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Constitution 101

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Hillsdale College's Constitution Minute

The Constitution Minute is a series of brief, informative radio messages designed to improve your understanding of the meaning and history of the U.S. Constitution. Each Minute features Dr. Larry Arnn or another Hillsdale faculty member—the same ones who teach our students on campus—explaining one key constitutional principle.

The Founding Fathers

Painting by Howard Chandler Christy, 1940.

America's Founding Fathers include George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, James Monroe and, of course, Benjamin Franklin. These men, together with several other key figures of their time, structured the American regime and left a legacy that has shaped the world.

The Committee

Engraving by Alonzo Chappel, Date Unknown.

Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin were commissioned to draft the Declaration of Independence. Thirty-three-year-old Jefferson composed the initial draft, completing it in seventeen days. The committee submitted its draft to Congress on June 28, 1776, and on July 2, Congress voted for independence.

About the Authors

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” 

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