The First Freedom: Religion & the Bill of Rights

The First Freedom: Religion & the Bill of Rights

The First Freedom: Religion & the Bill of Rights

The First Freedom: Religion & the Bill of Rights

Excerpt

JAMES E. JR. WOOD

M ore than two hundred years ago, fifty-five delegates from twelve of the thirteen original states (Rhode Island abstained from participating) met in Philadelphia, 25 May-17 September 1787, and drafted a document that would become the Constitution of the United States. In a real sense, the Constitutional Convention of 1787 represented the founding of this nation and the establishment of its republican form of government.

Among the delegates twenty-six were college graduates; three were by profession college professors; two were college presidents; four had read law at the Inns of Court in London; twenty-eight had served in Congress and most of the others had served in state legislatures; and nine were foreign born. Five of the delegates were under thirty years of age; Alexander Hamilton was thirty and James Madison was barely thirty-six. Only four of the delegates were beyond sixty years of age. Benjamin Franklin at eighty-one was the oldest delegate by at least fifteen years.

The result of their efforts was a document that has become the oldest national constitution in the world and has been widely . . .

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