Today we continue with our 2020 Program called ‘Important Speeches & Documents of the American Founding,’ with our 6th Presentation entitled
‘The US Constitution.’
As we have discussed in the previous presentations, this new program will include one presentation in each month of 2020. Each program will focus on major figures, such as George Washington, The Father of our Country, or Abraham Lincoln, The Father of our 2nd Founding; or a major event, such as the Revolutionary War, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Ratification of the Constitution, or Slavery.
In each of these presentations we will discuss some of the important Speeches and Documents produced by the principal player(s) in conjunction with or in the furtherance of the significant events of that period. It is also relevant to understand the environment under which the principal players produced those important speeches & documents – the surrounding conditions, the dangers, the stakes!?! By so focusing our presentations, we will be better able to know the significant events, and understand the courage it took to speak or write, and take their actions, and how they influenced those events, and more importantly, to understand why those events were important then and are still important today.
This is how we become American Patriots or better American Patriots.
First, let us understand a ‘Patriot’ is a person who loves one’s country. James Wilson, an important Founder who signed both the Declaration and Constitution, and later became a Justice on the 1st U.S. Supreme Court, famously said words to the effect – before something can become an object of your heart, it must first become an object of your head. In other words, one must truly know something before he can truly love it.
The vast majority of us Americans are rational & open-minded, and when we are able to better know the amazing Founding Heritage our Founding Fathers gave us, when that Heritage becomes a prominent object of our mind, it will, without fail, become a prominent object of our heart, and we will become a true American Patriot. Another important benefit of this knowledge & understanding of our Founding Heritage, most eloquently spoken by James Madison, our 4th President, and most famously known as the Father of our Constitution, goes like this – ‘A well-instructed people alone, can be permanently a free people.’ Do not we all want to be a ‘permanently free people!?!’ Of Course we do!!!
The 6th Presentation in this Program of Important Speeches & Documents of the American Founding is focused on 3 important Founders who were instrumental in developing the content & the meaning, of what has come to be known as the world’ first and greatest charter of self-government – The US Constitution. These Founders are James Madison, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin!
This 6th Presentation involves 3 Important Figures & Their Works:
a. The 1st important figure in this presentation is naturally James Madison, the Father of our Constitution and of the Bill of Rights. He was also one of the authors of the Federalist Papers, all of which were important contributions to the Constitution’s content and ratification. In this presentation we will focus on his contributions to the actual writing of the Constitution during the Convention.
b. The 2nd important figure is George Washington, the Father of Our Country. His presence alone was the key to bringing these important delegates – ‘the wisest statesmen and purest patriots that ever existed’ – to the Convention; and his leadership there, ensured its orderly conduct and successful completion. His first address to the delegates and transmission letter to the Congress also were important to its Ratification and enduring Prominence.
c. The 3rd important figure of this presentation is Ben Franklin, the American Sage! He made key contributions throughout the Convention, and is considered its ‘Glue.’ In this presentation we will focus on two critical speeches, one he made at a critical phase in the beginning and another before the signing at the Convention’s end.
1. Madison, James. Notes on Ancient & Modern Confederacies.
2. Madison, James. Vices of the Political System of the US.
3. Madison, James. Letter to G. Washington, 16 Apr 1787.
4. Madison, James. 4 Letters to Th. Jefferson, 16 Mar 1784, 22 Jan 1785, 27 Apr 1785, 18 Mar 1786.
5. Washington, Geo. 1st Address to the Delegates of the Constitutional Convention, 25 May 1787.
6. Washington, Geo. Letter Transmitting the Constitution from the Convention to President of Continental Congress (Arthur St Clair), 17 Sep 1787.
7. Franklin, Ben. Call for Prayer at Constitutional Convention, 28 Jun 1787.
8. Franklin, Ben. Closing Speech at Constitutional Convention, 17 Sep 1787.
9. Franklin, Ben. Conversation with Mrs. Elizabeth Powel, 17 Sep 1787.