On Sept. 17, the University of West Georgia celebrated the 227th commemoration of the 39 delegates from the Constitutional Convention.
In 2004, Senator Robert Byrd initiated a bill that required every educational institution that received federal funding to hold some type of program to recognize the Constitution. This helped students gain knowledge over the country’s most notable document. By celebrating Constitution Day, students and teachers observed how our government was initiated and how it functions to this day.
For UWG, Dr. Stan Caress, professor of political science, gave a speech about the Constitution’s significance and meaning in the Ingram Library. In his presentation, Caress explained the Constitution’s basis for the structure of our federal government, along with states’ rights and the rights of the citizens.
“The Constitution of the United States created our government,” he said.
He also stressed how it continues to play a key part in our government due to its altering power.
“We change,” he said. “We evolve, we develop and the government still seems to work.”
Caress briefly mentioned the powers given to the judiciary branch, the executive branch and the legislative branch. Their authorities change every day due to open interpretation of the document. Caress explained the Constitution is “much more subject to interpretation as the world changes,” which is another reason its existence is influential in the 21st century. The rest of the presentation covered the basic history of the Constitution.
The 4,500 word document begins with the preamble, which lays forth the six goals of the government. The first three words are perhaps the most famous in U.S. history: “We the people…” This signified the fact that it was written by ordinary citizens who were willing to start a new government for their country.
James Madison, penned the Father of the Constitution, drafted the document and signed it with the other delegates in Pennsylvania in 1787. Georgia’s two representatives, Abraham Baldwin and William Few, signed the document, along with George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton.
The U.S. Constitution is the oldest written national constitution in operation and is on display in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Over 100 nations around the world have modeled their constitutions after ours.