Constitution Day, also known as Constitution and Citizenship Day, is observed on September 17 and honours the document that guarantees Americans their fundamental rights. Since its ratification in 1787, the United States Constitution has served as the foundation for all federal laws.
In order to prevent the abuses of power they felt they were subjected to under the British monarchy, the Founding Fathers meticulously drafted the Constitution, distributing power among three branches of government. The Constitution defines the government’s powers, their limitations, and the citizens’ rights. In addition, it describes a procedure for making adjustments in the future.
The background of Constitution Day
After the American Revolution freed the American colonies from British authority, the Founding Fathers wanted to make sure the new government couldn’t abuse its power. At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, delegates from twelve of the thirteen new states drafted the document that would serve as the foundation for all future U.S. law.
The Constitution provides for three equal branches of government, creating a system known as “checks and balances.” Each branch has the ability to counteract the others. Those authorities not allotted to one of the three branches are delegated to the states.
Convention delegates had two alternatives for establishing the structure of the new legislative branch. Predictably, larger states supported the Virginia Plan, which called for population-based representation. The competing New Jersey Plan called for each state to have equal representation. The two-house solution known as the Great Compromise incorporates elements of both proposals and is still in effect.
In addition, the Constitution specifies the responsibilities and powers of the judicial and executive branches, the manner in which the President is elected, and other minute details.
The Founding Fathers understood that society evolves and that the Constitution would necessitate a mechanism for amending it. However, they wished to ensure that changes would necessitate the approval of a substantial number of states. To amend the Constitution, three-quarters of the states must ratify a proposed amendment.
In 1940, the President and Congress enacted a resolution establishing “I Am an American Day,” which is observed on the third Sunday of May. The holiday was renamed “Constitution Day” in 1952 and relocated to September 17, the day the Constitution was signed in 1787. More than 50 years later in 2004, Congress once again altered the name of the holiday to Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.
DAY OF THE CONSTITUTION ACTIVITIES
How well do you know our nation’s most vital document? If you answered “not very,” there are a number of resources available to help you read and comprehend the Constitution at your own pace.
felicitate an immigrant
Do you have any acquaintances who have passed the test to become naturalised citizens of the United States? Commend them on their accomplishment today.
Avail yourself of a “Pocket Constitution”
Did you know you can purchase portable, pocket-sized versions of the Constitution? Check with your local bookstore or school supply store, or purchase one online.
5 REMARQUABLE FACTS ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION
Some of the most influential Founding Fathers never signed the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson, for instance, was serving as ambassador to France in Paris.
In the list of signatories, Pennsylvania is spelt with a single ‘n’.’
Minority groups have acquired the right to vote through subsequent constitutional amendments.
Only 27 of 11,600 proposed amendments have been ratified, rendering the probability of an amendment’s passage 0.23%, or 0.
The ageing statesman’s failing health required him to be carried to and from Convention meetings, and he required assistance signing the document.
CONSTITUTION DAY DATES