Sept. 17-23 is the U.S. Constitution Week.
The Constitution is a written document that embodies the basic principles and laws of our nation that determines the powers and duties of the government and guarantees certain rights to the people.
The Constitutional Convention opened in the Philadelphia State House on May 25, 1787. It was one of the most remarkable bodies of men ever to assemble anywhere. Twelve states were represented by 55 delegates. George Washington was chosen president of the convention.
Except for brief adjournments to allow its committees to execute tasks imposed on them, the convention was in continuous session until its work was done and approved by “unanimous consent of the States present.”
All the major issues in dispute were disposed of by compromises, which made possible the establishment of a national republic with a government of limited and delegated powers, and which did much to determine the fundamental and unique features of the United States’ system of federal and state governments.
On Sept. 12, 1787, the convention concluded the work of writing the Constitution and gave the completed draft to a committee on style to polish the language. The notable literary quality of the Constitution, an unusual feature in documents of state, id due principally to the pen of Gov. Robert Morris of Pennsylvania.
On Sept. 17, 1787, 39 delegates, the other delegates being opposed or absent, signed the Constitution and sent it to the Congress of the Confederation. The convention then adjourned.
On. Sept. 28, Congress sent the Constitution to the states for ratification. After four months, following its ratification by conventions held in two-thirds of the states, as provided in Article VII of the Constitution, the document was adopted.
In 1788, under the new Constitution, the first presidential election was held in 10 states. George Washington received 69 votes and John Adams received 34. New York City was the temporary seat of government.
Washington was elected the first president and Adams, the first vice president.
Most of us are unfamiliar with the full text of Constitution; however, the Preamble is known by many: “We, the people of the United States, in order to perform a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
The Constitution of the United States, “the basic principles and laws of our nation that determines the powers and duties of the government and guarantees certain rights to the people”, is what makes our nation the envy of all who long for the freedoms that most of us take for granted.
Every president of the United States, with the exception of one, considered the Constitution to be one of the greatest documents ever written and, in assuming the oath of office, has sworn an oath to govern and defend its basic principles and laws.
Freedom is not free. It comes at a very high price. God bless the U.S.A.
Max J. Thibodeaux Jr.,