This week in history we learned about the writing of the Constitution. Honestly, the fact that so many different delegates, from different states, with very different ideas about how to run a government, agreed on such a detailed, wide ranging set of rules for our new country, in only three months, is absolutely miraculous!
For eight years we had been governed by the Articles of Confederation, and it provided only for a rather powerless Congress (which could make laws but had no power to enforce them), with no executive or judicial branches. It made the federal government so weak, our founders were rightly concerned about a "hostile takeover" from any of the big European powers. So they convened the Constitutional Conventions to work on a replacement document.
They argued fiercely over the issue of states rights versus the power of the federal government. What issues would each body be allowed to manage? And they argued over whether new states added to the Union would enter as slave states or as free. The issue producing the greatest deadlock was over representation ~ would states be represented according to their population, or by a one-state one-vote rule? It was only after Benjamin Franklin suggested that prayer be offered every morning before deliberation began, that a breakthrough was made. Roger Sherman, a delegate from Connecticut, suggested that both forms of representation be used, and his suggestion saved the day!
Here is a part of Benjamin Franklin's resolution to add prayer to the daily agenda:
"I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?"
Isn't that marvelous?
We read and studied the Constitution in its entirety. It is an amazing document! It seems that our founding fathers thought of virtually everything in their quest to ensure checks and balances. Several delegates were concerned about individual liberties, but the Bill of Rights was intentionally tackled later, to make the ratification process go more smoothly. We will be studying the Bill of Rights next week!
In other subjects, son L did two physics experiments this week involving electricity.
One of them called for the making of an electroscope, which can detect the presence of electricity. When the balloon, rubbed on his hair to create static electricity, was held close to the blue glass, the strips of foil hanging on the inside would move, indicating the presence of electricity. He did it several times and it was pretty cool to watch!
Making some type of game that could actually be played was the challenge in Little Man's lego class at co-op this week. It warmed my heart to see son C voluntarily helping him! His original plan was to make a lego "bop it," but that proved rather challenging, so he changed it to hockey. He made a tiny little puck, two sticks, and two goals. It was enthusiastically played by several kids in his lego class.
The week ended with a wonderful date night - hubby and I went with some friends to a Matthew West concert!! It was fantastic!