Here’s Why Constitution Day is the Biggest Holiday You’re Not Celebrating
- Joey Upper
The Fourth of July, or more properly Independence Day, is one of the biggest holidays on the American calendar. We mark it with parades, fanfare, fireworks, and of course, almost uniformly eating like starting on the fifth none of us will be permitted to ever eat food again.
That’s not a complaint — I like brats.
However you choose to note the day, there’s a perfectly good reason for raucous celebration. It’s the day we declared independence from England, for crying out loud! We abandoned the rule of a monarch in one of the greatest blows struck for freedom in history.
So why is it then, that the day of the creation of our form of government — the very thing that we ultimately left monarchy for — is far less visible to the public eye?
In fairness, the United States Constitution isn’t what many believed it would turn out to be — initially, we had the Articles of Confederation. These articles were ratified in 1781, and they didn’t last all that long. The intentional weakening of the national congress made their jobs just about impossible.
That didn’t go well, and you’ll remember from your high school history class how Shay’s Rebellion served as a stark warning that the federal government might need to do fun things like collect the funds they desperately needed to maintain a country’s functionality. What’s often not mentioned, additionally, is the Newburgh conspiracy.
The Newburgh conspiracy is one of the largest threats to the United States we’ve ever had, and it’s relatively unknown. In short, officers in the Continental Army and members of Congress attempted to instigate something akin to a coup, wherein states would be forced to grant more powers to Congress, who would in turn raise the cash that soldiers, extremely nervous about actually getting paid, would receive.
You can thank George Washington for shutting that down, but that’s an entirely different story.
So here we are, in 1787, with a weak amalgamation of states, a broke national government, a near-coup, and a failed rebellion. Obviously, something’s gotta give.
In May 1787, Philadelphia hosted a meeting of some of the greatest minds of the time to create the historic Constitutional Convention, and of course, the first thing they decided to do was ignore their mandate to amend the Articles of Confederation and create something new from scratch.
The rest is, well, history.
I won’t quote to you the entirety of the Constitution, or even paraphrase it — it’s lengthy, and dollars to donuts you know all about it already. What? You don’t? In that case, take some time and read it using the link here.
What you’ll want to take away, here, is this:
Today — September 17th, is Constitution Day, to mark the signing of the United States Constitution back in 1787. Without what happened in Philadelphia on that day, we very likely not only would not have grown to the nation we have today, we probably would be either a territory or oblast of another power.
In other words, Constitution Day is every bit as important as Independence Day — we might even consider it an extension of the same.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go rustle up some brats.
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