We the people of the United States…probably don’t know that much about the Constitution. For instance, did you know that in it, “Pennsylvania” is spelled incorrectly? Or perhaps you never learned that it is not only the oldest but the shortest Constitution of any major government in the world. Maybe it’s about time you boned up on your American Government. Check out these 7 facts about the Constitution just in time for the inauguration of our new president (who might also need a refresher course or two).
- It wasn’t until 1920 and the 19th amendment that women were given the right to vote, and it was a nail-biter to be sure. It was passed by only one vote after Legislator Harry Burn changed his vote to yes following a nasty letter from his mother.
- There is no mention of the word “democracy” in the Constitution. This is how the framers intended it—in a true democracy, the people make decisions directly instead of through representatives such as our system.
- Thanksgiving was established as a national holiday by George Washington in 1789 specifically to pay gratitude to the US Constitution. Many have let this particular point fall by the wayside in favor of turkey and football.
- The electoral college has come into high scrutiny following Hillary Clinton’s popular vote win – but ultimate loss. But you may be surprised to learn this is not nearly the first time the college has been criticized. Since the Constitution’s ratification in 1788, there have been 500 propositions to eliminate the Electoral College system, but for better or worse, the United States still runs according to the trail-blazing, four-page document created in 1787.
- It wasn’t until 1971 that the right to vote was extended to all 18-year-olds. Up to this point, only four states had allowed those under 21 years of age to vote: Hawaii, 20; Alaska, 19; Kentucky and Georgia, 18.
- There isn’t just one but two amendments in the United States Constitution that deal specifically with alcohol: the 18th to prohibit alcohol and the 21st to repeal the 18th.
- There are many duties, restrictions, and amendments regarding the president throughout the Constitution. For instance, it wasn’t until 1967 and the 25th amendment that a vice president became president upon the removal of the President from office. Before then, all successors took on the roles and duties of president, but were technically still just Veep.
THE U.S. CONSTITUTION FOR EVERYONE is available at these retailers: