Keeping the Republic, 221 Years Later

Tomorrow is Constitution Day, when we celebrate the Sept. 17, 1787, signing of that foundational document.  If you’re a student who is putting the finishing touches on an assignment or essay, or a teacher who wants to inspire his or her class, you have come to the right place.

The Library of Congress has excellent Constitution Day resources, including this page that has been updated to reflect materials in the new exhibition “Creating the United States.”

The Law Library of Congress also has a site entitled “A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates.”  The THOMAS legislative tracking system also has links to a number of Library sites about the Constitution.

When delegates to the Constitutional Convention adjourned their business, Benjamin Franklin famously replied to a woman who had asked what kind of government had just been formed: “A republic, if you can keep it.”

It was an audacious experiment, launched by a group of men both ordinary and extraordinary, and it has been tested many times.  But 221 years later, we are still here.

3 Comments

  1. Michelle
    September 17, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    I often wonder what kind of people the founding fathers were, and if there are any like them today. It is amazing how much they accomplished with one little document.

  2. Elkon
    September 27, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Our Constitution was written with blood, sweat, and tears…and the loss of wealth; for ideals that have survived 221 years. It is our privelege. and duty to watch and work to keep the Constitution of the United States of America from being reinterpreted by our Justices and misinterpreted by our Government. God bless America and all of her many nations under one free nation, the United States of America.

  3. Cambridge Photographer
    October 19, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    @ Michelle, the inspiration for the document was inspired by the values of 16th & 17th century protestant thinkers.

    It would be safe to say that the largest contribution to those American values came from Ulster-Scots Protestants who gave the U.S. 11 presidents, with one third of US presidents also claiming Ulster Scots descent, along with 25 generals and half of the Revoultionary Army.

    There is some information in the following link, it makes good reading and gives some insight into the seldom mentioned people who helped build America.

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