Wednesday, January 14, 2009

January 14: The First Step Toward Independence (Vol. 43, pp. 60-65)

Historians consider "The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut," adopted on this day in 1639, as the first-ever written version of the modern constitution — that is, a document that puts limits on governmental power and codifies the democratic ideal.

The idea that "to maintain the peace and union" that there should be "an orderly and decent government, established according to God, to order and dispose of the affairs of the people," and that to accomplish this, people must come together "as one public state or commonwealth," is a modern idea, but a powerful one. These are the ideas that shaped the U.S. Constitution nearly 150 years later.

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