This volume presents the documents necessary to understand the essential ideas and debates that shaped the founding of the American civic order. It begins with documents that display both the problems that led to the calling of the Constitutional Convention and the ideas that shaped the debates in Philadelphia. It concludes with two documents – Washington’s Inaugural Address and Madison’s speech on the amendments to the Constitution (the Bill of Rights) – that show the new government beginning to function. The heart of the book is the documents presenting the debates at the Constitutional Convention and the debates over ratification. With its document introductions, annotations, and helpful appendices, this collection is an indispensable resource for understanding the American Founding.
The Ashbrook Center restores and strengthens the capacities of the American people for constitutional self-government. Ashbrook teaches students and teachers across our country what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world. Offering a variety of programs and resources, Ashbrook is the nation’s largest university-based educator in the enduring principles and practice of free government.