May 2021: The Colonial Origins of the Bill of Rights

Please join us in May, 2021 for our FIRST EVER Virtual Reading Group with Dr. Steve Ealy.

Pre-registration is required. You will receive a PDF file with the readings (below) not available online when your registration is confirmed.
 
 
The Sessions and Readings are as follows:
 
Session One (Wednesday, May 12, 3-4 pm EST)
 
Historical Background

The First Charter of Virginia; April 10, 1606. https://avalon.law.yale.edu/17th_century/va01.asp

Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (1639). https://oll.libertyfund.org/title/lutz-colonial-origins-of-the-american-constitution-a-documentary-history#lf0013_head_277

The Massachusetts Body of Liberties (1641). https://oll.libertyfund.org/title/lutz-colonial-origins-of-the-american-constitution-a-documentary-history#lf0013_head_151

The English Bill of Rights (1689). https://oll-resources.s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/oll3/store/titles/2544/EnglishBillRights1689.pdf

Virginia Declaration of Rights and Constitution (1776). https://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/virginia-declaration-of-rights/

Declaration of Independence (1776). https://oll-resources.s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/oll3/store/titles/2540/Jefferson_DeclarationIndependence1776.pdf

Pennsylvania Declaration of Rights and Constitution (1776). https://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/pennsylvania-declaration-of-rights-and-constitution/

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights and Constitution (1780). https://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/massachusetts-constitution/

 
Session Two (Wednesday, May 19, 3-4 pm EST)
 
Philadelphia Constitution
The Articles of Confederation (1778). In The American Republic: Primary Sources, edited by Bruce Frohnen (Liberty Fund, 2002), pp. 200-204. https://oll.libertyfund.org/title/frohnen-the-american-republic-primary-sources#lf0082_head_151

U. S. Constitution (1787). In The American Republic: Primary Sources, edited by Bruce Frohnen (Liberty Fund, 2002), pp. 234-240. https://oll.libertyfund.org/title/frohnen-the-american-republic-primary-sources#lf0082_head_151

James Wilson, Sustance of an Address, 6 October 1787. https://oll.libertyfund.org/title/ramsay-pamphlets-on-the-constitution-of-the-united-states-1787-1788#lf1338_head_014.

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 84. https://oll.libertyfund.org/title/jay-the-federalist-gideon-ed

George Mason, Objections to this Constitution of Government. https://oll.libertyfund.org/title/farrand-the-records-of-the-federal-convention-of-1787-vol-2#lf0544-02_head_240

Richard Henry Lee letter to Edmund Randolph, October 15, 1787. https://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/richard-henry-lees-objections-to-the-constitution/

Brutus II. In The Anti-Federalist Writings of the Melancton Smith Circle, edited by Michael P. Zuckert and Kerek A. Webb (Liberty Fund, 2009), pp. 178-184.

Jefferson to James Madison, Paris, December 20, 1787. https://oll.libertyfund.org/title/jefferson-the-works-vol-5-correspondence-1786-1789#lf0054-05_head_088

Madison to Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Orange, April 22, 1788. https://oll.libertyfund.org/title/madison-the-writings-vol-5-1787-1790#lf1356-05_head_037

Madison to Thomas Jefferson, New York, July 24, 1788. https://oll.libertyfund.org/title/madison-the-writings-vol-5-1787-1790#lf1356-05_head_037

Jefferson to James Madison1, Paris, July 31, 1788. https://oll.libertyfund.org/title/jefferson-the-works-vol-5-correspondence-1786-1789#lf0054-05_head_088

Madison to Thomas Jefferson, New York, October 17, 1788. https://oll.libertyfund.org/title/madison-the-writings-vol-5-1787-1790#lf1356-05_head_037

Madison to Thomas Jefferson, Philadelphia, December 8, 1788. https://oll.libertyfund.org/title/madison-the-writings-vol-5-1787-1790#lf1356-05_head_037

 
 
Session Three (Wednesday, May 26, 3-4 pm EST)
 
Amending and Interpreting the Constitution

Dissent of the Minority regarding the Convention of Pennsylvania, December 18, 1787. https://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/dissent-of-the-minority-regarding-the-pennslyvania-ratifying-convention/

Massachusetts Ratifying Convention Proposed Amendments, February 6, 1788. https://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/massachusetts-ratifying-convention-proposed-amendments/

Ratification of the Constitution by the State of South Carolina, May 23, 1788. https://teachingamericanhistory.org/resources/ratification/tansill/ratification-southcarolina/

New Hampshire Ratification Convention, June 21, 1788. https://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/new-hampshire-ratifies-57-47-with-12-proposed-amendments/

Virginia Ratifying Convention Amendment Proposals, June 27, 1788. https://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/virginia-ratifying-convention-amendment-proposals-va/

Ratification of the Constitution the State of New York, July 26, 1788. https://teachingamericanhistory.org/resources/ratification/tansill/ratification-newyork/

Ratification of the Constitution by the State of North Carolina, August 1, 1788. https://teachingamericanhistory.org/resources/ratification/tansill/ratification-northcarolina/

Ratification of the Constitution by the State of Rhode Island, May 29, 1790. https://teachingamericanhistory.org/resources/ratification/tansill/ratification-rhodeisland/

Congressional History of the Bill of Rights – June 8, 1789 – December 15, 1791. https://teachingamericanhistory.org/resources/bor/cong_history/

“Incorporation Doctrine.” Cornell Law School. https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/incorporation_doctrine

Gitlow v. People of New York. 268 U.S. 652 (1925). https://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/service/ll/usrep/usrep268/usrep268652/usrep268652.pdf. Excerpts.

Charles Rice, “The Bill of Rights and the Doctrine of Incorporation.” In Eugene W. Hickok, Jr., ed., The Bill of Rights: Original Meaning and Current Understanding (University Press of Virginia, 1991), pp. 11-16.

Paul Brest, “The Intentions of the Adopters Are in the Eyes of the Beholder.” In Eugene W. Hickok, Jr., ed., The Bill of Rights: Original Meaning and Current Understanding (University Press of Virginia, 1991), pp. 17-24.