How’s Your Constituional Knowledge?

October 15th, 2007 | Posted in Opinion, Politics, Websites | Comments Off on How’s Your Constituional Knowledge?

Did you know that the Bill of rights is not part of the original Constitution that was signed on Sept 17th 1787?  I’m betting that most will have to admit that they’re not aware of that little fact.  People talk about the “Bill of Rights” like it was an actual part of the original Constitution when in fact what the “Bill of Rights” refers to is the first ten amendments to the Constitution, not the original document itself.

This and several other details about the constitutional convention and the men who hammered out this document are discussed in the “My History Can Beat Up Your Politics Podcast”.  A recent episode about the history of the Constitution ‘cast brings up points that most Americans don’t even know anymore even though they’re quick to say things like “the Constitution says this” or “the Bill of Rights says that” when as a sad matter of fact entirely too many people don’t even have the first clue what the Constitution says because they’ve never read it or ANY of the amendments never mind the first ten that are collectively referred to as the Bill of Rights.

All in all, this is a refreshing thing.. something that makes an effort to reach past all the BS of politics and remind us of the actual history involved.  Something that more and more schools seem to be not bothering with anymore.

There is a quote: “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it” but I think that perhaps they’re just plain doomed.

Here is a press release about it:

There is very little celebration of the passing of a date Sept. 17, 2007: the belated Birthday of the Signing of the Constitution.
And the Federal Convention that ended its business on Sept. 17, 1787.

It seems unfortunate, since we should be celebrating the people who gave us right to speech, right to assemble, right to bear arms, etc.

Except they didn’t. When the constitution was signed, these fellows voted down a Bill of Rights. It was only later, when the plan had to be sold to the state of Virginia, that a Bill of Rights was promised.

Yet, these fellows did create the Constitution, so they are Founding Fathers, correct?

That leads to a question. Who is a Founding Father? Common wisdom would say the Founding Fathers would be anyone who helped craft the Constitution. Yet famous names such as Tom Jefferson and John Adams were not there for the convention that met in 1787 in secret to craft a new government. George Washington was there, but as the chair he was silent while debate went on. Ben Franklin was there but as an aging celebrity he took a symbolic role and his ideas of having multiple Presidents or unpaid Federal officers would not be taken seriously. unsupported.

Indeed the Constitution was created by little-known names like James Wilson, Charles Pickeney, Rufus King, and William Paterson.

We address the question of who is a founding father and how the Constitution was written, and where the Bill of Rights came from.

My History Can Beat Up Your Politics is a podcast that looks into the history behind the politics of today. The podcast can be found on iTunes or at (

Technorati Tags: constitution, history, bill+of+rights, constitutional+convention, politics, podcast

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