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Overview - We The People Forum

The intro to this Forum reads:
A discussion of the US Constitution.
Who wrote it?
Why?
It's meaning, and how it has changed over the last 200 years?


The "why" is apparent if a reader reads the threads and follows the links - the first Constitution (which we call the Articles of Confederation), and the first Congress (which we call the Continental Congress) didn't allow for solving the problems which arose in the States during and after the Revolutionary War -- the previously established Union of the 13 States was disintegrating over the "bottom line" economic issues which historically have always been the fundamental causes of the creation and destruction of governments of all types.

The "who wrote it" - contrary to some one-line explanations in history books - get a more complicated answer as readers follow the links to the original documents which came before and underlie the actual proposals and debates during the amending/re-writing of the Articles of Confederation in 1787.  In fact, there isn't a single novel concept or idea in the Constitution as it ultimately was ratified!  It is a compilation of the ideas, concepts, principles, listings of rights, laws, constitutions and declarations which were all in print and discussed and decided on prior to 1787 - and many of the phrases and clauses are verbatim from the earlier documents.

A good overview of what came before the actual writing: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/subject_menus/constpap.asp

Who wrote the Constitution?  A whole lot of men - during the debates and changes in wordings during the 1787 Convention; and more (some the same) who published op-eds in newspapers and pamphlets and who debated publicly in 1787 and 1788, and the delegates at the States' Ratifying Conventions who phrased the proposed Amendments, and the Members of Congress (Senators and Representatives in the 1st Congress) who re-phrased and debated the wording of the final 10 Amendments which became part of the Constitution in 1791.  And those men and women who consolidated their efforts on each subsequent ratified Amendment.

"Its meaning" can not be understood without reviewing the concepts and principles which led to the final wordings - and without understanding the then-different views on those concepts, which arose during the debates and op-eds, and without understanding the final compromises made.  Again, the links in the threads of this Forum lead to all those items - and if an argument is brought today, it is easy to track down the evidence via the links in this Forum (without Googling up thousands of "result" pages).

"How it has changed" is hopefully the topic of future discussions in this Forum and in other Forums.  Aside from the obvious changes by Amendments, the main changes have come via the Supreme Court decisions which have refined and interpreted almost all - if not all - of the clauses in the Constitution.

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