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Shaping the Constitution: A View from Mount Vernon

Reading List for "Shaping The Constitution:  A View From Mount Vernon, 1783-1789"

For additional reading see the Online Library of Liberty website , especially the sections on:

Main printed readings:

  • The Founders' Constitution, ed. Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner (1987, 2000), 5 vols.
  • George Washington: A Collection, compiled and edited by W.B. Allen (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1988).
  • Founding Friendship.
  • The Federalist (The Gideon Edition), Edited with an Introduction, Reader’s Guide, Constitutional Cross-reference, Index, and Glossary by George W. Carey and James McClellan (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2001).
  • The Writings of James Madison, comprising his Public Papers and his Private Correspondence, including his numerous letters and documents now for the first time printed, ed. Gaillard Hunt (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1900). Vols. 3 and 4 contain his notes from the Federal Convention.

 

Day One —Mount Vernon

George Mason, George Washington, and The Virginia Aristocracy

  • Print Edition: George Washington: A Collection, pp. 276-82
  • Online version: , texts nos. 94-96

 

Day Two —The New Nation: Liberty, Equality, and Slavery

Southern political thought in the late 18th century

  • Virginia’s Declaration of Rights
  • Declaration of Independence
  • Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 19
  • Speeches of Patrick Henry, John Marshall, and James Monroe at the Virginia Ratifying Convention
  • Patrick Henry on rights
  • Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1788

Slavery

  • Print Edition: George Washington: A Collection, pp. 318-323, 38-39, 233-235
  • Online version: , texts nos. 113-14, 11, 83

 

Day Three —“Like a House on Fire”: Criticism of the Articles of Confederation

“Like a House on Fire”

  • Print edition: The Founders’ Constitution, vol. 1, chap. 5, "Deficiencies of the Confederation," pp. 147-183
  • Online version: The Founders’ Constitution, vol. 1, chapter 5, "Deficiencies of the Confederation"

The Mount Vernon Conference & Annapolis Convention

Madison and Washington

  • Founding Friendship, 1-10, 223-25

 

Day Four—The Need for “Radical Cures”: The Constitutional Convention

Shays’ Rebellion

  • George Washington: A Collection
    • Print Edition: George Washington: A Collection, pp. 337-38, 348-65
    • Online version: , texts nos. 119, 125-32
  • Founding Friendship, 58-70
  • The Federalist Papers

The Constitutional Convention

  • The Founders’ Constitution
    • Print edition: The Founders’ Constitution, Chapter 1, entry 8 and Chapter 5, entry 16
    • Online version: The Founders’ Constitution, vol. 1, chapter 1, entry 8 and chapter 5, entry 16
  • Madison’s Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787
    • Print edition: Madison’s Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, May 29, June 11, June 15, June 29, July 2, July 16, August 6, September 10, September 12, September 17
    • Online version 1: For Madison’s Notes, please see the following website: www.teachingamericanhistory.org/convention. Click on “Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 by James Madison.”
    • Online version 2: Madison’s Notes Part 1 (May 28 - July 18) and Part 2 (July 19 - Sept. 17) , May 29, June 11, June 15, June 29, July 2, July 16, August 6, September 10, September 12, September 17

The Federalist and Anti-Federalist Positions

The Federalist position:

  • The Federalist Papers
  • Print edition: The Federalist Papers, Nos. 1, 9, 10, 39, 51, 63, 70, 71, 78
  • Online version: The Federalist (Gideon edition), Nos. 1, 9, 10, 39, 51, 63, 70, 71, 78

The Anti-Federalist position:

  • The Founders’ Constitution
    • Print edition: The Founders’ Constitution, Chapter 1, entries 3 and 4; Chapter 4, entries 14 and 16. Chapter 5, entries 24, 25, 26; Chapter 11, entries 11 and 12; Chapter 13, entries 20, 22, 23, and 24
    • Online version: The Founders’ Constitution, vol. 1, Chapter1, entries 3 and 4; Chapter 4, entries 14 and 16. Chapter 5, entries 24, 25, 26; Chapter 11, entries 11 and 12; Chapter 13, entries 20, 22, 23, and 24

 

Day Five—“To Save Us From Impending Ruin”: Ratification and the Bill of Rights

Ratification

Extracts from The Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Virginia, and New York Ratifying Conventions:

  • The Founders’ Constitution
    • Print edition: The Founders’ Constitution, Chapter 2, entries 14 and 15; Chapter 3, entry 12; Chapter 6, entries 17 and 18; Chapter 7, entry 17; Chapter 8, entries 16, 17, 18, 21, 37, 38, and 39; Chapter 10, entry 11; Chapter 11, entries 13, 14, and 15; Chapter 12, entries 23 and 24; Chapter 13 entries 35, 36, 37, and 38
    • Online version: The Founders’ Constitution, vol. 1, Chapter 2, entries 14 and 15; Chapter 3, entry 12; Chapter 6, entries 17 and 18; Chapter 7, entry 17; Chapter 8, entries 16, 17, 18, 21, 37, 38, and 39; Chapter 10, entry 11; Chapter 11, entries 13, 14, and 15; Chapter 12, entries 23 and 24; Chapter 13 entries 35, 36, 37, and 38

The Bill of Rights

  • The Founders’ Constitution
    • Print edition: The Founders’ Constitution, Chapter 1, entries 3 and 6; Chapter 14, entries 21, 23, 26, 27, 33, 37, 38, 43, 46, 47, 49, 50, 51, 52, 54, 55, and 56
    • Online version: The Founders’ Constitution, vol. 1, Chapter 1, entries 3 and 6; Chapter 14, entries 21, 23, 26, 27, 33, 37, 38, 43, 46, 47, 49, 50, 51, 52, 54, 55, and 56

The Legacy of Mount Vernon

  • Founding Friendship, 70-74, 97-109

Last modified April 13, 2016