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Introduction to annotated Constitution

The United States Constitution: Annotated with The Federalist Papers in Modern English


          As people of the 21st century we like to think that we are advanced in every area of life.  However, the passage of time doesn't guarantee increased knowledge, understanding, and happiness.  If it did, there would be no illiteracy, poverty, or third-world countries, and there would be no reason to study history.

          We've been told that studying history is important.  But many people--myself included--spend most of our lives avoiding the study of history because it seems irrelevant to our current lives and problems--a waste of valuable time.

          On the other hand, we watch Dr. Phil and read self-help books, go to psychiatrists and psychologists, even enjoy learning about criminal profilers.  Over the past 50 years we've seen gurus and mega-churches rise in popularity.  The war on poverty was both well-funded and a complete failure.  Legal abortion hasn't decreased the number of children living in poverty. 

          As I studied The Federalist Papers I discovered that memorizing the dates of history's events is not the goal of studying history.  It is the human motivations behind the events that are important for us to understand.  Every time we forget history, tyranny grows.  Every time we ignore history, our freedoms disappear.  Every time we think we are just too smart to need to study the lessons of history, we lose bits of ourselves.

American Spirit Unique in History

          The United States is unique.  But the older it gets, the more of that uniqueness is stripped away.  Without a determined effort, the American experiment will soon fail, not through bombs from the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany.  It is on the verge of failing not because we, as individuals, don't feel we are unique, but because we refuse to recognize, acknowledge, and allow our fellow citizens their uniqueness.  In modern jargon, we are a nation of enablers.  In former times we said it more directly:  The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

The Federalist Papers predicted the positive influence the United States eventually would have on the world.  This is our legacy.  As so often happens, much of it has been squandered.  But We, the People, can reclaim it with the help of the instructions left by our Founding Fathers.

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