Draft of the Bill of Rights
September 9, 1789
The National Archives
For More Information
“It seems to be agreed on all hands that paper declarations of rights are trifling things and no real security to liberty. In general they are a subject of ridicule . . . But they regret that Congress should spend their time in throwing out an empty tub to catch people, either factious or uninformed, who might be taken more honorably by reason and equitable laws. They regret particularly that Mr. Madison’s talents should be employed to bring forward amendments, which, at best, can have little effect upon the merits of the constitution, and may sow the seeds of discord from New-Hampshire to Georgia.”
A public letter, addressed "To James Madison, Esquire." N.Y. Daily Advertiser, 17 Aug 1789.
Upcoming Connect Webcast
October 17, 2013
Noon to 1 p.m. Eastern
Join us for a live Connect webcast with Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton about the battle between the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans in 1796. Their struggles over partisanship and the role of the national government and economy resonate today. Join us at www.history.org/connect and @ConnectCW.
What Are My Rights?
Students sometimes don’t realize that the Bill of Rights protects them as well, not just the adults in their lives. In this lesson, students translate the Bill of Rights into modern English. They then analyze Supreme Court cases involving students to answer the question, "How does the Bill of Rights affect my daily life?"
A MORE PERFECT UNION
Electronic Field Trip on DVD
Witness the conflict and compromises of ratifying the U.S. Constitution. Join young eighteenth-century observers as they travel from state to state tallying the vote. Learn about ratification and Americans' growing interest in the fledgling new government. Grades 48, 60 minutes. DVD. $29.95. To order, call 1-800-761-8331 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE IDEA OF AMERICA
This classroom kit illustrates how a framework of American values and the concept of civil debate can be adapted for middle and high school instruction. Includes "The Idea of America" book, 40 copies of "America: The Pocket Guide," and a CD-ROM of lesson plans. $49.95. For more information, visit http://history.org/history/teaching/ioa_classroom_resources.cfm.
Upcoming Electronic Field Trip
The Bill of Rights
October 10, 2013
The Colonial Williamsburg Electronic Field Trip Series is supported in part
by the William and Gretchen Kimball Young Patriots Fund.
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