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“So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, that where no substantial occasion presents itself, the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts.”

 

James Madison    Federalist 10,  November 22, 1787

 

“The foundation of our Empire was not laid in the gloomy age of Ignorance and Superstition, but at an Epocha when the rights of mankind were better understood and more clearly defined, than at any former period, the researches of the human mind, after social happiness, have been carried to a great extent, the Treasures of knowledge, acquired by the labours of Philosophers, Sages and Legislatures, through a long succession of years, are laid open for our use, and their collected wisdom may be happily applied in the Establishment of our forms of Government; the free cultivation of Letters, the unbounded extension of Commerce, the progressive refinement of Manners, the growing liberality of sentiment, and above all, the pure and benign light of Revelation, have had ameliorating influence on mankind and increased the blessings of Society. At this auspicious period, the United States came into existence as a Nation, and if their Citizens should not be completely free and happy, the fault will be entirely their own.”

George Washington : Circular to states 1783

 

[A] people, free and enlightened, establishing and ratifying a system of government, which they have previously considered, examined, and approved! This is the spectacle which we are assembled to celebrate; and it is the most dignified one that has yet appeared on our globe.

 

James Wilson to the people of Philadelphia 1787

 

Much of the Strength and Efficiency of any Government in procuring and securing Happiness to the People depends on Opinion, on the general Opinion of the Goodness of that Government as well as of the Wisdom and Integrity of its Governors. I hope therefore that for our own Sakes, as a Part of the People, and for the sake of our Posterity we shall act heartily and unanimously in recommending this Constitution, wherever our Influence may extend, and turn our future Thoughts and Endeavours to the Means of having it well administered.

 

Franklin’s last Speech in the Convention for forming the Constitution of the United States, September, 1787

 

“what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?”

 

Publius, The Federalist No. 51

 

 

The continental Congress 1774-1789 (Wikipedia)

 

United States Declaration of Independence

 

The Age of Jefferson UVA Coursera Course

 

The Platform for Personal Political Engagement

 

“Civic engagement” has been characterized as comprising the activities of individuals that are oriented toward making “a difference in the civic life of . . . communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and nonpolitical processes” (Ehrlich, 2000).

 

Constitutional Convention Notes Robert Yates

Notes of the Secret Debates of the Federal Convention of 1787, Taken by the Late Hon Robert Yates, Chief Justice of the State of New York, and One of the Delegates from That State to the Said Convention (1)

 

The Constitutional Convention of 1787: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia, Volume 1 By John R. Vile

 

 

The Constitutional Convention debates and the Anti-Federalist Papers

 

Papers, leaflets and discussions in the constitutional congress dealing with the same topics as Federalist Papers from another point of view: Introduction

 

In 1778 the states debated the merits of the proposed Constitution. Along with the Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist papers documented the political context in which the Constitution was born. The Federalist Papers defended the concept of a strong central government with their arguments in favor of the constitution. The Anti-Federalists saw in the constitution threats to rights and liberties so recently won from England. The authors did not only discuss the issues of the constitution, many general problems of politics were also put under debate; Should the members of the government be elected by direct vote of the people?, Does slavery have any place in a nation dedicated to liberty? etc.

 

The Comparative Constitutions Project (CCP) is directed by Zachary Elkins (University of Texas, Department of Government), Tom Ginsburg (University of Chicago, Law School), andJames Melton (University College London). The project was seeded by grants from the National Science Foundation (SES 0648288) and the Cline Center for Democracy at the University of Illinois. 

The intent of the project is to investigate the sources and consequences of constitutional choices. Towards this end, the investigators collect, analyze, and data on the formal characteristics of written constitutions, both current and historical, for most independent states since 1789. 

In September 2013, the CCP launched Constitute with Google Ideas. The site provides an indexed repository of Constitutional text for every Constitution currently in force.

 

What was the motivation for establishing the United States of America?  

What was the state of affairs that existed at the time?

What were the delegates who congregated in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 thinking?

Can their deliberation inform up today as we face the challenges of the 21st century?

 

 

George Mason, wrote to his son, "The Eyes of the United States are turned upon this Assembly and their Expectations raised to a very anxious Degree. May God Grant that we may be able to gratify them, by establishing a wise and just Government."

 

The continental Congress 1774-1789 (Wikipedia)

 

United States Declaration of Independence

 

The Age of Jefferson UVA Coursera Course

 

Founding Fathers: List of delegates 

 

Constitutional Convention Notes Robert Yates

Notes of the Secret Debates of the Federal Convention of 1787, Taken by the Late Hon Robert Yates, Chief Justice of the State of New York, and One of the Delegates from That State to the Said Convention (1)

 

The Constitutional Convention of 1787: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia, Volume 1 By John R. Vile

 

 

The Constitutional Convention debates and the Anti-Federalist Papers

 

Papers, leaflets and discussions in the constitutional congress dealing with the same topics as Federalist Papers from another point of view: Introduction

 

In 1778 the states debated the merits of the proposed Constitution. Along with the Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist papers documented the political context in which the Constitution was born. The Federalist Papers defended the concept of a strong central government with their arguments in favor of the constitution. The Anti-Federalists saw in the constitution threats to rights and liberties so recently won from England. The authors did not only discuss the issues of the constitution, many general problems of politics were also put under debate; Should the members of the government be elected by direct vote of the people?, Does slavery have any place in a nation dedicated to liberty? etc.

 

The Comparative Constitutions Project (CCP) is directed by Zachary Elkins (University of Texas, Department of Government), Tom Ginsburg (University of Chicago, Law School), andJames Melton (University College London). The project was seeded by grants from the National Science Foundation (SES 0648288) and the Cline Center for Democracy at the University of Illinois. 

The intent of the project is to investigate the sources and consequences of constitutional choices. Towards this end, the investigators collect, analyze, and data on the formal characteristics of written constitutions, both current and historical, for most independent states since 1789. 

In September 2013, the CCP launched Constitute with Google Ideas. The site provides an indexed repository of Constitutional text for every Constitution currently in force.

The mission of The Constitutional Sources Project is to increase understanding, facilitate research, and encourage discussion of the U.S. Constitution by connecting individuals — including students, teachers, lawyers and judges — with the documentary history of its creation, ratification, and amendment.

 

Pia Mancini: How to upgrade democracy for the Internet era

 

The largest open source effort in the world delivering a solution to online decision making.

 

Democracy Does Not Live by Tech Alone

Democracy is in crisis — and more apps won’t save it. Instead, bring decision-making back to the people.

BY MANUEL ARRIAGA

 

What went wrong with democracy 

Democracy was the most successful political idea of the 20th century. Why has it run into trouble, and what can be done to revive it?

The Federalist Papers Project: Guide to the Constitution 

 

The Washington, Jefferson & Madison Institute is an educational, non-profit corporation based in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

 

Democracy and meaning 

 

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/islamic-state-democracy-meaning-by-richard-k--sherwin-2015-05

The Notes of the Constitutional Convention (James Madison) 

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=pst.000022219770;view=1up;seq=5