, it was constructed with an amendment process so it could be changed if the people were strongly in favor. I have found it interesting that soon after the document was originally released that the first ten amendments (Bill of Rights) were quickly added. I think the creators of the Constitution realized that the original document was weak in preserving God-given rights and they needed to be enumerated in the Bill of Rights. I feel if they were not enumerated that some would have been lost such as the rights preserved in the second amendment. I admire the brilliance of the representation of the people in the legislative branch and how it was done so not to favor the populated or rural states. Furthermore, that there is a distribution of power through the three branches of government – legislative, executive and judicial – and that each branch has it specified purpose and cannot infringe on the role of the other branches. Do I agree with everything that is in the Constitution? No, I think some parts were wrong such as the original treatment of slavery. I believe the 17th Amendment - establishing direct election of United States Senators by popular vote – weakened the power of the State and has lead to lifetime Senators who run almost unopposed because of the deep financial chests they accumulate through connections and favors of their position. But in general it is a God-inspired document that has inspired the constitutions of many other countries. As I previously mentioned, The “Constitution of the United States of America” should be required reading each year for U.S. citizens. I recommend that everyone make it part of there yearly study program. It is vital to this country that we understand the Constitution and assure that it is followed and maintained as the foundational document of our country.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ksenia

    The great edition of one of the greatest constitutions in the world!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    A very interesting historical document, if one knows the entire background story that led up to it and all the players that took part and contributed as well as those ignored and forgotten.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    Patriotic but a bit racist.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    Reading the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States gives one an appreciation for just how forward thinking and far ahead of their time the founding fathers were. Or it should anyway. The establishment of the various checks and balances put forward in these documents, specifically the Constitution, is nothing short of brilliant. That said, it also drives home the point that, in spite of the genius entailed in these documents, they are imperfect. The founding fathers Reading the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States gives one an appreciation for just how forward thinking and far ahead of their time the founding fathers were. Or it should anyway. The establishment of the various checks and balances put forward in these documents, specifically the Constitution, is nothing short of brilliant. That said, it also drives home the point that, in spite of the genius entailed in these documents, they are imperfect. The founding fathers realized this. The Constitution of the United States was intended to be an evolving document. In fact, I can think of 27 reasons that bolster this argument. The confusion, and danger, I think, lies in the interpretation of the various articles and amendments set forth in the Constitution. Much like the Bible, people tend to try to extrapolate the wording from several hundred years ago and apply it to modern day situations in a very literal sense. The Constitution even forewarns us of this danger by expressing "...a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added..." I, of course, had read both the Declaration and the Constitution piecemeal many times before in high school and college, but this was the first time I actually sat down and went through all of it in one read with a fine toothed comb, even going so far as to take notes in the margins as I read. At any rate, this was a truly enlightening read and I would highly recommend that every person living in the United States take the time to read it, and read it thoroughly, at least once in their life. After all, this is your country. You should read the instruction manual. Preferably during an election year.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Madeline

    This is a beautiful document that to the casual reader can make a tedious read. Read about the background and the significance of these documents and compare them to your present circumstances and you will grow to love them. I seriously recommend comparing the actions of the present president with the trespasses of George in the Declaration of Independence. The Constitution is fascinating once you start reading about the Convention and our present circumstances.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    Ok, holy shit, one day I subbed for Crystal and I had to try to teach this to the kids...that is a challenge I didn't even know how to approach. Props to history teachers that can actually translate this important document and have their students actually care and understand how this impacts their lives.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    I love the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. It holds us to a higher standard, I've been ready it more lately as America steers further from it. My mom and I decided to make it a tradition to read it at least once a year in celebration of the fourth, as well as any time a law is passed that goes against it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Doug

    Maier gives a good introduction to the development of these documents. It not only sets them in their historical context it also discusses their relationship to each other. Politicians are always asking each other if they have read the constitution. This book is a good way to do just that.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Leonardo Campos-moya

    I downloaded the free version for my kindle, and I was impressed with how radical it really was. The notions that people can overthrow a government that no longer serves them and that they have inalienable rights are very progressive. It is essential reading for anyone, and not just Americans.

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