Getting Ready for Constitution Day!

Constitution Day is right around the corner – September 17th. For those of you who might be from a country other than the US, this day commemorates the signing of our Constitution on September 17th, 1787. It’s not a bank holiday, kids aren’t off from school and, other than for a few of us die hard amateur historians and patriots, the day passes pretty much as every other day does – way too fast.

Here on my blog, I’m going to take a few moments to reflect as this document illustrates who we were as a people toward the close of the 18th century. I think it also explains a great deal about who we still are; perhaps better than any other document except the Declaration of Independence.

Signing of the Constitution
artist: Howard Chandler Christy
source: Wikimedia Commons
If Americans or our system of government baffles you, I suggest reading these two documents. The Constitution is only 4400 words. That’s words not pages. 18th century Americans were so wonderfully concise. I can barely create a manuscript less than 100,000 words and they created a country.

Constitutional Factoid: at 4,400 words, not counting the amendments, the US Constitution is the shortest written constitution in the world.

The amendments about double the length, so I’m not sure if it’s still the shortest when you include all of those. If anyone knows, please comment.

While you’re reading the Constitution, take an extra five minutes and read the Declaration. Not counting the signatures, it’s only 1137 words! Here’s one of the many places you can get a free copy of the Constitution and Declaration in one handy little pocket guide. If you’re like me and liable to get involved in a history discussion at the drop of the hat, it fits great into a purse. Although, I can't guarantee you it will make you the life the party.


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