On September 17, 1787 — 231 years ago today — 39 men signed the U.S. Constitution
. Among the best known are the then-elder statesman of the group, Benjamin Franklin
; the first president of the United States, George Washington
; and the first treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton.
It was signed 11 years after the issuance of the young nation’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence. However, the author of that document, Thomas Jefferson, was not present at the signing of the Constitution. At the time, he was serving as the U.S. ambassador to France.
The Declaration outlined the ideals of the new nation and famously stated that we are all created equal with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Constitution focused more on how to create a government that might defend the unalienable rights. James Madison played a key role in drafting the latter document, which established an elaborate system of checks and balances based upon a separation of powers.
Dr. Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College, has shown the strong correlation between the two documents. His book "The Founders' Key: The Divine and Natural Connection Between the Declaration and the Constitution and What We Risk by Losing It" argues that the provisions of the Constitution strongly mirrored the concerns and ideals expressed in the Declaration.
Each weekday, Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day explores interesting and newsworthy topics at the intersection of culture, politics, and technology. Columns published on Ballotpedia reflect the views of the author.
Scott Rasmussen is founder and president of the Rasmussen Media Group. He is the author of "Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System," "In Search of Self-Governance," and "The People’s Money: How Voters Will Balance the Budget and Eliminate the Federal Debt." Read more reports from Scott Rasmussen — Click Here Now.
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