Retired librarian Jeannette Strong gives a presentation to Churchill County Middle School seventh graders on the background of the U.S. Constitution.
Photo by Steve Ranson.
Churchill County Middle School seventh-graders received their personal copies of the U.S. Constitution in a presentation Sept. 19.
The final draft of the Constitution was signed on Sept. 17, 1789, by members of the Constitutional Convention.
Jeanette Strong, along with Scott Tudehope and Kathy Reynolds, are members of the Churchill County Democrats. Every year, Strong makes a short presentation on the U.S. Constitution and then hands out pocket books that are printed by the U.S. Government Printing Office.
“The constitution, in my opinion, is one of the most brilliant documents every written,” said Strong, a retired teacher and librarian.
Strong said the Constitution was written as the governing document to how the United States was going to be run and came after the Articles of Confederation. She said the Articles of Confederation gave the power to the states but weakened any central powers. After a few years, she said the early lawmakers realized the Articles of Confederation was a complete catastrophe.
Congress authorized delegates from the 13 states in 1787 to recommend changes to the Articles of Confederation.
“The delegations from the different states wrote out the document that became the Constitution,” she said. “It gave power to the central government and was ratified by each of the 13 states.”
Rhode Island was the final state to ratify.
Strong told the students a central government could bring unity. The Articles of Confederation gave too much power to the states, and Strong said historians noted the states’ governments argued with each other and nothing was getting accomplished.
Strong said the writers who penned the Constitution didn’t want a framework that trampled on people’s rights. The Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments, guaranteed such liberties as freedom of speech, religion and press to name a few.
The Second Amendment, for example, stated “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”