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.

The Sessions and Readings used in this program were 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_163

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#lf1631_label_312

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_045

Madison to Thomas Jefferson, New York, July 24, 1788. https://oll.libertyfund.org/title/madison-the-writings-vol-5-1787-1790#lf1356-05_head_076

Jefferson to James Madison1, Paris, July 31, 1788. https://oll.libertyfund.org/title/jefferson-the-works-vol-5-correspondence-1786-1789#lf0054-05_head_111

Madison to Thomas Jefferson, New York, October 17, 1788. https://oll.libertyfund.org/title/madison-the-writings-vol-5-1787-1790#lf1356-05_head_088

Madison to Thomas Jefferson, Philadelphia, December 8, 1788. https://oll.libertyfund.org/title/madison-the-writings-vol-5-1787-1790#lf1356-05_head_099

 
 
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.