It was a plethora of things that started the movement towards the creation of America. One of the biggest impacts on our independence was the writings of Thomas Paine. George Washington would read from The Crisis to inspire his men. He would quote Thomas Paine’s opening statement in The Crisis, These are the times that try men’s souls. If our country has a starting point, it is when Benjamin Franklin’s wrote The Declaration of Independence. Two years later, on September 17, 1787, it was The Constitution of the United States that laid the framework for our government. The father of the Constitution was James Madison and it was overseen by 55 elected men.
Many have debated the genius of The Constitution. They fail to understand that the genius lies in the fact that it can always be changed. It is also imperative that we strive to keep The Constitution a living document that has the ability to change over time. The Constitution makes no permanent rule other than its reliance on the wisdom of ordinary people to govern themselves. Our founding fathers were great men but they were also middle age white farmers. What made them great was the fact that they knew that they didn’t know everything. They accepted the fact that they were going to make mistakes and they left a way for them to be corrected. They didn’t think of themselves as leaders, they only wanted a government that was full of citizens and not royalty. They wanted to create a government with the ability to change. They also had the foresight to realize that as the world changed our government would have to change with it. If we hadn’t been able to do that it is possible we wouldn’t be the world power we are today.
This isn’t to say that changing The Constitution is an easy thing to do. There are currently only two ways to amend the constitution. The only one that has been used to date is through a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of Congress. The alternative (which still hasn’t been used) is to have two-thirds of the legislatures of the States call a Constitutional Convention to consider amendments. Our founding fathers wanted to create a government that didn’t give the federal government absolute power and in this they succeeded. They instead created a country of the people and for the people.