Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Decision in Philadelphia: the Constitutional Convention of 1787 - by Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier

An amazing look into how our country was formed

This book details (though not completely chronologically) the intricate workings of the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Frankly, I am amazed that we have a functional government at all. The book shows over and over again how it almost never happened.

During the several months of constitutional meetings, many tricky balances were hammered out - how much control should a centralized government possess? How do you protect the smaller states from the larger states? How do you ensure the president doesn't become an emperor? How do you protect the rights of the southern citizens to trade and own slaves?

The entire indigenous process really points out the silliness of another country trying to impose democracy.

What amazes me is that the Supreme Court was never really given authority to interpret constitutionality. And, theoretically, our November votes for president could be completely tossed aside and the outcome determined by some other means. (Did I just talk about votes not counting and the Supreme Court in the same paragraph? Oh my!)

Also, this book clearly points out that if these men were Christians, it was only in the loosest sense of the term. George Washington was hunting on more Sundays than he was in church. The men drank like fish. And they rarely (if ever) sought heavenly guidance for the document they were creating.

A great book, and a must-read for any American.

No comments: