PubliusCoupled with the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution remains the Gold Standard for political documents, 235 years after its official adoption on September 17, 1787, and so We The People, in order to form a more perfect union, on this day do celebrate


In 1787, America stood alone in the world by not having a king, but a Bill of Rights instead. Until final ratification, the Constitution was no sure thing to be adopted, and the new nation debated passionately and publicly over the size and scope of our central government.

The best of these arguments, nationally distributed in the newspapers of the day, have been collected and published by (who else?) the winning side, called “The Federalist Papers.”

Written under the pseudonym “Publius” by the Strong Central Government faction of our Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison, these newspaper “debates” were the equivalent of the internet in the 1780s.

The American people were directly involved in the decision making process in those early days when America was still deciding what America should be, and the Constitution needed their approval and support.

Thanks to the Federalists and their instinctive grasp of the importance of the mass media that was newspapers, the Constitution as we know it was adopted, with the emphasis firmly on the “United” rather than the “States.” Maybe that’s why Freedom of Speech is batting leadoff in the Bill of Rights.

•Suggested Activities: Thanking our lucky stars.

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