Amending the Electoral College: The 12th Amendment

The Electoral College is outlined in Article II, Section 1, of the U.S. Constitution. It is the formal body that elects the President and Vice President of the United States. Back in 1787, when the delegates to the Constitutional Convention were trying to figure out how the President should be chosen, some wanted the Congress … Continue reading Amending the Electoral College: The 12th Amendment

The Entire Constitution for Constitution Day

September 17 is Constitution Day commemorating the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787.  Fifty years ago, all four pages of the U.S. Constitution went on display at the National Archives for the first time.  First exhibit of all four pages of the U.S. Constitution in the National Archives Rotunda, 9/17/1970. … Continue reading The Entire Constitution for Constitution Day

My Name is Alex Hamilton

In celebration of the upcoming movie version of the musical Hamilton, we are highlighting two Hamilton-related documents from the National Archives holdings.  One of my favorite documents, and timely for Independence Day, is Alexander Hamilton’s Oath of Allegiance during the Revolutionary War. Alexander Hamilton's Oath of Allegiance, May 12, 1778. (National Archives Identifier 2524343) Hamilton … Continue reading My Name is Alex Hamilton

The Mosler Model

On June 29, 1954, a 600 pound model of the vault that held the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights went on display in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. It was one of two models the Mosler Safe Company made to demonstrate how such a mechanism would work to secure the … Continue reading The Mosler Model

Unratified Amendments: DC Voting Rights

This is the sixth and final installment of a series about unratified constitutional amendments. Today we’re looking at an amendment intended to give full voting rights to the citizens of the nation’s capital.  For most of its history, the residents of Washington, DC, have lacked representation in Congress and the ability to participate in elections … Continue reading Unratified Amendments: DC Voting Rights

Unratified Amendments: The Equal Rights Amendment

This is the fifth installment of a series about unratified constitutional amendments. Today we’re looking at an amendment that was first introduced nearly 100 years ago and we’re still talking about today: The Equal Rights Amendment. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee equal rights under the law regardless … Continue reading Unratified Amendments: The Equal Rights Amendment

Unratified Amendments: Regulating Child Labor

This is the fourth installment of a series about unratified constitutional amendments. Today we’re looking at an amendment proposed during the Progressive Era to regulate child labor. During the Progressive Era, muckraking journalists and photographers drew public attention to a myriad of America’s social problems, one of them being the exploitation of children. Perhaps most … Continue reading Unratified Amendments: Regulating Child Labor

Unratified Amendments: Protection of Slavery

This is the third installment of a series about unratified constitutional amendments. Today we’re looking at an amendment proposed during the lead-up to the U.S. Civil War that would have protected the institution of slavery. When the second session of the 36th Congress convened in late 1860, the issue of slavery had grown increasingly divisive, … Continue reading Unratified Amendments: Protection of Slavery

Unratified Amendments: Titles of Nobility

This is the second installment of a series about unratified constitutional amendments. Today we’re looking at an amendment proposed during the lead-up to the War of 1812 that sought to bar U.S. citizens from accepting titles of nobility.  The U.S. Constitution has a Titles of Nobility clause that prohibits the Federal Government from granting titles … Continue reading Unratified Amendments: Titles of Nobility

Unratified Amendments

To date, the U.S. Constitution has 27 amendments. The first 10 are known as the Bill of Rights, then the rest generally protect and expand individual rights or outline how government works. Congress, however, has actually proposed 33 constitutional amendments to the states. The Bill of Rights as proposed to the states containing 12 amendments, … Continue reading Unratified Amendments