Click here to Read the Constitution of the United States of America

Scroll down ... for more information and bibliography.


On September 17, 1787, 55 delegates representing the Colonies completed writing the Constitution of the new United States of America in the Philadelphia State House. Thirty nine of the delegates signed the original document; others argued for additional clarifications. The Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation which had governed the Colonies since the end of the Revolutionary War, and more clearly defined the powers of the central government, powers of the states, the rights of the people and how their representatives should be elected. Ratification of the new Constitution was encouraged by a series of articles, the”Federalist Papers” published in New York and throughout the Colonies.  -Martha Counihan, O.S.U.


  Detail from The Great Codifiers of the Law: Marshall, the Constitution, Kent, study for mural  by Boardman Robinson 1876 Canada-1952 USA, 1935.                   The foundation of American government by Hintermeister, Henry
 Click pictures above for more information on these paintings.      


Belz, H. (1998). A living constitution or fundamental law?: American constitutionalism in historical perspective. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield.

Brinkley, A., Polsby, N. W., & Sullivan, K. M. (1997). New Federalist papers: Essays in defense of the Constitution. New York: Norton.

Clinton, R. L. (1989). Marbury v. Madison and judicial review. Lawrence, Kan.: University Press of Kansas.

Cox, Archibald. The Court and the Constitution. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987.

The Debate on the Constitution. New York: The Library of America : Distributed to the trade in the U.S. and Canada by the Viking Press, 1993.  

Friendly, F. W., & Elliott, M. J. H. (1984). The Constitution, that delicate balance. New York: Random House.

Garraty, J. A. (1964). Quarrels that have shaped the Constitution. New York: Harper & Row.

Gillespie, M. A., Lienesch, M., & National Humanities Center (U.S.). (1989). Ratifying the Constitution. Lawrence, Kan: University Press of Kansas.

Loomis, Burdett A. The Contemporary Congress. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996. 

McCaffrey, Paul, and Lynn Messina. The United States Supreme Court. Vol. 77, no. 5. Bronx, N.Y.: H. W. Wilson, 2005.  R

McCoy, D. R. (1989). The last of the fathers: James Madison and the Republican legacy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mikva, Abner J., and Patti B. Saris. The American Congress, the First Branch. New York: Watts, 1983.

Morgan, R. J. (1988). James Madison on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Contributions in legal studies, no. 48. New York: Greenwood Press.  

Moyers, Bill D. Moyers on Democracy. 1st ed. New York: Doubleday, 2008.

Mueller, Dennis C. Constitutional Democracy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Paolucci, Henry, and Richard Charles Clark. Presidential Power and Crisis Government in the Age of Terrorism. Smyrna, DE: Published for the Bagehot Council by Griffon House, 2003.

Pole, J. R. (1987). The American Constitution--for and against: The Federalist and anti-Federalist papers. New York: Hill and Wang.

Rakove, J. N. (1996). Original meanings: Politics and ideas in the making of the Constitution. New York: A.A. Knopf.

Schleifer, James. T.  The making of Tocqueville's Democracy in America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1980.  

Schlesinger, Arthur Meier. The Imperial Presidency. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1973.  

Thompson, Dennis F. Ethics in Congress : From Individual to Institutional Corruption. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1995.  

Thelen, D. P. (1988). The Constitution and American life. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Thurber, James A. Rivals for Power : Presidential-Congressional Relations. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 1996. 

Willis, William James. The Media Effect : How the News Influences Politics and Government. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2007.