The Constitution: Written in Sand Or Etched in Stone?

Front Cover
Bill Rhatican
AuthorHouse, 2006 - Political Science - 428 pages
When the Founding Fathers, in their collective genius, crafted the U.S. Constitution in 1787, little did they know that their cherished document would become a twenty-first century battleground over such issues as "Fanfiction," vulgar and distasteful language, same-sex marriages, and abortion or student demands for equal rights. Nor did they anticipate that their failure to act on the divisive issue of slavery would lead inexorably to America's Civil War. Now, in an extraordinary series of essays, twenty-six unusually perceptive and talented Advanced Placement U.S. Government students at West Potomac High School, Alexandria, Virginia, explore today's constitutional issues in a way the Founders may never have anticipated. This collection of essays traces the original arguments between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists up to the federal government's recent successful intrusion into such traditional state realms as the drinking age and speed limit on state roads. The students explore the Constitution's relevance to the Internet and what some devotees call "Fanfiction" and detractors identify as plagiarism. In one essay, the author claims that the American tradition of "freedom.of the press," as articulated in the First Amendment, is being eroded daily - not by the government, as originally suspected by the Founding Fathers but by the press themselves. Two essays address the questionable value of the U.S. Constitution in protecting the freedoms of young Americans, especially those in public schools. A third, dealing with a relevant subject, questions whether young Americans, who complain about the electoral system but rarely use the right to vote themselves, even deserve the Twenty-sixth Amendment. When the Founders had completed their work in Philadelphia, they faced a major political challenge: how to convince the American people that the document and the government they had created should be ratified and approved by the people themselves. The political genius they demonstrated by accepting the Bill of Rights four years later is reflected in these essays, each of which looks at the Constitution, complete with its amendments, in light of today's political realities.

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