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Sep17
Constitution Day: Remember and Learn from Leaders

Today, Constitution Day, is a fitting reminder to honor the leaders and founders of our nation who, 220 years ago, drafted and signed the United States Constitution and established the blueprint for democracy. Among those leaders, Benjamin Franklin from Pennsylvania, age 81 (the oldest delegate at the Constitutional Convention and Jonathan Dayton of New Jersey (the youngest delegate at age 26.) However, it was the leadership of George Washington, unanimously elected presiding officer of the Constitutional Convention that sealed the deal. Washington presided over the four months of debate that saw half of the delegates walk out. George Washington alone embodied the vision and intellectual and moral capacity to bridge long-range ideas to short-term actions. He alone was a tested leader of the nascent nation who had proven his skill at reconciling various views.we%20the%20people.jpg

So it was, on Sept. 17, 1787, the U.S. Constitution was signed by thirty-nine courageous men - lawyers, merchants, educators, planters, ministers and soldiers. The fruit of their work changed the course of history. For some reason, the date the Constitution was signed was never recognized as a day of commemoration until 2004, when it became the brainchild and pet project of Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., who carries a copy of the Constitution in his pocket. Constitution Day is actually a law that requires any school and college receiving federal money to teach about the Constitution on or about Sept. 17.

What is a Constitution?

on*sti*tu*tion (kon-ste-tÜ-shen)
1. n. system of fundamental principles according to which a nation, state, or society is governed.
2. n. the written set of fundamental principles by which the United States is governed.

The US Constitution begins,

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, 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."

It is the bedrock of our freedoms and was unique in implementing into a federal government the following six principles:

Popular Sovereignty -A government created by and for the people.

Rule of Law - A government guided by a set of laws, rather than by any individual or group entity.

Separation of Powers and a System of Checks and Balances - A separation of powers and distribution of functions and responsibilities among three separate government branches, and a system of checks and balances to calibrate those powers.

Federalism - A federalist system whereby governing power is shared between the national government and the individual state governments.

Judicial Review - The establishment of the Supreme Court as the judicial branch's authoritative institution, and the resulting power of judicial review.

Individual Rights - Protection of individual rights and liberties against government encroachment.

These principles have stood the test of time and with the addition of the Bill of Rights have served as a template and inspiration for other nations.

Power to the People.


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» 10 Fast Facts about the US Constitution from LeaderNotes
For Constitution Day, ten fast facts I found interesting about the US Constitution  from the National Constitution Center. The U. S Constitution was written in the same Pennsylvania State House where the Declaration of Independence was signed and... [Read More]

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