Celebrating the 230th Anniversary of
the U.S. Constitution
On September 17, 1787 the finished Constitution was signed by 39 of the 55 elected delegates who had met throughout the preceding summer to decide how the new American republic would be governed. Their discussion and debate had been frank, thorough, often contentious—and unprecedented in human history. As they readied the document for consideration by the states, the Founders could not know how long their careful design for balanced government would endure.
Their work carried us from our uncertain beginnings as the world’s first extended republic through our rapid expansion across a continent. It persisted through civil war and the social changes brought by industrialization. It remained our framework of self-government as we became a world power and international leader.
We have every reason to believe Constitutional self-government in America will continue — as long as new generations understand what it is, how it works, and why our freedoms depend on it.
This week at Ashbrook, we celebrate the teachers who help young Americans gain this critical knowledge.
These teachers attend Ashbrook seminars. They study the words of those who designed our Constitution. They discuss the questions that animated the Founders’ debates—finding them to be questions that continue to drive American politics. Then they take what they learn back to their own students.
Using primary resources Ashbrook makes available, teachers guide their students through a similar process of discovery.
Ashbrook-educated teachers are working to preserve the design of government the Founders gave us. We invite you to read some of their stories, and then explore our Constitution Day Resources below:
- Minnesota Teacher of the Year: What Young Citizens Need to Learn
- Students “Unlock” Clues in Primary Documents, Finding Constitution Booklet
- California Teacher and Students Trace Use of Commerce Clause
- Teacher Helps Navajo Students Discover Their American Identity
- Ohio Teacher’s Students Reenact the Constitutional Convention
- TAH.org Constitution Day Resources
- Read a conversation with Gordon Lloyd: The Constitutional Convention and the Founders’ Amazing Debate
- 50 Core American Documents
- Madison’s Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787
We hope you enjoy our collection of resources, and take the time to reflect on what was accomplished in the Summer of 1787, what was left to us as a legacy of that work, and what work is still yet to be completed. Consider, as you rediscover the story of our American Constitution, what you can do to preserve the work of the Founders.