«We the people of the United States»: 13 facts about U.S. Constitution

«We the people of the United States»: 13 facts about U.S. Constitution

Since 2005 September 17 in the US officially celebrate Constitution Day, but that day never passes on the same scale as the Independence Day.

Moreover, many Americans, as the study shows, do not possess even the basic knowledge about the most important document of the country. This rather gloomy conclusion was made by the staff of the center Annenberg public policy on the basis of the survey.

«We the people of the United States»: 13 facts about U.S. Constitution

Was made a sample of 1013 adult Americans from different States, with different levels of education.

The findings are disappointing: almost half of the respondents are unable to tell you what law provides First amendment. Only a quarter of respondents could correctly identify the three branches of government. The error on the sample is 3-7%.

Well, even if you’re memory reproduced the entire bill of rights, not a sin to remind a few facts about this unique document – the US Constitution.

1.The US Constitution was adopted September 17, 1787 in Philadelphia. Subsequently, it has been ratified by the whole Baker’s dozen of American States (at that time there were 13). It is considered the world’s first Constitution in the modern sense of the word.

2. The first Constitution ratified in the state of Delaware. Next, in order of priority, it was the States of Pennsylvania, new Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, new Hampshire, Virginia, new York, North Carolina. The last was Rhode island.

3. The Constitution has laid down as absolutely new ideas of the founding fathers, and those that were voiced by philosophers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, for example, Montesquieu, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and other figures of the Enlightenment.

So, Locke is the author of the theory of natural rights that are given to people by God, belong to all people from birth and cannot be infringed by the monarch. This, according to Locke, the right to life, liberty, health and property.

4. The preamble to the U.S. Constitution contains only one sentence: «We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, approval of justice, ensure domestic tranquility, organize the common defense, promote the General welfare and provide us and our posterity of the blessings of freedom, establish and accept this Constitution for the United States of America.»

Original: 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.

5. Unlike the constitutions of many countries, the main document of the USA has reached our days almost unchanged. But, of course, and they were so – called amendment.

During the period of existence of the Constitution was adopted 27 amendmentsincluding the first ten who made up the bill of rights.

  • Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of Assembly, the right to submit
  • The right to keep and bear arms
  • It is forbidden to station soldiers in private houses without the consent of the owner
  • The prohibition of arbitrary searches and seizures
  • The right to due process, the right against self-incrimination, the guarantee of private property
  • The rights of the accused, including the right to a jury trial
  • The right to trial by jury in civil cases
  • The prohibition of excessive collateral and fines, cruel punishment
  • The enumeration of rights in the Constitution should not be interpreted as detracting from other rights
  • Powers that the Constitution does not directly relate to the conduct of the United States are reserved to States and citizens

6. The 21st amendment, which was adopted in December 1933, does just one task — it stops the action of the 18th amendment. But the 18th amendment is the famous «dry law». Its abolition was initiated by then President Roosevelt.

7. The US Constitution has more than 4,400 words. It is the shortest written Constitution of all major countries in the world.

8. In the text of the Constitution of the state of Pennsylvania written with spelling error (one «n» instead of «nn»).

9. The oldest person who signed the Constitution was Benjamin Franklin (81 years old). The youngest Jonathan Dayton from new Jersey (26 years).

10. When the Constitution was signed, the population of the United States was 4 million people. Philadelphia was the largest city in the country with 40 000 inhabitants.

11. There was the question of how to address the President. There was even a version of «His Highness the President of the United States of America and Protector of their Liberties.» But as the House of representatives and the Senate voted for a modest «the President of the United States.»

12. When Benjamin Franklin walked out of the building after the meeting of the constitutional Convention 17 September 1787, he was approached by the wife of the mayor of Philadelphia. She was curious what will be the form of government. Franklin replied, «a Republic, Madam, if you will be able to save it».

13. The original Constitution of the USA is in the National archives in Washington, D. C. He was placed under glass, where constant temperature and humidity so that the document is not spoiled.