I continue the series on the formation of the new country of the United States of America……we have been though the early days….the battles and the war and now the country needs to come together and form a working government……
Part 8 of “American History for Truthdiggers.”
“Some men look at Constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, & deem them, like the Ark of the Covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment. I knew that age well: I belonged to it. …
“But I know also that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind … we might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.” —Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Samuel Kercheval, July 12, 1816
The U.S. Constitution stands almost as American scripture, deified and all but worshipped as the holy book for the American civil religion of republicanism. The above painting captures the spirit of modern memories, and mythology, surrounding the Constitutional Convention, which was held in Philadelphia. The sun shines through windows (which are conspicuously open) and delivers a halo of light upon the figure of the tall, erect George Washington. He stands, of course, on what resembles a religious altar, presiding over the delegates as they sign the sacred compact of American governance. Ben Franklin, himself an international celebrity by that time, sits prominently in the center, as the influential, young Alexander Hamilton whispers in his ear; meanwhile, the “father” of the Constitution, James Madison, sits just below the altar, on Franklin’s left.
Interesting that we may be having this discussion once again.